Essential Guide to Healing Knee Pain – Part 1 [Bonus: PDF with PT exercises]

Are you tired of feeling knee pain? The following is a jumpstart guide towards healing.

Trust me! I know how annoying it is not to play, to wake up in pain. I’ve been dealing with knee pain for over two years after busting my knee in 2015. However, my knee is 95% healed after a successful stem cell regenerative procedure and a Blood Platelet Treatments injections.

Of course, there is no single path to take when it comes to healing any type of physical pain. However, I wanted to provide some guiding points on how to heal yourself completely from start to finish, both physically and emotionally.

 

1) Deal With Despair and Anger

AngerIt’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”  

Epictetus 

Life is 10% of what happens and 90% of how you react to it. Our attitude towards pain will play a huge role in recovery. Shit happens, but it is up to us how we interpret it. We are always in control of our emotions.

However, anger and despair crawl into our moods one way or another during the healing process. We can be angry at ourselves, or the world. One way or another, we must face it. But to heal, we shall gracefully exit this stage as soon as possible.

When I get hurt, I get super angry and irritated. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. Thus, I try to minimize communications with the outside world. Instead, I focus on reading, writing, and making recovery plans. Yoga helps me to relieve tension and stay calm.

 

2) Allow Yourself to be Sad

Do you suppress your emotions?

Indeed, I do. To emphasize, crying embarrasses me.

When recovering from any trauma, it is important to allow yourself to mourn and feel whatever loss you are experiencing. Being macho by burying or hiding your feelings in this situation is a waste of energy. Additionally, it will interfere with your ability to cope and recover.  Feeling sad is very similar to feeling angry. So, allow yourself to be sad and move on.

Nothing would make you feel better than taking action. So, be done with your emotions and on towards better things.

 

3) Basic Rehab Protocol

Image Credit: THIEME Atlas of Anatomy
  • The mindset of challenge without provoking
  • Keep stresses in single plane direction (front/back)
  • No or Low impact activities for two weeks
  • Mindful postural alignment (tendencies to bring knees in or out)
  • Minimize acceleration/deceleration stress (going up and down the stairs)
  • Use feedback mechanisms (mirror, video)
  • Use brace as recommended by the doctor
  • Find a knee rehab therapist

I was fortunate to work with Mark Reilly, the physical therapist at Regenexx clinic. He transformed the way I work out and move now. Mark is the best physical therapist I’ve ever worked with.

The following exercises were prescribed for me by Doctor Mark. Images are a property of Centeno-Schultz Clinic.

In short, my PT consisted of transverse activation (see below), quad activation, and meditation for two weeks. I progressed towards bridges and one-legged balancing exercises. Also, pool jogging (chest depth) for 30-45 minutes was the best part of my rehab!

 

4) Get Your Abs On!

This is an essential part of your knee rehab. You can do it even if both of your knees are busted! Building strength in abdominal and multifidus muscles makes a huge difference. However, the exercises are not sexy and won’t make you sweat. Instead, it requires you to pay attention and focus.

Click Here For Exercises

Image Credit: THIEME Atlas of Anatomy

5) Meditate to Decrease Pain

If you don’t subscribe to the ancient yogic wisdom, then perhaps a western study is for you: “Brain Mechanisms Supporting Modulation of Pain by Mindfulness Meditation.” In fact, many progressive doctors recommend meditation for pain reduction.

In Figure 4, you can see the brain activations and deactivations illustrate the main effects of pain and meditation.
Just in a few days of meditation training, subjects were able to reduce pain unpleasantness by 57% and pain intensity ratings by 40% compared to rest.

You can try different techniques. I would recommend keeping it short, straightforward, and consistent. My daily meditation practice is between 10 to 20 minutes. It consists of focused breathing and visualization.

As a bonus, you can monitor your thoughts better. It is important what you say to yourself about your injury and rehab process. Meditation helps you to focus on what you need to do.

 

6) Watch Your Mouth (Nutrition)

Contrary to popular belief, your body doesn’t need calories to heal. There are many studies on how fasting improves the health of cells. Not to mention, your activity level will be reduced, and you don’t need to gain any extra weight. However, food can be comforting, so find a middle ground. Focus on eating super-duper healthy food, and watch your portions.

To minimize weight gain and speed up your recovery, remove foods that increase inflammation. These include saturated and trans fats. As well as the added sugars found in cookies, cakes, pies, and other pastries, cereal bars, pasta sauces. Based on my research, the following is the list of the most anti-inflammatory foods:

  • Ginger – mix with honey or fruits.
  • Turmeric – use it to saute your veggies or sprinkle on sandwiches.
  • Pineapple – a natural anti-inflammatory agent.
  • Cherries – preferably tart or Montmorency Cherries.
  • Papaya – the main pain-reducing ingredient is the proteolytic enzyme.
  • Flaxseeds – buy whole and grind at home; sprinkle on sandwiches.
  • Walnuts – (all rich in omega-3s) are star players.
  • Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables such as berries, broccoli, carrots, and spinach.

To sum up:

1) Deal With Despair and Anger

2) Allow Yourself to be Sad

3) Use Rehab Protocol

4) Get Your Abs on

5) Meditate to Decrease Pain

6) Watch Your Mouth by focusing on Nutrition

Rember, healing is an exercise in patience. Make sure you give your body enough time to heal properly. Do not jump right back into it the day you start to feel a little bit better. It will only slow down your healing process. Instead, gradually start to build the confidence to get back out there!

Go to Part II.

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Anna Sheinman. They are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, and they are not intended as medical advice. They are intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from my own research and experience. I encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. The PDF images are the property of the Centeno-Schultz clinic. 

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