What Are the Best Ways to Treat My Hip and Knee Pain?

Hip and knee pain plague Americans. 100 million Americans have chronic knee pain, it is the second most common cause of chronic pain, and one third of all Americans report experiencing knee pain at some point.3 Hip pain increases with age with most people experiencing hip pain being older adults. The pain can be caused by osteoarthritis of the knee and hip, which is degeneration of the cartilage and leads to bone on bone. The best way to treat this is by prevention. Below are 4 tips to avoid osteoarthritis, chronic hip and knee pain, and eventual surgery.

Exercise joints are made to move.

Moving the joints increases the circulation of synovial fluid, which lubricate the joint and bring proper nutrients throughout the joint. This will allow the joints to heal properly. The easiest exercise to do would be walking. Thirty minutes of a brisk walking pace at least 5 times a week could decrease pain, increase synovial fluid circulation in the joint, and help with the longevity of the joint life.

Posture of the mid back to the left or right.

When all of the body weight is on one side of the body, this causes imbalances of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and load applied to the bones as well. When this happens, people report to have bone spurs on the heels, wear and tear on one side of the knee or hip, increase chance for ACL, LCL, MCL, and meniscus injuries, hip injuries, pain in the ankle, and more. Then when they go to a doctor for help, they are told to stop exercising or running ever again. If the body shifts to a more neutral alignment, then the right amount of force will load on each joint and therefore decrease the chance of breakdown over time.

Anatomical short leg

90% of people have an anatomical short leg of some sort. When the difference in height between the two legs reaches 6-10 mm and above, this is what has been shown to increase the chance for chronic low back pain, knee pain, and hip pain. The reason for this is because every step puts more weight on the short side than the longer side. The muscles must tighten up to compensate and eventual breakdown of the cartilage, meniscus, ligaments, and bones occur. The solution is to analyze through proper X-ray technique for a short leg. After the right number of millimeters are measured, then a foot lift is prescribed (plastic lift to put in the shoe) to balance out the body for a lifetime. This can be fixed without a foot lift permanently by correcting the leg length difference during the growth stage of life from 12-18 years of age.

Increase use of steroid injections

Steroid is a hormone used to stop the inflammatory process from happening from the start. Inflammation occurs because it is the natural way to heal a damaged tissue. Inflammation becomes damaging to the body when it becomes chronic. This leads to breakdown of tissues, pain, swelling, and other problems. For this reason, chronic inflammatory issues cause organ issues as well and chronic disease. Steroids are used to stop inflammation and then stops pain. The problem is the reason why inflammation occurs in the body is not addressed. The body only goes through an inflammatory process when there is damage, whether chemically or physically, to the body. Stopping the inflammatory process will not get rid of the problem, cause people to think that because the pain is gone, they can continue to use their joints. Unfortunately, this will lead to more damage to the joint and after 4-6 months when the steroid injection wears off, the pain comes back. Even worse, the pain becomes even worse. Find the reason why you have pain and don’t rely on a steroid injection to solve the problem - it just masks the symptoms.

References:

1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2568977/

2https://journals.lww.com/acsm-essr/Fulltext/2003/07000/In_Osteoarthritis,_the_Psychosocial_Benefits_of.7.aspx

3https://www.classicrehabilitation.com/blog/knee-pain-statistics-and-causes/