Rehab with Results

Best Physical Therapy's Health Information Library

Here, we have gathered health articles on almost every major subject in healthcare. Please explore, enjoy, and share this free resource provided by Best Physical Therapy

Knee Injuries and Disorders

Your knee joint is made up of bone, cartilage, ligaments and fluid. Muscles and tendons help the knee joint move. When any of these structures is hurt or diseased, you have knee problems. Knee problems can cause pain and difficulty walking.

Knee problems are very common, and they occur in people of all ages. Knee problems can interfere with many things, from participation in sports to simply getting up from a chair and walking. This can have a big impact on your life.

The most common disease affecting the knee is osteoarthritis. The cartilage in the knee gradually wears away, causing pain and swelling.

Injuries to ligaments and tendons also cause knee problems. A common injury is to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). You usually injure your ACL by a sudden twisting motion. ACL and other knee injuries are common sports injuries.

Treatment of knee problems depends on the cause. In some cases your doctor may recommend knee replacement.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Muscle Disorders

Your muscles help you move and help your body work. Different types of muscles have different jobs. There are many problems that can affect muscles. Muscle disorders can cause weakness, pain or even paralysis.

Causes of muscle disorders include

  • Injury or overuse, such as sprains or strains, cramps or tendinitis
  • A genetic disorder, such as muscular dystrophy
  • Some cancers
  • Inflammation, such as myositis
  • Diseases of nerves that affect muscles
  • Infections
  • Certain medicines

Sometimes the cause of muscle disorders is unknown.

Sports Injuries

Exercising is good for you, but sometimes you can injure yourself when you play sports or exercise. Accidents, poor training practices, or improper gear can cause them. Some people get hurt because they are not in shape. Not warming up or stretching enough can also lead to injuries.

The most common sports injuries are

  • Sprains and strains
  • Knee injuries
  • Swollen muscles
  • Achilles tendon injuries
  • Pain along the shin bone
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Dislocations

If you get hurt, stop playing. Continuing to play or exercise can cause more harm. Treatment often begins with the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) method to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and speed healing. Other possible treatments include pain relievers, keeping the injured area from moving, rehabilitation, and sometimes surgery.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Walking Problems

What are walking problems?

If you are like most people, you walk thousands of steps each day. You walk to do your daily activities, get around, and exercise. It's something that you usually don't think about. But for those people who have a problem with walking, daily life can be more difficult.

Walking problems may cause you to

  • Walk with your head and neck bent over
  • Drag, drop, or shuffle your feet
  • Have irregular, jerky movements when walking
  • Take smaller steps
  • Waddle
  • Walk more slowly or stiffly
What causes walking problems?

The pattern of how you walk is called your gait. Many different diseases and conditions can affect your gait and lead to problems with walking. They include

  • Abnormal development of the muscles or bones of your legs or feet
  • Arthritis of the hips, knees, ankles, or feet
  • Cerebellar disorders, which are disorders of the area of the brain that controls coordination and balance
  • Foot problems, including corns and calluses, sores, and warts
  • Infections
  • Injuries, such as fractures (broken bones), sprains, and tendinitis
  • Movement disorders, such as Parkinson's disease
  • Neurologic diseases, including multiple sclerosis and peripheral nerve disorders
  • Vision problems
How is the cause of a walking problem diagnosed?

To make a diagnosis, your health care provider will ask about your medical history and do a physical exam. This will include checking your bones and muscles and doing a neurological exam. In some cases, you may have other tests, such as lab or imaging tests.

What are the treatments for walking problems?

Treatment of walking problems depends on the cause. Some common types of treatments include

  • Medicines
  • Mobility aids
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery

Sprains and Strains

A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament. Ligaments are tissues that connect bones at a joint. Falling, twisting, or getting hit can all cause a sprain. Ankle and wrist sprains are common. Symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, and being unable to move your joint. You might feel a pop or tear when the injury happens.

A strain is a stretched or torn muscle or tendon. Tendons are tissues that connect muscle to bone. Twisting or pulling these tissues can cause a strain. Strains can happen suddenly or develop over time. Back and hamstring muscle strains are common. Many people get strains playing sports. Symptoms include pain, muscle spasms, swelling, and trouble moving the muscle.

At first, treatment of both sprains and strains usually involves resting the injured area, icing it, wearing a bandage or device that compresses the area, and medicines. Later treatment might include exercise and physical therapy.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases