Spring into Spring

Gower Acupuncture with Tim Wright

…Unless you’ve injured your knee of course. In which case leaping into the new season with a bounce in your step may seem more like torture than a leporine leap of wonder.

The inability to move correctly (or at all) is often at the core of getting your knee better. Most knee problems need strength-ening of the quadriceps group of muscles to promote the healing process. Unfortunately, pain can make that extremely difficult, so the muscles get weaker not strong-er. The lack of activity and pain can also affect mood. Low mood predisposes the sufferer to increas-ed perception of pain… and so movement and exercise are avoid-ed. And so, the vicious circle descends – the pain gets worse, muscles get weaker.

So, what can you do?
If the pain is mild and a doctor has been consulted to rule out serious issues, modifying movement is the first thing to try. Work out how much exercise can be completed before pain kicks in, then make sure to keep exercise or movement just below that threshold. To increase endurance and strength the exercise frequency can increase – two times a day rather than once a day for example – whilst keeping all activity under the pain threshold.

Also work out the movements that hurt the knee. Quite often pivoting to a new direction whilst walking can cause knee pain. The knee is a hinge joint with only a small capacity for rotation. Get to know these move-ments and try to avoid them in the short term.

What if nearly all movements are painful?
If you’re limited to only a handful of yards or minutes on your feet then you’re functionally comprised. You can’t do the things you need to do. Then you need to seek an intervention to stop the potential slide into chronic pain. This is when you need to seek out a professional to assist you on your journey. I love treating knees as they are simple joints that respond well to treatment.

By relieving pain you can engage in the one thing that most forms of knee pain need – activity to strengthen the quads. With more exercise, blood flow is improved. Your mood will likely improve as you move more and feel less pain. So the virtuous cycle of rehabilitation starts. Improved pain levels improve ability to exercise and strengthen quads. Improved mood can lower perception of pain and then increase likelihood of stepping out the door to exercise. And so the virtuous cycle continues on a potential pathway to recovery.

Telephone: 07764 254881

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