As a practitioner we can learn a lot from the clients who come to the clinic. Sometimes it can be via the questions that are put to us.
Here's one that I was given recently.
"Why do I have knee pain now I live in flat Christchurch - I didn't have knee pain in hilly Timaru?"
This reminded me of knee pain -
o When I moved to live in two-storey house after years of living in a single story house with no stairs!
o When I put on weight and kneeling down was painful and almost impossible.
o My hubby who had a sore knee due to an old injury 20 years ago, it hurt even in flat Perth.
o Of a client with 30 years of knee pain following a knee operation.
Problems with Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee problems can lead, eventually, to surgery. Knee replacement surgery is more complicated than hip replacement surgery. Your knee needs a lot of stabilisation and support from connections to numerous muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Best outcome from surgery is to not to need an operation. Operations may not give you the "return to my old life" or regain full movement that you had before knee pain arrived. And many can still have pain, especially at night that you may need to either endure or take painkilling medication.
Walking up Stairs can Help Strengthen Knee and Hip Muscles
First, let's discuss the benefit of stairs in our houses. As my client may be thinking about that old adage of use it or lose it after years of living in "hilly" terrain and in a house with stairs.
When I came to live in Christchurch after years of living in a single story house, my over 50s knees had some adjustments to make. Painful and aching for several days but eventually my knees got used to going up and down stairs and stopped complaining.
Remember hubby, no longer able to go jogging in flat Perth due to pain and aches in his knees. However, within a couple of weeks his knee pain started receding, eventually being completely pain free.
I think the important aspect to note here, is that it was just part of everyday living. The muscles and ligaments rebalanced themselves and were strengthened gradually over time.
Want to rebalance muscles and improve hip and knee function?
Try KInesiology - click here.
Want to strengthen and improve flexibility of muscles supporting your hips and knees?
Contact Charlie - click here
What is the Impact of Fat Deposits Around Hips and Knees?
Fat deposits around our body must have an impact on our joints. It's like wrapping padding around your knees, elbow or shoulder joint and expecting to have the same movement, or range of movement, as without the padding.
I experienced this problem following major abdominal surgery. During recovery my body used its fat stores in healing my body. However the sylphlike figure I gained only lasted six months.
Within a period of two weeks I put on three dress sizes and gained fat in areas I'd not experienced before - ever. Fat formed around my ankles, and around my knees. Gardening became very challenging, as I couldn't kneel down any more.
The hard fat around my knee joint caused much pain. I couldn't sit back on my heels. I now believe after research and experience the sudden change in about a month was different from gradual changes where we gain weight. Gradual weight gain, rather than sudden increase, enables connections around our joints in the form of muscles and ligaments to adjust.
What does the research say about obesity and knee and hip joint pain?
Research on obese participants in their 30s where increased fatty tissue around their joints compared to normal weight individuals had -
o Less knee flexion (bending).
o Greater angle with hips when walking.
o Changes in the mechanics of knee movements.
o Reduced range of motion at the ankle joint.
Due to these changes, the research suggested obese younger people could increase the risk of osteoarthritis when they are older and hence need hip or knee replacement surgery.
Already, today hip and knee replacements are increasing in number especially in the over 50s.
Prevention of Hip and Knee Problems.
Our hips and knees are amazingly complicated joints that we take totally for granted. It's not until they hurt or interfere with how we enjoy life that we pay them any attention.
Finally I quote some rehab recommendations following hip surgery, from Johnson & Johnson who provide the technology used in replacement surgery.
"It’s recommended that people initially walk for 5 to 10 minutes three to four times a day and build up to 20 to 30 minutes two to three times a day as their strength and endurance improve. They may also require physical therapy for a few weeks to strengthen the hip muscles and get used to the new joint."
Myself, the Kinesiologist, who does muscle balancing, and Charlie the personal trainer at 50 Plus Fitness, decided this piece of advice was somewhat ironic.
If people did this much exercise and movement on a regular basis then their muscles would strengthen, their flexibility would improve, they would lose weight and no longer have the sedentary lifestyle in which so many of us indulge.
Prevention or Postponing Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery
If you want to have happy hips and smiling joints while postponing replacement surgery get in touch and visit us at 21 Mandeville Street, Riccarton, Christchurch.
Jean at Pain Anxiety Stress Clinic - Kinesiologist - Link to website
OR Ph 021 083 53306
Charlie at 50 Plus Fitness - Personal Trainer in person or Online - Link to website
OR Ph 021 083 08104
Capodaglio,P.;Gobbi,M.; Donno, L.; Fumagalli, A.; Buratto, C.; Galli, M.; Cimolin, V. Effect of Obesity on Knee and Ankle Biomechanics during Walking. Sensors 2021, 21, 7114.
Levine. H. 2022
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After over 20 years of having my own pain and anxiety clinics I started Natural Pain Solutions to reach more people, rather than one person at a time. Therefore when I completed my postgraduate pain management studies I wanted to spread the word about holistic self-help techniques that people can use at home. Learn more about me here.