How can physical therapists help treat my lower back and knee pain?

Lower Back and Knee Pain

Lower back pain and knee pain are both very common. One medical study reports that 25% of U.S. adults surveyed had lower back pain in the past three months. Another study found that about 25% of adults experience frequent knee pain. 

Having either type of pain is bad enough, but some people have the misfortune of experiencing both at the same time. Fortunately, people who have both lower back pain and knee pain can turn to physical therapists for help understanding and treating their pain. 

Why do you have both lower back and knee pain? 

This question is one that you have no doubt asked yourself, your family members or a medical professional. The answer to it may not be easy to provide, though. 

Your back and legs are far more closely connected than many people think. This means that there are many issues that could be responsible for you having both lower back and knee pain. Some of the issues that might be responsible include: 

  • Sciatica — The sciatic nerve originates in your lower back and runs down each of your legs. It’s common for a pinched or irritated sciatic nerve, or sciatica, to trigger pain in the lower back. However, sciatica pain can also radiate down the leg and be felt near the knee. 
  • Pulled lower back muscles — You can easily strain a lower back muscle by lifting something heavy at work or at home. As a result, you may inadvertently compensate for that injury by changing how you walk, sit or lie down. The compensating you do when walking or sitting can increase the strain on one of your knees. In turn, the added strain can morph into pain. 
  • Knee injuries — Things can work the other way, too. An injury to a knee ligament or other structure can be the root cause of your lower back pain. Such an injury can also lead to compensating movements, which can throw your lower back out of its normal alignment. Lower back pain could easily result from such misalignment. 

3 ways physical therapists can help with lower back and knee pain

There are several important ways that physical therapists can help with your lower back and knee pain. These include: 

  1. Identifying the root cause of your pain — As you’ve read, your pain could be originating in either your lower back or your knee. The first step your physical therapist can take to help you is to evaluate you. They’ll ask you questions and have you move in certain ways. They’ll also likely examine your lower back and knee. The data that this evaluation provides can help your physical therapist determine the true source of your pain. 
  1. Taking steps to reduce your pain — Once the source of pain has been identified, your physical therapist can take steps to decrease your pain. They may manipulate your lower back and knee using manual therapy techniques. Your pain may also be tackled with techniques like dry needling, aquatic therapy or therapeutic exercises. 
  1. Showing you how to avoid further pain — Your physical therapist doesn’t want your pain to get worse again any more than you do. That’s why they may take steps to help you avoid further pain. One step they can take toward this goal involves your normal daily tasks. Your physical therapist will determine which tasks increase your pain. They can then show you alternative ways to do that task that help you avoid a pain increase. Toward the end of your recovery process, your physical therapist can also help you establish better posture and take other steps to help you avoid future pain. 

Excel PT offers top-notch services to treat lower back and knee pain

Struggling to ease your lower back and knee pain? Our Excel Sports & Physical Therapy team is perfectly placed to aid you in your struggle. We can do a free screening for you to pinpoint the root cause of your pain. Then, our physical therapists can create a treatment plan that’s unique to your condition and recovery needs. 

Contact our team today for more information about how we can help address your pain or to schedule an initial appointment to start treating it.