5 Things We Think Resolve Knee Pain, But Really Don’t…

I just received an email yesterday from a guy named Mike in Carlsbad, California. He asked me a question, and I wanted to share it with you today, because I know many of you have most likely been in a similar situation and can really relate.

Here’s what Mike asked me, “Dr. Andalon, I’m really starting to get frustrated with some knee pain that I’ve had for the past several months. I feel like I’ve tried everything. At first, I tried exercising through the pain while at the gym. When I finally realized that approach was making my knee feel worse, I decided to search online for the answer. I came across a website, which advised to perform three specific stretches regularly. When that didn’t help me, I then decided to see a chiropractor, and he advised me to use a knee brace, which I use a lot. He even taped my knee with something called Kinesiotape and showed me how to do it. I tried that for a couple weeks, but when that didn’t help either, I finally decided to go see my primary doctor, who advised me on what I knew I didn’t want to hear: “Take prescription painkillers and to rest from workouts.” Now, my knee seems to be feeling worse than it originally did, and I don’t know why. I’m trying everything I’m advised on, but I don’t know what the problem really is. Is there anything you would recommend or is there something I’m doing wrong?”

Now, I can completely understand how frustrating it can be when you read on the internet or receive advice from a medical practitioner, which is supposed to ease your knee pain. However, when you give it a try, the results are disappointing. So I thought it would be best to share with you the five quick and easy mistakes many people like Mike do when dealing with their knee pain, and why some of these are actually making it worse. But, more importantly, I’ll also show you what to do instead.

1. Continuing to exercise through pain. Now, first things first, I can’t stress enough on how you need to listen to your body.

We all know this, because over time this type of tough attitude can make your bones or tissues surrounding your knee joint wear away and ultimately cause increased pain in your knees and surrounding tissues. You can most likely still exercise.

However, I would recommend that it’s often best for your long-term health to have a sport injury physical therapy specialist evaluate your knee pain first, to properly guide you as to what exercises may be needed to temporarily be avoided or modified, so you can make a speedy and safe recovery.

2. Trusting people’s intentions and their judgment. Remember, not all advice on the internet is correct. It’s called advice for a reason. There’s no evidence to prove that what they suggest works, especially for your specific problem.

3. Taping your knee or wearing a knee-brace. Against popular belief and Mike’s chiropractor’s advice, please don’t let the hype of knee braces and taping fool you. Knee-braces and taping are meant to support you, but only as a temporary option. You see, whether you use tape or wear a brace on your knee to help ease the pain, it’s actually masking the pain and creating an even bigger problem.

The secret sauce is in strengthening your muscles appropriately, which is why common practice for many orthopedic surgeons…they’re not now recommending a knee brace after major knee surgery. It goes back to the basic principle of “use it or lose it.” And without performing the appropriate exercises, there’s a very strong chance the pain could come back, and worse than before.

4, Reaching for the painkillers! It’s the first option that your primary doctor will give you to help your knee pain, usually.

But the thing is painkillers won’t get to the root cause of your problem and will actually do nothing to fix it. They just mask the pain instead, which doesn’t help anyone. And at the end of the day, that pain will still be there when the painkiller wears off. So it’s better to do something to fix your pain long-term instead. And, by the way, your stomach will love you for it too.

5. Resting. But when it comes to knee pain, rest actually means to not do too much of the wrong thing or overdoing it. If you rest too much, your joints will become stiff and your muscles will become really tight, which can make your knees feel achy when you try to move them. I would recommend activities such as swimming, a light, painless walk, Pilates or even cycling. Basically, any low impact exercise will help keeping you moving while avoiding any excess pressure on your knees, giving them an appropriate environment to heal.

So there you have it. Five popular mistakes to avoid when dealing with knee pain and five quick and easy tips to follow instead. And if you are currently dealing with knee pain or know of somebody who is, and would like some more quick and easy tips on how to best ease it, visit our website at www.level4pt.com/knee/pain and instantly download our free knee report and gain back your independence.

Also, don’t forget to share this video with a friend or a loved one who could use the advice.

If you have an immediate question that needs to be answered, you can give us a call at 760-503-4440 or email us at theteam@level4PT.com and one of our knee specialists will be more than happy to assist you.

Dr. Oscar Andalon

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Oscar Andalon, DPT, STC, MTC, CSCS, CF-L1, MWOD, USAW, FMS/SFMA

Oscar Andalon, DPT, STC, MTC, CSCS, CF-L1, MWOD, USAW, FMS/SFMA

Dr. Oscar Andalon is a leading and trusted sports physical therapist, strength coach, performance enhancement specialist, educator, author, and Co-Founder of Level4 Physical Therapy, Wellness & Performance – San Diego’s Leading Specialty Private Physical Therapy and Human Performance Practice for People in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and beyond, who value their health and want to restore or maximize their active and healthy lifestyle.

For more than 16 years, thousands of athletes, fitness enthusiasts and active people of all ages, levels and sports including Olympic medalists, professional, collegiate and recreational athletes have consulted Oscar; looking for answers to concerning questions about a fast end to their pain and best ways to improving performance.

Prior to living in Carlsbad, CA, he worked as Clinic Director for a 20,000 sq.ft. sports physical therapy and performance center. He became known as the “athlete whisperer” in the Pacific Northwest by becoming the leading sports performance enhancement physical therapist and CrossFit injury rehab and performance specialist. He also was known as a consultant to the Nike WHQ in Portland, OR.

Oscar’s passion for excelling in sports earned him the opportunity to compete in soccer both at the Division 1 collegiate level at University of San Francisco and at the professional level playing for the California Jaguars; giving him the understanding and experience of knowing what it takes to perform and excel at the highest level of competition. Oscar is an orthopedic and sports performance specialist with a true passion in helping athletes and fitness fanatics of all ages and divisions, serving as an educator to bridge the gap between rehab and strength and conditioning.
Oscar Andalon, DPT, STC, MTC, CSCS, CF-L1, MWOD, USAW, FMS/SFMA

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