Updated: Dec 30, 2020
The hip and knee are two large joints that absorb the forces of our body weight upon impact and spring us forward with each step. They were designed this way to allow us to walk and run for long distances. In fact, if the race is long enough, humans can out run any species on the planet. This doesn’t seem to add up for those of us struggling with joint pain and are unable to walk or run more than a few miles. Dysfunction in these joints occurs when the muscles aren’t strong enough to support the joints and when we lack stability to maintain alignment. Whether you injured your knee or just have the gradual wear and that lead to arthritis, you can improve your functioning and likely avoid unnecessary surgery. Strengthening the muscles and ligaments that surround the hip and knee will take stress off of the joint allowing the muscles to control your movement. A lack of education for patients and providers on how to manage pain with conservative measures is big issue in our medical system. Only the most severe cases should require surgery before addressing the joint dysfunction with stretching and strengthening. Every week I hear someone say “I would have never gotten this surgery if I knew how long of a recovery process was going to be.” There is no downside in trying to use physical therapy to resolve your symptoms. If you aren’t satisfied with your recovery after physical therapy, you go into surgery stronger and more prepared to make a recovery. Even after a successful surgery or injection, without strength and stability your joints will continue to wear down. With the right inputs, our bodies can heal themselves from just about any injury.