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"3 Effective Ways To Ease Hip Or Knee Arthritis Pain Without Undergoing Surgery..."

Updated: Feb 4, 2022

Let's discuss arthritis and how it can impact our lives. In particular, osteoarthritis (OA) also referred to as "bone on bone", this condition is one of the most common joint disorders, especially in adults over the age of 60. Two of the most commonly affected joints are the hip and the knee.

Morning stiffness is a classic finding experienced by individuals who have osteoarthritis. This morning stiffness can sometimes “limber up” after getting up and moving around for about 20 to 30 minutes. Unfortunately, sometimes the pain can be so excruciating that getting up to move around can be extremely challenging. Sometimes with this type of arthritis, there can be a "creaking" or "popping" sound with bending the joints along with swelling, which typically worsens towards the end of the day.

For a lot of people, the thought of knee or hip arthritis leads right to joint replacement surgery. While total hip or knee replacement surgery is an effective treatment for severe pain and disability related to OA, however, this type of surgery not for everyone and certainly shouldn’t be the first line of treatment.

Hip and knee replacements are major surgical procedures which can be a significant risk. On top of that, both require months of recovery and rehab, and neither is a guaranteed solution with data showing that between 1 in 5 and 1 in 10 patients are not happy with the outcome after total joint replacement.

Common symptoms or presentations of discomfort that you may find your hip pain getting worse when sitting for extended periods or you notice the hip pain gets worse when you walk too much. The same goes for the knee. You may find your knee pain gets worse in prolonged sitting, standing, walking, or climbing stairs.

So if a knee or hip replacement isn’t the first and only option, what else is there? Here are three effective ways to ease hip or knee arthritis pain without undergoing surgery.

1. Exercise

Many studies have shown exercise to be beneficial in reducing pain and disability resulting from OA. Exercise can help regain range of motion and reduce stiffness around the joint. It also helps strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint which reduces the stress placed on the joint during activities.

2. "Hands-on" Treatment

A "hands-on" approach can be effective in improving joint movement, flexibility, and reducing swelling. Understanding exercise alone may not be enough to get rid of the pain in the hip or knee joint since there are common restrictions in the muscles and joints that require "hands-on" treatment.

Working on graded movements of the hip or knee joint along with massage techniques can help in managing the discomfort. These techniques have been shown to be effective in treating OA, especially when combined with exercise.

3. Weight Loss

Significant benefits have been shown in overweight patients with OA who have shown a 10% weight loss. We take thousands of steps in a day, and each step puts stress through our hips, knees, feet, and other joints. When you consider reducing that force by a few pounds a few thousand times a day, a little weight loss can add up to a big difference!

Are you looking for assistance with nutrition? A great place to start is having a nutrition guide with delicious recipes and an eating plan that’s targeted to your goals and fitness level and get on track to get the results you want. Along with the nutrition guide, use these 7 color-coded containers to help you portion out exactly the right amount of food so you never eat too much or too little. It's the simplest way to always get your best results without having to count calories. So, combining nutrition guide and the portion containers is a great combination to get you started along your journey!!

4. Shoes or Footwear

Worn shoes or footwear can impact walking and contribute to increased hip pain or knee pain as well as increase your risk for future falls.

When it comes to your shoes or footwear, you might find yourself sacrificing for style over comfort or support which could be a big mistake and potentially contributing to increasing your hip pain or knee pain.

You should try to check your shoes or footwear routinely and may want to consider replacing worn-out shoes or footwear when:

  • Shoe sole tread is no longer intact or parts of the shoe is missing

  • After walking or standing activity you feet feel tired

  • Your knees or hips hurt following walking or standing activity

When it comes to footwear or shoes to lower hip pain or knee pain here are a few helpful tips:

  • Flat, non-skid soles

  • Adequate heel support

  • Space for your toes to move

  • A cushioned arch support that’s not too high or too thick

  • Ensure proper fit

  • Supportive and comfortable for your feet

  • And...being stylish is a bonus :-)

Next Steps

The above three ways (plus the bonus tip) are practical options that can be addressed with physical therapy, to help ease the pain that you’re feeling from arthritis. Physical therapy can also assist in improving the functional level required to stay as independent as possible. Bracing the knee or hip joint can provide temporary relief, however, it can lead to other unforeseen issues with the muscles surrounding the joint.

Just because joint pain is starting to slow you down, doesn’t mean you have to live with the pain, face surgery, or give up your independence. Conservative treatment options from your physical therapist are an effective way to treat osteoarthritis and can help get you more active with less pain!

If you or someone you know is suffering from knee or hip stiffness and looking for tips on how to ease it, then check out our free report below.

Talk more soon!!

Preston, PT


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