Leg and knee pain is a frequent complaint we see at Southport Central Physio. It affects people of all ages and backgrounds. Knee pain may be caused by an injury, overuse, medical conditions or by an infection. The good news is that many forms of leg and knee pain respond well to self-care measures and physiotherapy.
Osteoarthritis presents when your joint cartilage begins to break down. Bones progressively start rubbing against each other, making moving the joint difficult and causing pain. In its advanced form, osteoarthritis is debilitating, and painful and leaves you with limited functionally.
Everyday wear and tear damages the structure of your joints. Joint cartilage thins, joint motion lessens and bone spurs grow in response to joint stress.
What You Can Do To Reduce Inflammation and Pain
Losing weight can reduce inflammation and relieve osteoarthritis pain. Similarly, gentle exercise to keep the leg mobile such as swimming, walking and cycling can help build muscle strength. Heat and cold packs can also help alleviate and manage symptoms.
Treatment & Recovery Time
Your physiotherapist at the Southport Central Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic will create an individualised exercise program to increase your range of motion, strengthen the muscles around your joint and help you find approaches to everyday tasks that avoid putting extra stress on your joint.
Sciatica is a condition where the pain is felt along your sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back, down through your buttock, hamstrings and into your lower leg.
A herniated disc putting pressure on your sciatic nerve is the usual cause of sciatica. However, a locked facet joint in the lower spine, joint inflammation, and compression of the nerve from bony arthritic growths can also bring on sciatica.
You’re most likely to experience sciatica at around 30 to 50 years of age due to general wear and tear.
Can You Treat Sciatica With Exercise at Home?
Home exercises are an effective way to treat Sciatica. Always seek a diagnosis from your physiotherapist who will advise you on the correct exercises.
Complement your exercise regime with frequent applications of hot packs to your lower back.
The first step is to reduce the acute pain. Then your physical therapist designs a rehabilitation program. A conservative treatment strategy includes exercises to strengthen the muscles supporting your back, enhancing your flexibility and correcting your posture.
Shin splints are a common complaint among athletes, sportspeople and runners. It describes shin pain along both the front edges and the inside of your shin.
A number of issues can contribute to shin splints by overstraining your muscles where they attach to your shin. Overtraining or overuse is the most common cause and it is usually accompanied by poor leg and foot biomechanics.
Other common shin splints causes include:
- Overloading or overtraining by increasing your training regime too quickly
- Running on hard or angled surfaces
- Insufficient rest between training sessions
- Biomechanical issues with your feet
- Decreased ankle joint flexibility
- Poor control of your hip, knee or leg muscles
- Poor core stability
- Tight hamstrings and calf muscles
- Weak quadriceps and foot arch muscles.
How RICE Can Alleviate Pain from Shin Splints
The RICE treatment therapy is one of the best ways of treating shin splints. Apply Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation at least 2 to 3 times each day.
Treatment & Recovery Time
As over-exercising is a common cause of shin splints, reduce your training or workout load until you can complete it pain-free. Resting allows your swollen muscles along your shinbone to heal. Your physiotherapist will prescribe physiotherapy involving stretching and strengthening exercises complemented by massage to soothe your muscles and increase blood flow.
Achilles Tendonitis refers to an inflammation of and micro-tears in the Achilles tendon or it’s covering. It is typically an overuse injury common amongst runners and jumpers, due to the repetitive action involved.
Most tendon injuries result from the gradual wear and tear to your tendon from overuse or from ageing.
How To Reduce Heel Pain At Home?
As with most soft tissue injuries the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation can be done at home to reduce heel pain.
Your physiotherapist will prescribe specific strengthening and stretching exercises to promote healing of your Achilles tendon and its supporting structures.
“Eccentric” strengthening is a special form of strengthening exercises, which has been found to be particularly effective in treating persistent Achilles problems.
Knee bursitis causes pain above, on or below your patella or kneecap. Knee bursitis is a common affliction amongst gardeners, carpet layers, plumbers and roofers.
Several causes can contribute to the onset of knee bursitis, including:
Trauma to your knee
Frequent falls on your knee
Repeated pressure on the knee from repetitive activities
Should You Use Cold or Heat To Treat Pain At Home?
Applications of cold and heat packs at home can help reduce the inflammation and pain associated with knee bursitis.
Treatment & Recovery Time
Knee bursitis sufferers often begin to feel better within a few weeks of physiotherapy treatment designed to:
- Reduce inflammation and pain through therapeutic taping, electrical modalities and changes to your activity
- Mobilise your knee joint’s normal range of motion
- Strengthening exercises for your hamstrings and quadriceps muscles
- Strengthen your pelvis, hip, and calves muscles
- Normalise your muscle lengths
- Improve your balance and agility
- Improve your walking, running, squatting, hopping and landing technique.
Sever’s disease is a common cause of heel pain, especially amongst physically active children between eight and 14 years of age. Boys are slightly more prone to this condition than girls. Sever’s symptoms often ease with time.
Sever’s disease is believed to be triggered when the growth area where the Achilles tendon attaches to the bone becomes active either due to repeated impact of the heel hitting the ground hard or when the Achilles tendon pulls at the attachment point.
How To Manage Sever’s Disease Flare-Ups at Home?
Reduce the frequency and type of physical activity, tape the heel and apply cold packs after exercise.
Sever’s disease is a self-limiting condition which means symptoms often ease with time and without treatment. Therefore, treatment depends on the degree of pain present. Your physiotherapist will provide exercises to improve neuromuscular control around the foot and how to tape the foot. Applying cold packs to the back of the heels for 15 minutes after physical activity will help reduce inflammation.
Sever’s disease typically takes a few months to a few years to resolve completely.
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain. With plantar fasciitis, the thick band of tissue running across the bottom of the foot and connecting the heel bone to your toes becomes inflamed, causing stabbing pain usually first thing in the morning. As your feet warm up and become more mobile, the pain often decreases.
The plantar fascia is designed as a shock absorber supporting the arch in your foot. If tension on it becomes too much, small tears appear in the fascia.
Repetitive stretching and tearing then causes your fascia to become inflamed or irritated.
How Shoe Inserts Can Help Manage Pain
Shoe inserts simply provide you with additional cushioning on the sole of your feet together with increased arch support.
Treatment And Recovery Time
Most plantar fasciitis injuries are reversible. Most people with plantar fasciitis show improvements following two months of physiotherapy treatment.
Before seeing your physiotherapist, make a list of your symptoms even if may seem unrelated and when they began. Jot down your personal information, any recent life changes or major stresses together with your family medical history. You should also list all medications, vitamins and other supplements you are taking. Finally, bring a list of questions to ask your physiotherapist during your consultation.
- Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology with First Class Honor, 2016 QUT
- Master of Physiotherapy, 2018 GU
- Certificate in Dry Needling
From the moment you book in for your consultation till the completion of your spinal treatments, you will realise the Southport Central Physiotherapy & Sport Injury Clinic difference.
- Peace of mind
- Clear communication
- Dedication and commitment
- Highest level of care
- Problem-solving approach
- Second opinions
- Non-invasive treatment