The 5 Cardinal Rules to Keep Your Knees Functioning at Their Best and Out of Pain

Chiropractor Knee Pain Specialist Bethlehem PAIt’s not unusual to have aches and pains throughout your body as you age. But, there are ways to keep those minimal. By maintaining the health of your knees, you can avoid mobility issues in your older years — and prevent debilitating knee injuries. Sometimes old injuries that occur when you’re young can also come back to haunt you later in life. While you cannot change what happened in the past, there are some things you can do to keep your knees operating at their best.

Rule #1: Always Wear the Right Shoes

Shoes can have a significant impact on the health of your knee. If your shoes force your feet to roll to the inside or outside, or if you suffer from fallen arches, you could put extra strain on your knees. Orthotic inserts can correct these types of issues — removing pressure from the knee. If you can, don’t wear high heels for too long at a time — they’re known to cause osteoarthritis in the knees.

Rule #2: Be Careful When You Exercise

Your body needs exercise, but exercising too much or overcompensating on the weekends because of inactivity during the week isn’t a good idea. Overloading your muscles, joints, ligaments, etc. can lead to micro-tears inside your knee. As time goes on, these small tears can become big problems.

To the new or returning athlete or gym-goer, work up to your workouts. Take it slow as you incrementally increase time and intensity to your workouts so you don’t injure your knees.

For avid athletes who are really engaged in one or just a few sports, it’s not uncommon for me to see the same injuries over and over. This is not just because of overuse due to the sport, but often because you are mainly working out in one plane, sagittal, or going forward. Your muscles are often over strengthening in the sagittal plan when you could keep knee pain away if you started to strength train in other planes. If you are a runner or cyclist, you can keep painful knee and leg conditions down by adding more side to side strength training.

Rule #3: Monitor Your Weight

When you are overweight, the extra pounds cause strain on your knee joints. Avoid activities that put extra pressure on the knees —such as running — while you are overweight. Instead, take up activities that help you lose weight, such as cycling or swimming, but don’t overwork the knee. For more check this out.

Rule #4: Work On Flexibility and Strength Training

Not exercising enough or with the right body balance is often a big problem with the knees. A tight muscle doesn’t mean it’s a strong muscle. A loose muscle doesn’t mean it won’t be a problem.

The muscles around your knee have to maintain an optimal length so they can pull at their strongest. When a muscle is overstretched (usually due to imbalance in the body), it has to do a lot more pulling to get to its totally contracted point. When a muscle is too tight and constantly contracting, it’s starting from a weak point because it can only contract so much more; it has a length that doesn’t change, but the amount of constantly contracting fibers can change.

Balance in the body is what helps your knees stay pain free and the muscles stay healthy and strong. Stretching before you exercise — especially in the hamstring, quads, hip flexor and oblique areas—can help support your knees. Even if you aren’t working out, you should stretch these areas daily. Women are more prone to stress on their knees; therefore, having a daily routine of stretching could be good for your body.

Stretching always helps, but doesn’t always take care of why there is an imbalance. Chiropractic adjustments helps take care of the structure under the muscles (your boney body frame) as well as helps preserve the healthy nerve conduction into and out of the spine which makes you feel all over good and your muscle contract their strongest. Adjustments are often exactly what the muscles need to stop getting pulled or having to work too hard to do the pulling.

Rule #5: Seek Out Regular Chiropractic Adjustments

When your spine is misaligned, it can cause extra strain on your knees. Regular chiropractic appointments have been shown to improve strength in the sacroiliac joints. Also, regular adjustments can take the strain off your knees and increase your overall range of motion.

If you want to keep your knees healthy, schedule an appointment with Dr. Nicole Muschett, (your Bethlehem, PA Chiropractor) today for a no obligation consultation. Or get access, today, to our free report, “10 Questions to Determine if you are Heading Towards a Foot, Ankle or Knee Injury and How to Prevent it”.

How to Avoid Knee Pain when Getting Back Into Your Old Activities

It is surprising that even athletes can be unaware of the effect that weight has on their joints. Muscles get a lot of attention and bones probably are next in many people’s awareness. Joints, though, are equally important. In fact, without having your joints in good shape, you will not be able to build muscle, support strong bones or maintain your weight easily.

One new chiropractic client discovered the truth about joint pain. Deborah had kept up a running routine for years. For various personal reasons, she had to lay off this routine for several months. When she started to run again, she noticed that her joints ached more than she remembered. Her knees in particular were really hurting her.

She went to see a chiropractor. In the office, she got relief from the pain but she also learned a lot about why joints need special care.

How Deborah learned about an overlooked treatment to help her knee pain…

The chiropractor explained to Deborah, “The blood flow to your muscles is incredible. When you begin to exercise, blood flow to your muscles increases considerably. Even your bones receive a lot of blood. Your joints, though, are another matter. The tendons, ligaments and joint capsules of your body do not get a lot of blood during circulation.”

This is why you hear about athletes being out for so long when they damage a ligament. A strained muscle can heal quickly if circulation is good because the blood brings needed nutrients to heal damage. Joints need more time to recover.

However, joints are also sensitive to the change of weight gain. Deborah had put on some weight while she was away from running. When she started exercising again, her joints were not ready to support the new weight. Between runs, her knees were hurting and were not allowed enough time to heal because the damage was more significant.

Fortunately, Deborah was able to get the advice and treatment from her chiropractor that she needed to heal quickly. With body adjustments that focused particularly on her knees, ankles and hips, but also helped her whole body move better, she was able to keep running and prevent further injuries.

Deborah also received sound advice on how to drop some of her extra weight without pushing herself in running which was hurting her knees.

It’s important to know that regular chiropractic treatments do not just keep your body in alignment and feeling good; your joints gain integrity from these treatments. They will be able to resist wear and tear better and you will suffer joint pain less often.

Deborah also discovered other reasons to visit the chiropractor regularly. She found that treatments relieved stress and gave her an unexpected emotional clarity. Basically, the support of these treatments enhanced the results that she had always sought in athletic workouts. Her overall health was actually better now that she was incorporating chiropractic treatment into her life.
One of our clients also found relief from joint pain with our treatment. Her daughter was suffering from a painful sports injury. She says:

“Dr. Nicole recently treated my daughter for a sports related knee injury. She did her magic and also recommended follow up at home treatments. Dr. Nicole’s treatment really helped. She knows a lot about sports related problems and not just back issues!” –Sue H
At the first sign of knee, hip or ankle pain, many athletes seek out a medical doctor. Best practice is to let the MD help you with disease if it’s present, because that is their real specialty. We on the other hand can begin healing body injuries and pain in a natural and effective way, very quickly.

Your joints need help moving smoothly so they feel good even if you’ve treated them the best you can. We help you in our office with easy and effective treatments that you can often feel right away. Contact us on our website.

What one Chiropractic Patient Did to Finally Stop her Knee Pain

Knee pain is very common and more and more people are taking medications for it. Athletes and active people are susceptible to knee pain and injury as well as increasingly younger populations of people who develop knee osteoarthritis.

Unfortunately, the use of pain medications has increased for these treatable conditions sometimes delaying treatment and creating harmful side effects. The use of Vicodin alone has grown dramatically from 112 million doses prescribed in the U.S. in 2006, to 131 million in 2011, according to a national survey done by IMS Health.

Pain medication can have serious side effects. Nausea, internal bleeding and heart disease are just a few. A trial conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, stated that taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen twice or more weekly resulted in a higher risk of hearing loss. Pain medications are also associated with tripling the risk of stroke, according to a January 2011 published trial in the journal BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal.

One chiropractic client, Jan, came to see her chiropractor because she had knee pain all the time. She also complained about slight amounts of dizziness that she was regularly experiencing.

She was taking a strong over-the-counter pain medication once a day and sometimes more, but her knee pain wasn’t going away.

Her chiropractor discovered that Jan had restricted joints not only in her knees but also in her hips and back. She couldn’t walk very well. All of these problems pointed to imbalances in her body that hadn’t reached a critical point yet (where she would need surgery), but obviously caused her a lot of pain.

Worse than her pain, the chiropractor found that Jan had symptoms of bleeding in her stomach from the medications she was taking. The internal bleeding was making Jan feel dizzy.

Jan got off of the pain medication as quickly as she could and after a course of treatment with the chiropractor…her knees, hips and back moved and felt much better. Jan found that she didn’t have to take the medications anymore. Her knees were feeling strong and pain-free and it was much easier to stand and walk all day.

Knee pain is inconvenient and unpleasant and can change your life forever. It can stop you from your normal sports or leisure activities and then go on to cause more health problems because you may have to stay sedentary. These problems can result in relying heavily on pain medications that can cause even more serious problems or eventually lead to surgery.

The good news is that knee pain can often be cured naturally. We have experience assessing the reasons for it and getting rid of it. We also know when your joint pain is more serious and needs other treatment, but most often we can help you put an end to it naturally.

Here are some steps you can take to get to the bottom of what’s causing your pain:

1. Get a handle on how your body feels without the pain medication. Stop the pain medication for a day and see how you feel. Determine what activities make it worse? Is it worse at the end of the day or the beginning? After activities or before? Take note of this information and tell your chiropractor.
It’s important to feel your pain so you are able to explain it to your doctor. When you do so, your doctor will have a clearer picture of what’s going on and how to help you get out of pain naturally so you don’t have to rely on the harmful pain medications.
2. Get your pain evaluated- let us evaluate you to find the root cause of your pain so you don’t have to deal with it regularly. We can help you feel pain-free, healthier and happier if you seek treatment as early as possible.

Also, ask yourself, “Are your pain medications causing symptoms that are hurting your body?” Reflect on any new symptoms you may be experiencing after starting the pain medications such as intestinal or stomach bleeding (which may cause black stool), dizziness, or others.

If you found this helpful, you may also be interested in the free report on our website, “10 Questions to See if You are Heading towards a Foot, Ankle or Knee Injury…And How to Prevent it”. Grab it today on our website.

The 11 Billion Dollar Joint: Your Knees and How to Take Care of Them

Knee and hip replacement surgeries are as in-demand as ever; roughly 11 billion dollars has been reportedly spent on these surgeries in the U.S. Over 9 billion annually has been spent on knee replacements alone in the past few years.

Having surgery is a big deal and often you don’t get your body back to working order exactly as you’d like it to be.

So how do you keep your knees in tip top shape so they keep moving and stay healthy for years to come?
The overall key is to take preventative action to keep your knees from heading down a path of injury and pain so you can stay active and don’t have to waste time in the hospital talking about knee replacement surgery in the future.

Having seen many clients over the years, I know that when knee pain is handled and addressed properly, not only will the patient feel much better but their bodies will be much stronger because of it. This is why I want to share a couple of tips on how you can keep your knees in excellent shape.

Tip #1 The “right” stretch – Stretch your quadriceps and your hamstring muscles regularly. Stretch your quadriceps by touching your toes and your hamstrings by bending your knee and holding your foot to your bottom.

Tip #2 Be careful when your knees are overused or injured – When you’ve used your knee too much or it feels sore after an injury or activity, put an ice pack on your knee joint. When you haven’t been able to stretch properly or you’ve been sitting all day, put heat on your thigh muscles (front and back) then do the stretch in Tip #1.

Tip #3 Get a good foundation – Get some good, supportive, and comfortable shoes that you will wear most of the time when you’re on your feet.

Tip #4 Exercise – There are specific exercises that can help strengthen the complex joints of the knee. These include squats, lunges, lunges in a circle or in a star formation (a quicker lunge that can strengthen your deep knee muscles and ligaments), and running while pivoting around cones or other objects. These should be done proportional to your overall fitness level; we can help you know which exercises are best for your specific knees. Make sure to stretch afterward.

Tip #5 Avoid sitting too long – Inactivity can tighten your hamstrings and put stress on your knee joints. This lack of joint movement can cause it to wear down, especially if your leg stays in a bent position for long periods of time. A chiropractic adjustment to the knee and other specific areas of the body can help with this.

Tip #6 Ask us about supplements or other specific treatments for your unique knees and body. Sometimes this can help your body become fortified from the inside-out.

Tip #7 Knee and whole body chiropractic adjustments – these are light and specific thrusts to your bones to help them move better individually and with your body as a whole. It is important for your body to move well if you want it to be pain-free throughout the day.

Your knees can be vulnerable areas that are affected from the ground-up, by walking, running, jumping, wearing the wrong shoes, or just by the pressure and torque they naturally take while you’re moving. They are also stressed from above-down as your hips, tight muscles, or back posture affect where the stress is placed on them.

Whether you live a very active lifestyle or are sedentary by sitting for hours at a time, put these tips into action and take care of your knees so you can stay pain-free for years to come.

Call us at (610) 216-0790 for an easy and thorough exam of your knees where we will decide if you can benefit from some light knee and body adjustments or other specific pain prevention strategies.