Degenerative knee conditions such as osteoarthritis (OA) can be a real pain, both literally and figuratively. But fear not, movement therapists can help you manage the pain and improve your quality of life. It’s a common misconception that once arthritis sets in, it’s game over. However by improving the movement patterns of not just your knee but of your whole body, pain levels can reduce and your quality of life can improve.
OA occurs when the cartilage in your knee joint breaks down, causing pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. It's a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. The good news is that there are non-surgical, non-pharmacological treatments available, and movement therapy is one of them.
One of the primary goals of movement therapy for degenerative knees is to improve joint mechanics, which involves optimizing the alignment and stability of the joint to reduce stress and strain on the surrounding tissues. This can be achieved through a variety of exercises, such as strengthening the muscles around the knee, improving balance and proprioception, and increasing mobility through stretching and joint mobilization.
The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) is a tool that can help movement therapists identify any underlying movement patterns that may be contributing to your knee pain. It involves a series of functional movement tests that assess your mobility, stability, and motor control. By identifying any movement limitations or asymmetries, we can create an individualized treatment plan that addresses the root cause of your knee pain. Think of it like a dance routine - we'll check out your moves and make sure everything is in sync.
Another technique we use is Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS), which aims to restore the central nervous system's ability to control and coordinate movement patterns. This technique may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it's just a fancy way of saying we'll help your brain and body communicate better to restore proper movement patterns. Think of it like a language class for your body. By retraining your central nervous system to maintain proper posture and movement patterns, DNS can help alleviate knee pain and improve overall mobility.
But managing degenerative knees is not just about exercise and therapy. It's also about making lifestyle changes that can reduce the strain on your knees. This may include weight management, choosing low-impact activities such as swimming or cycling, using assistive devices such as a cane or knee brace, and modifying your home or work environment to reduce the risk of falls and injury.
In conclusion, degenerative knees may be a pain, but there are non-surgical, non-pharmacological treatments available. It’s not game over! Movement therapy can help improve joint mechanics, reduce pain, and improve overall mobility. By working with a movement therapist, you can develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses the root cause of your knee pain and gets you back to doing the things you love. So, let's get moving!