Hip & Knee

What Is Hip and Knee Pain?

The knees and hips are the body’s largest joints. Hip pain may be on the outside of your hip, upper thigh or outer buttock. The pain may occur when resting, walking or participating in some kind of activity. Knee pain is a common complaint of many people. Its signs and symptoms may include more than just pain. There may be swelling, stiffness, instability, painful popping, or the inability to fully straighten the knee. Both hip and knee pain can be persistent and limit mobility and activities.

The Causes of Hip and Knee Pain

Even though the hip joint is durable, the joint can get worn down with age or usage, resulting in hip pain. Bones in the hip can break after a fall and lead to hip pain. Arthritis, hip fractures, cartilage injuries, bursitis and tendinitis are common causes of hip pain. Arthritis leads to the breakdown of cartilage. It causes reduced range of motion of the hip, stiffness and pain. Cartilage (sometimes referred to as labral tears) injuries may occur as a result of trauma or repetitive stress to the hip joint, such as sports or activities that require extreme ranges of motion at the hips, such as dance, figure skating, or hockey. Bursitis occurs when the bursae get inflamed. There’s friction from the tissues rubbing together. Usually, inflammation of the bursae is a result of repetitive activities that irritate the hip joint. Tendinitis is inflammation of the tendons, which are thick bands of tissues that connect bones to the muscles. Like bursitis, it’s usually from overuse.

Knee pain can result in any of the bony structures that make up the knee joint, which are the fibula, tibia, femur and patella. Knee pain can also be caused by damage to the ligaments and cartilage of the knee. Fractures to the knee can cause pain. There may be a ligament injury that causes pain. The most common is anterior cruciate ligament injury. Often, it is due to a change of direction or sudden deceleration, or improper landing mechanics when participating in sports. Twisting the knee can cause injury to the menisci. The menisci are composed of cartilage and act as shock absorbers. Overuse at the knee may also cause tendonitis or generalized mechanical knee pain, often referred to as patellofemoral pain syndrome. These are common in athletes who participate in jumping activities regularly, such as volleyball, basketball, dance, and gymnastics.

How Physical Therapy Can Help Hip and Knee Pain

Research has shown that those with hip and knee pain benefit from physical therapy. One study compared patients with manual techniques and mobilizations to people who just did exercises at home to reduce hip and knee pain. The patients who went to physical therapy had twice the pain relief compared to those who didn’t undergo physical therapy. The manual techniques by physical therapists also improved daily mobility and the quality of life.

Physical therapists also design specific exercise programs and can prescribe a variety of self-joint mobilization techniques to target hip and knee pain. All around, physical therapy takes a holistic and multi-faceted approach to help patients manage hip and knee pain.

If you’re suffering from hip or knee pain, take action. Contact Us today at Lake City, Florence, Columbia, Spartanburg & Camden, SC Centers to learn more about how our experienced and certified physical therapists can help get you on the road to recovery. Don’t suffer in pain when we can help you.