“It’s going to go away on its own.”
“The ibuprofen stopped the knee pain; it can’t be too bad.”
“I have 101 things to do. I’m too busy to see a doctor.”
Yes, most people wait too long to see a doctor about their knee pain, concur Dr. Pierce Waychoff, DC, clinic director and his wife, Erin Waychoff, DC, owners of Pain Stop North Phoenix.
Typically, most wait until their knee pain is affecting their quality of life. They can’t run anymore. They can’t play with the kids. “We frequently hear, ‘It hurts all the time, except when I sleep,’ ” says Dr. Waychoff, DC. “When you’re feeling pain, your body is sending you a message.” And the sooner that message is heeded, the faster the pain will be banished.
Common causes of knee pain
- Overuse – The trauma runners experience, for example, as their feet constantly hit the pavement. Knees, ankles and hips are at risk.
Dr. Waychoff, DC recommends lower-impact exercises:
- Swimming is perfect.
- Speed walking is better than running
- Choose elliptical machines over a treadmill
- Trauma – Knee pain can result from a fall or motor vehicle accident.
- Joint degeneration – This is the most common cause of knee pain in people age 40 and older.
Contributing factors to joint degeneration:
- Poor nutrition
Too soon to make that call?
Just the other day, Dr. Waychoff, DC says she was too aggressive in doing her step aerobics. “One knee was a little sore. I used an ice pack and took it easy,” she says. And within a day or two, she was fine.
But when soreness does not respond to ice and rest, then it’s time to consult with a doctor to ascertain if there’s an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
It’s also wise to see a doctor if:
- There’s just been an injury to the knee
- The pain is progressing
- Pain is being experienced at a level of 6 for most of the day.
Every patient who comes to Pain Stop North Phoenix will first see Dr. Pierce Waychoff, DC.
The evaluation might include:
- A general palpation of the knee. “We’re trained to use our hands to find tenderness, knots …”
- Simple orthopedic tests, such as one to determine whether the range of motion is normal.
- X-rays to detect any joint degeneration.
Once a diagnosis is made, there are many non-invasive approaches to pain relief available at Pain Stop North Phoenix. And if surgery is necessary, the practitioners can still help prepare a person for surgery by strengthening the surrounding muscles. After surgery, they can provide post-op care to help get patients moving.