I had a patient come to the clinic with knee pain this past week and asked me:
“I’ve had this nagging knee pain for the past few weeks, I don’t know what I did to it. I have tried taking ibuprofen and that doesn’t even touch the pain.
Instead of going to the gym after my work days, I went home and relaxed it on the couch. It felt better when I rested, but immediately hurt again when I stood up.
I had a friend tell me this brace would help with my pain so I’m trying it. So far, it hasn’t. The pain is still there.
What else can I do to get rid of the pain? I have tried everything.”
I hear this type of story all too many times. I would say that most of my patients have knee pain from an unknown cause. And they all try to self-treat at some point.
I like my patients taking ownership of their health, but quick fixes rarely work.
I wanted to take the time to write down 3 of the most common “quick fixes” that people think eases their knee pain:
1. Reaching for painkillers:
When people have pain, this is often the first thing they think of to do. They just want to “kill” the pain quickly. Our parents likely gave us this advice, and sadly, some doctor’s start here as well.
Taking pain medication may help reduce, possibly eliminate, the symptoms of pain you are having. But it does not get to the root cause of the problem. Getting to the root cause will help permanently get rid of the pain and prevent it from occurring again.
It is so easy to sit down on the couch and binge watch The Office when you feel the pain!
Although that sounds like a good excuse to sit and binge watch your favorite show, that does not lead to favorable outcomes.
Our bodies are meant for movement. Research has shown over and over again that movement is good.
“If you don’t use it, you lose it.”
You may have to vary your movement and do things such as cycling or swimming, but don’t completely stop your activities.
3. Wearing ‘supportive’ braces
As it turns out, ‘supportive’ braces really aren’t that supportive.
This is just another attempt at masking the pain. It just makes you more aware of the knee joint and alters your movement mechanics.
Wearing a ‘supportive’ brace could result in lost motion, decreased strength, and leave you susceptible to other injuries.
So there you have it. 3 quick things people believe will help their knee pain but really don’t.
If you have tried one, or any of these options, and have failed to get any pain relief, please feel free to reach out and apply for a free consult or phone call.
We here at Spark Performance and Physiotherapy take pride in educating our patients to ensure they make the best healthcare decisions.