Knee and back pain
Causes, symptoms and treatment options available
Many people who suffer from knee pain also suffer from back pain, in fact, as many as 60% of knee pain suffers also suffer from back pain. The most common cause of knee pain is osteoarthritis (OA). Aside from the reasons for this common phenomenon, which will be discussed below, it is clear that any treatment used to address a knee problem should also take the back into account and vice versa. AposTherapy is an innovative, non-surgical, drug-free treatment which addresses the person as a whole and is able to treat both knee pain and back pain simultaneously. The principles of the treatment are based on an in-depth understanding that the body works as one unit comprised of many moving parts and that a problem with any of these parts (joints) will have an effect on the rest of the unit.
Unique benefits of AposTherapy
Who is suitable for the treatment?
Knee osteoarthritis is a very common problem in the older population and is actually one of the leading causes for pain and limitation of daily function. Low back pain is the leading cause of time lost from work. Both these problems can be treated with various treatment modalities ranging from rehabilitation and physiotherapy to surgical interventions. Almost all of these treatments target either the knee or the back, but very few of them are able to address the knee and the back at the same time. For example, medications may affect both back and knee OA pain but largely treat the symptoms and do not treat the core problem. In addition, medications may have side effects.
Research, as well as clinical experience, shows that patients with knee OA alter the activity of their muscles in an attempt to reduce the load on the knee. These alterations take place mainly around the knee, but very often patients with knee pain also change the muscular activity around their pelvis and low back. For example, patients with pain in the inner part of the knee often change their walk by leaning sideways with their back when they step onto the painful knee. This sideways bending may provide pain relief in the short term but in the long run the back muscles become tired and weaken, then causing back pain as well. Over time, this movement pattern is learned by the body and may persist even after the pain in the knee has subsided.
When experiencing low back pain, the body works in much the same way as described above. In an attempt to reduce the pain in the back, the body contracts the muscles around the spine trying to reduce its movement during daily activities. Because the back is a very central part of our anatomy, changing its movement patterns will inevitably shift loads onto other parts of the body, such as the hip or knee joints. Therefore, back pain sufferers may be at an increased risk of developing knee problems, such as osteoarthritis and meniscal tears.
It is evident from these facts that the body's attempts to reduce the load on joints and decrease pain in painful areas may ultimately result in increased pain and/or further aggravate pain and dysfunction in other areas. What also stems directly from the above is that any attempt to treat these conditions must be focused on teaching the body to properly control the movement of both knees and the back and treat them as inter-connected units of a larger whole, the human body.
AposTherapy is an innovative treatment which is capable of treating low back pain and knee pain at the same time. The treatment, a product of years of research in biomechanics and rehabilitation, is based on walking whilst wearing an individually-calibrated foot-worn device. The biomechanical device looks much like a shoe with two adjustable convex units attached to the sole. This system works on two levels simultaneously. The system is calibrated by an AposTherapist, a chartered physiotherapist specially-trained to deliver the AposTherapy treatment, to adjust the loads acting on the knee and back so that less pressure is inflicted on damaged and painful areas. Consequently, most patients treated with AposTherapy feel less pain whilst wearing their device. The second effect of the system is to retrain the muscles to properly control the back and knee. As you perform your daily routine, the Pertupods, the slightly convex units attached to the sole of the system, provide a controllable amount of instability which stimulates your muscular control system to work properly. Over time, the muscles will learn to work better outside of using the systems, and as a result patients report they are able to stand, walk and do other daily activities such as gardening for longer periods of time and with less pain. Since the body learns better movement patterns whilst using the systems, muscles have the better patterns instilled, this increased functional ability takes place even without the system.
AposTherapy is an active treatment which is able to treat multiple symptoms at the same time. As was described above, having multiple painful areas, such as low back pain and knee pain, is very common and these aches and pains must be viewed as interconnected problems. By joining AposTherapy one can treat both the knee and the back at the same time and play an active part in solving the problem.