Knee Pain Associated with Gardening

Woman gardening. New Heights Therapy talks about Knee Pain Associated with Gardening in Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA

Knee Pain Associated with Gardening

Tending to your garden can be a fun and relaxing hobby. It’s been shown to improve strength, memory retention, mood, and more. The benefits are nearly endless, but the repetitive stress on your knees can also lead to knee pain.

In this article, we’ll explain what gardner’s knee is and how to help prevent it.

What is Gardener’s Knee?

Prepatellar bursitis, commonly called gardener’s knee or housemaid’s knee is a condition caused by the inflammation of the prepatellar bursa–a small fluid-filled area that sits on the front of your knee cap. This condition is common in people who spend a lot of time kneeling. The most common symptoms of gardener’s knee include swelling at the front of the knee, redness, and tenderness. It may also be difficult to bend your knee or walk.

Tips to Avoid Knee Pain While Gardening

When you garden, you’re engaging in low-impact exercise so you’ll want to approach it like you would any other exercise: warm up and know your limits. Here are some more tips to help you garden with less pain.

  • Use knee pads or a kneeling pad to help protect your knees
  • Wear comfortable and supportive shoes
  • Take frequent breaks so you don’t strain your knees
  • Change your positions frequently to relieve stress on the knees
  • Apply ice on your knees after gardening
  • Use gardening tools with long handles
  • Consider a raised garden bed
  • Exercise to strengthen your legs
  • Purchase gardening supplies in light-weight quantities
  • Ask for help when gardening tasks are too difficult for you or cause you strain

Physical Therapy for Knee Pain

Many people brush off knee pain when it first occurs, thinking it will eventually go away. If you’re suffering with pain and swelling around the knee, don’t ignore it. There are several causes of front knee pain other than gardener’s knee which physical therapy may be helpful with.

We at New Heights Physical Therapy Plus in Portland OR can diagnose your condition and offer you the proper treatment so you can continue to do the things you love pain-free!

The Importance of Rest and Recovery

New Heights Physical Therapy gives advice on why recovery is important in Portland OR and Vancouver WA.

We so often hear about the health benefits of exercise, but another important part of any exercise program, and for life in general, is recovery. For some it’s one of the hardest things to do but taking time to rest can help prevent an injury and create a healthier body.

What is Recovery?

Recovery in exercise is taking a day or two off to allow your muscles to repair themselves for your next exercise. It also engages muscles that are sore from your previous workouts. Weightlifting, sprinting and endurance runs stress your body so it needs to adapt to these stresses. When you don’t let your body rest as much as it should, you can end up with an injury. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests people take a rest day at least one to two times per week.

Ways to Recover

  • Sleep: The most important part of recovery is sleep! Your body needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep everyday for chemical, hormone and anti-inflammatory responses to happen. Sleep is also very important for your immune system. If you don’t get quality sleep, you may be at a higher risk of getting sick.
  • Staying hydrated: Water plays a vital role in the recovery process. Water helps nutrients repair muscles damaged during exercise, aids in digestion and reduces fatigue. Here’s a fun fact: muscles are actually made up of 75% water.
  • Stretch: After a tough workout, consider stretching. This simple and fast method can help your muscles recover quicker.
  • Massage: Massages not only feel great, they improve circulation allowing you to fully relax. You can self-massage or use a foam roller on tight muscles.
  • Take an ice bath: Some athletes swear by these. An ice bath causes your blood vessels to constrict pushing the blood away from your muscles. Then once your out and your body warms up, the vessels open up and blood flows back into the muscle, bringing more oxygen to help you recover.

Taking time to give your body a rest can be challenging mentally, but it has significant benefits including preventing injuries. The most important thing you can do to recover quickly is listen to your body. At New Heights Physical Therapy, you can get the help and advice that you need to recover especially after an injury. Call us today to schedule an appointment!

How Kinesiology Tape Works

How Kinesiology Tape Works - New Heights Physical Therapy in Portland OR

You’ve undoubtedly seen brightly colored kinesiology tape on athletes, but how is it used in physical therapy and how can it help you? Kinesiology taping involves placing strips of this special tape on areas of the body to help improve mobility and support the joints, muscles, and tendons. The tape is light and flexible, non-restrictive, allows normal movement, improves lymph transport, and increases circulation. At New Heights Physical Therapy, we want to help our patients better understand how kinesiology tape can play a crucial role in their physical therapy routines.

What Kinesiology Tape Does

While there are several theories about precisely how kinesiology tape works, it is generally believed to create balance in the neural circuitry in muscles, tendons, joints, and skin. In effect, this can work to reduce pain, decrease swelling, and improve muscle performance and function.

Kinesiology tape serves several functions that have made it so popular in the past decade:

  • Offers structural or muscle support
  • Corrects postural problems
  • Increases blood flow and lymphatic drainage

When applied directly, kinesiology tape can achieve the above effects as it lifts the skin to create a small space between the muscle and dermis layers. Even within that very small space, pressure is taken off any swelling or injured muscles, allowing for smoother movement.

Using Kinesiology Tape in Physical Therapy

People use this special tape for a variety of reasons. When you meet with your physical therapist, they will assess your current situation to decide on the best use of the kinesiology tape. They can also show you how to properly apply the tape yourself. It is especially helpful in accordance with our sports medicine and dance medicine treatments.

Common uses of kinesiology tape include:

  • Inhibition and pain management. This tape can help decrease pain and muscle spasms that may occur after injury.
  • Facilitation. Using this tape helps improve muscular firing and contraction patterns, which is often helpful in improving athletic performance.
  • Swelling management. As mentioned before, kinesiology tape helps with swelling by decreasing pressure between the skin and underlying tissues.
  • Scar tissue management. If you’ve developed scar tissue after surgery or trauma, this tape can be used to gently pull on scar tissue to provide a low-intensity stretch that may help properly align collagen cells.

Could You Benefit from Using Kinesiology Tape?

When you visit your physical therapist at New Heights Physical Therapy, we’d be happy to discuss how kinesiology tape may be beneficial to your physical therapy routine. Not only can we provide you with vital information on how it works, we can also show you the various ways to apply it that will best serve your unique situation. Give us a call today to set up your next appointment!

Recover from Car Accident Injuries with Yoga and Massage

New Heights Physical Therapy provides exceptional physical therapy for car accident recovery in Portland OR and Vancouver WA.

Car accidents can be traumatic, both emotionally and physically. If you’ve been in an accident, your body needs to be evaluated and treated for all injuries, to allow a full recovery and prevent them from becoming chronic pain.

Physical Concerns with Car Accident Recovery

There are two areas of the body that need to be evaluated after a car accident:

  • Muscular: The body is put through a huge amount of shock when in a car accident. The abrupt stop of the car can strain the muscles past their normal range. The impact of the car itself can cause significant trauma and damage to the muscles.
  • Skeletal: The most obvious injury to the skeletal system is the impact of objects during a car accident, but there’s another source of injury: when muscles are pulled out of alignment, they can also “pull” at the skeleton, creating complications and further chronic conditions.

Physical Therapy and Auto Injuries

Although physical therapy is not the only necessary treatment after a major accident, it can be a major part of recovery. Physical therapy involves the evaluation of how muscles interact with the skeleton, and treatment of any problems with this function. Because a motor vehicle accident can cause trauma to both muscles and bones, physical therapy is especially crucial to restore function and reduce pain.

After any significant injuries are treated by a doctor, you may be referred to a physical therapist. Depending on the extent of your injuries, a wide range of physical therapy might be prescribed, including aqua therapy, massage therapy, muscle manipulation, and at-home exercises. It is crucial to only engage in those activities that have been approved by your doctor and your physical therapy. Car accidents can cause significant trauma, and underlying conditions aren’t always readily diagnosed after an accident. Please–always seek the guidance of a medical professional before attempting any new exercise.

Yoga and Massage for Post Accident Treatment

Both yoga and massage therapy can be very helpful over the long term. Your physical therapist will need to complete a careful evaluation before any decisions are made, and will need to clear any new activities.

  • Gentle yoga provides stretching and joint movements, with very little pressure or twisting motions. Active yoga should be avoided, and any positions that put strain on joints or muscle groups should be cleared by your physical therapist. 
  • Massage therapy can help to loosen joints and pulled muscles, smoothing out engaged muscles and helping to restore function. 

Once you’ve been cleared to engage in these activities, your physical therapist can help you put together a plan of action!

Physical Therapy and Your Accident Trauma

Bodies need time to heal. Physical therapy can be a huge part of that healing process, as you relearn to use muscle groups. New Heights Therapy has significant experience with post-crash recovery, and we can help! Read more about how we treat car accident injuries like whiplash, or contact us today to schedule your first physical therapy consultation, and start your road to recovery!