Why knees take so long to heal
Wanna talk about knees for a minute? I do! It’s one of my favorite topics when it comes to bodies and pain. Our knees are a fundamental part of the way we use our bodies, and complicated, too. In 2004, I heard something go “pop” while jumping in a ballet class and that was the beginning… of the rest of my life with heightened awareness of my knees! I’ve spent years investigating how knees work, resulting in some strongly held beliefs I’m going to share with you now:
Knee belief #1: After an injury, it’s quite difficult to “rest” our knees thoroughly and maintain our regular life, so we end up compromising the recovery portion. NY-ers do not get first prize when it comes to “taking it easy.” Can you blame us? We’ve all got shit to do! So is there any way to accelerate the healing process when you are in the thick of your knee pain? How about what to do to just get by, minimize the pain, and keep up with daily activities?
Knee belief #2: Our knee tissues (mostly cartilage and ligaments) are not particularly innervated (containing nerves) or vascularized (containing veins/blood flow) which means we don’t feel issues until our muscles or bones get disturbed. This complicates rehabilitation, because damage or sensitivity often sets in before we know it. [these are actually facts and not just my opinion. Read on for my opinion.]
What do about it? Pay close attention to your knees and how they feel and how they respond to the movements you are doing. Hear crunching or clicking, feel grinding when you bend? Start by asking a professional (like The Body Hotline). Feel pain? DEFINITELY ask a professional, preferably your primary care doctor or a physical therapist.
Maybe you already know what’s going on in there, but you don’t know what to do about it.
Here are more ways to care for your knees:
partake in strength-building activities (a wide variety of exercises can fit the bill)
get a massage
use a foam roller on your leg muscles
spend some minutes stretching in ways you haven’t in a while.
But which of these to do, and when? The answer is: it depends. It’s somewhat up to you, to try different activities and gauge their effect. If you want more support in this process of discovery, I’m here for you with my decade of bodywork experience, anatomical and kinesthetic understandings, and love for problem solving.
It’s super frustrating to feel Ike pain is holding you back and not know what to do about it. My personal experience of that very kind is what led me to start The Body Hotline! Drop me a line and we can talk about YOUR knees and what you can do for them. Give your knees some love!