Updated: Jul 8
The knee is a common area that can be affected by numerous conditions. There are many factors that lead to knee pain, such as previous injury, obesity, and strenuous activity. If you have persistent pain in the knee area, it is very important to make an appointment with a Bergen County pain management specialist a priority.
Knee pain isn't fun. It can really affect your life. You may find yourself avoiding doing things you used to love because they hurt. But knee pain isn't something you have to live with. Knee pain is rarely a sign of an emergency but can be a sign of something more serious like arthritis.
While there are plenty of things that can cause your knees to hurt, there is also a lot of misinformation about what's causing your knee pain, and a few myths have gone on for years.
The medical community has come a long way in understanding knee pain. However, there are still a lot of myths out there that can cause unnecessary anxiety and lead to ineffective treatments. Here are the myths about knee pain, along with some facts you should know.
Myth: Knee Pain is Just Part of Getting Old
As we age, our knees become less stable and more prone to injury. While our joints do wear down over time, knee pain is not just an inevitable part of getting older.
In fact, studies have shown that people who exercise regularly are less likely to develop knee osteoarthritis than those who don't. The key is staying active as you age so you can maintain healthy cartilage in your knees and prevent arthritis from developing.
Knee pain also results from the way you move throughout your day. So if you want to avoid knee pain, start with how you move and what you do for exercise. For example, if you sit at a desk all day and don't get up to walk or stretch regularly, that's going to put pressure on your knees. And if your stride is short or uneven while walking or running, it will cause stress on the joints and muscles in the lower half of your body — including your knees.
Myth: Minor Knee Pain isn't a Big Deal
Knee pain can be quite serious for some people, especially if it affects their ability to move around freely. However, there are some people who continue to work through their knee pain without realizing how serious it is until something goes wrong.
If you have ever experienced any type of knee pain before, then you know how important it is to take care of yourself and get help from a medical professional as soon as possible. The longer you wait before seeking treatment, the higher your chances of developing more severe complications down the road.
Myth: Knee Problems Only Happen to Squatters and Runners
This myth is one of the most dangerous because it leads many people to avoid all physical activity, which can actually make your knees worse. Knee pain isn't just for athletes or people who do squats.
It's true that some people who experience knee pain do so because they do a lot of squatting or running. But those aren't the only activities that could cause knee pain.
If you have knee pain, it could be due to any number of reasons, including arthritis or an injury. Knee pain is common in people who sit all day, too — especially if they're also overweight.
In fact, if you sit for most of the day with a bad posture and carry extra weight, your knees have a much higher chance of becoming injured or sore. You need to know what type of knee pain you have so you can get help from a pain specialist.
Myth: Resting Injured Knees will Cure Them
The truth is, resting an injured knee won't cure or heal your pain. In fact, it can even make them worse if you don't get the right treatment at the right time. And sometimes, rest can even mask an underlying problem that could be causing your pain.
Unfortunately, resting your injured knee won't solve anything. It may even make your injury worse. When you rest an injury like this, it can cause muscle atrophy (loss of muscle mass) and stiffness in the leg muscles around the knee joint. This means that when you start running again after resting your injured knee for too long, it will be even more painful than before because you have less strength in those muscles than before.
If you have knee pain, especially if it's been going on for a long time, you need to see a medical professional who can diagnose and treat your condition.
Myth: The Best Way to Treat Knee Pain is Through Surgery
This myth has been around for decades due to a lack of understanding about how our bodies work and what causes pain. Surgery may be necessary in some cases, but it shouldn't be your first option unless absolutely necessary — in fact, most cases don't require surgery at all.
Research shows that non-surgical treatments like physical therapy can often be effective, especially if you treat it early. For example, some people have knee arthritis that can be treated with physical therapy and weight loss.
Myth: Physical therapy isn't Needed After An Injury
If you have had an injury, it's important to follow up with a physical therapist as soon as possible. When you go to physical therapy, the therapist is there to keep you on track and make sure that you do your exercises correctly. This helps ensure that you get the most out of your treatment and will be able to return to your normal activities sooner.
Physical therapists are experts in injury prevention and rehabilitation. And they're the professionals who can tell you whether you need physical therapy after an injury or if you're good to go on your own.
Physical therapy is one of the treatment options and an important part of treating chronic knee pain because it helps you build strength in your muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support your knees, so they work properly. Physical therapists are highly trained to assess movement and strength in all parts of the body. They may recommend exercises or other treatments that help people recover and heal without medication.
The exercises are designed specifically for your body and how it moves. The exercises that a physical therapist prescribes are based on how your body moves — not only in terms of where it hurts but also where it's strong and flexible compared with other people who have similar injuries or conditions.
The therapist will also take into account the type of activity (such as running) that caused the injury in the first place so they can create an exercise program specifically tailored for overuse injuries related to running or other activities.
Hopefully, this article has cleared up some common myths about knee pain and prevented you from making choices that may end up causing further knee problems.
Generally, knee pain is more easily treated if it's caught early, so be sure to talk to a Bergen County pain management specialist if you develop any knee pain at all.
But don't expect a knee injury to heal overnight—there's no magic cure. Instead, be patient, stay on top of your pain management, and continue strengthening your muscles. Also, do your best to stay active, as this will help keep your muscles strong and eliminate any risk of putting too much pressure on your knees.