Can You Continue to Stay Fit and Active With Long Standing Knee Pain?

Got this question asked in my clinic this week that I wanted to share with you (it’s a common question I get asked often on the topic of knee pain)…

Trupti, I’m desperate to get back into shape after suffering with a bad knee for long time. Can you continue to stay fit and active when long standing knee pain still gets in the way? Physical Therapy is a great help, but I want to do more by myself while I’m receiving treatment, I’m just scared, a bit nervous and don’t know what type of exercise safe…”

Mary, 48, Woodley Park

I understand that the thought of doing ANY type of exercise at all when you’re in some form of pain might seem a little scary and worrying…

You don’t want to run the risk of making it any worse in case it turns into an injury and puts you out even longer. But I’d like to put your mind at ease and let you know that just because your back is causing you issues right now, you don’t have to keep yourself stranded on the sofa until you wake up one day to find it has magically disappeared.

You see, even though Physical Therapy is great and really helps to ease your pain, it can never be a full blown cure alone. The real long-term success at overcoming things like knee pain lies within what YOU do in-between and after your Physical Therapy sessions.

Let me explain…

Most bad knees happen because they’re not strong in the first place, so in order to get your knee strong your lifestyle and the types of activities you do play a huge part in your recovery.

A lot of us have jobs that involve sitting at a desk all day. I know Mary works as a lawyer and her knee pain came on as a result of sitting for long periods of time without regular breaks to move around, and then going home at a night to sit yet again for a few MORE hours before going to bed!

And seeing as your knee isn’t made to sit, sitting puts a lot of pressure on the spine.

So the long-term solution?

Regular posture style exercises to increase muscle control and strength with PILATES routines and CORE CONTROL TYPE of EXERCISES.

(And not only does PILATES help to ease knee pain, it also makes you more flexible and toned too! Win-win :-))

Pilates style exercises are great for people like ‘Mary’ who feel frightened and nervous about returning to exercise after a bad knee, because it involves exercises designed to strengthen and control the muscles in your back and knee – allowing you to return to other types of exercises like running, cycling and gym classes, much quicker!

But let me just point out that there’s a huge difference between “exercising” (running, golf, cycling…), and doing exercises like Pilates.

Things like running are great to improve your cardio and the length of time you can maintain being active without feeling tired, but without strengthening exercises like Pilates, there’s a greater risk of injury. So we must build a strong foundation first, and then add in other activities.

So the answer to Mary’s question is – yes, you certainly can continue to remain fit and active even if you’re suffering with knee pain.

The solution lies within the long-term commitment you make to the other things you do outside of your Physical Therapy treatment and in-between sessions. Be consistent with doing Pilates style exercises for 3 months, and then when you notice a difference you can start adding in other gentle exercises as an addition to make sure your bad knee doesn’t creep up on you again!

For more tips like this for easing knee pain:

CALL ME AT 202-670-8874. I am happy to talk to you on the phone for a FREE 10-15 minute consultation and if we are the right fit, COME in for a FREE IN-PERSON 30 minute CONSULTATION. I am also happy to send you a hard copy of my free special report with 8 top tips to keep active with less knee pain by mail, or via email. Please contact me at and I can email it to you. Or email me your address for hard copy to be mailed to you.

Trupti Mehta, PT, MS, OCS

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