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If you’re asking yourself, what options do I have besides surgery, pills or shots for my knee pain that makes me limp and makes stairs difficult, there are many people who have this very same thought.

There are multiple reasons why you could have knee pain that keeps you from walking correctly and affects your ability to perform stairs, play golf, play tennis, keep up with your grandchildren or children, and just live life without thinking about your knee.

One of the major reasons for knee pain that causes the issues mentioned above is arthritis. Arthritis (of the knee) is inflammation of the tissues between and around the knee joint that provide cushioning and allow smooth, painless mobility at the knee. Arthritis occurs in most people as they age to some degree, some much worse than others.

Knee arthritis can be caused by a traumatic injury to the knee, flat feet or high arches affecting how you walk (placing increased pressure on the knee), bowlegged or knock-kneed alignment of the knee(s), tightness and/or weakness of the muscles surrounding the knee and hip.

Pills and shots treat the symptoms of the knee pain, but do not address the root cause of the problem. Therefore, pills and shots provide relief for a few days, weeks or months, but the pain usually returns and worsens over time.

Finding and resolving the reason why the knee pain is occurring in the first place will resolve the symptoms and ensure that the pain does not return. Finding and resolving the knee pain that is keeping you from walking without a limp, performing stairs and living life the way you want is a matter of restoring proper mobility and strength to the muscles around the knee and hip, as well as making sure that the arches of the feet are properly supported.

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There are times when surgery is needed, but there are also many instances where surgery is not needed. For instance, I have had quite a few patients who were told that they had severe arthritis in the knee and that their knee joint was “bone-on-bone.”

They were told to have a knee replacement, only to find out that when they came to see us first, that we resolved the mobility, strength and alignment issues and eliminated their pain, which helped them return to all the things they need, want and love to do without surgery, pills or shots.

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Even if you took the conservative route and addressed the mobility, strength and knee pain issues but ended up requiring knee surgery, at the very least, you would have excellent mobility and strength going in to surgery and would have a much more rapid recovery with significantly less pain after surgery versus going into the surgery with limited mobility and weakness.

If you would like to rid yourself of knee pain and get your life back, please do one of the following:

  • Email me at smiller@cardinmillerpt.com or call me at 717-245-0400, and we can set up a time to chat about what your knee pain is keeping you from, and how we can help get you back to it.
  • Or, if you are “fed up” with knee pain and are ready to do something right now to address it, so you can get back to living your life, working and doing what you love, then call the number above to schedule a free, one-on-one, private screen with one of our expert physical therapists. We will listen to issues you are having and tell you whether physical therapy is right for you, or whether you need to specialist first.

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Steve Miller is the owner of Cardin and Miller Physical Therapy and can be reached by email at smiller@cardinmillerpt.com. His column will appear bi-monthly in the Thrive section of the Sentinel and on Cumberlink.com.

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