7 Ways An Experienced PT Can Fix Your Ongoing Hip, Knee & Lower Back Pain
Do you have hip, knee or lower back pain that affects you every day?
Does it interfere with your daily activities like exercise or even just walking?
Maybe you’ve even seen a Physiotherapist, but aren’t doing the exercises & stretches they prescribed.
Living in pain every day sucks!
I know, because I lived with hip pain (an impingement) for years.. until I healed my pain using exercise after becoming a Personal Trainer.
It might take weeks, months or even years.. so it’s not a quick fix solution.
But I avoided steroid injections & surgery.. two quick fix options health professionals suggested which may even make the problem worse.
Imagine living pain free without needing painkillers, steroid injections, physiotherapy visits or surgery.
I did it! And with patience, determination plus a bit of help.. you can too!
In this post I’m going to show you:
The 5 main causes of on going hip, knee & lower back pain
7 ways an experienced PT can help fix the real cause of the pain
What to look for & run from in health & fitness professionals
5 signs you have weak or lazy butt muscles
First let me start by saying that this article is not for you if you have had an injury which has caused acute* pain to the knees, hip or lower back.. sorry!
*Acute = Sudden onset of pain usually caused by an event/injury that requires urgent care.
If this sounds like you, this information may help eventually but please prioritise working with your health professional/s on your rehabilitation & recovery program.
If, however, you’ve had pain appear gradually & has stuck around for a while (chronic) then this information may be extremely helpful.. even life changing for you.
And no matter how long you’ve been in pain for, whether it’s days, months or years.. DO NOT let it go on for any longer without taking action.
Because the only worse thing than living with the pain you have now is allowing that pain to spread to other areas because your body has compensated & created imbalances that only become more difficult to fix.
The 5 main causes of hip, knee & lower back pain
1. Incorrect movement patterns
2. Inactive glutes
3. Weak glutes
4. Tight muscles & poor mobility
My hip pain came on a few years after I’d switched from being a cardio bunny to lifting weights & before I became a qualified PT.
I never hired a Personal Trainer to get help in the beginning.
I never learned how to squat, lunge or deadlift with correct form & movement pattern.
I never knew how important it was to activate, strengthen & use my glutes (aka butt muscles) properly.
Until it was too late!
Instead.. I read a book, researched some websites, downloaded an app & off I went to tackle the “men’s area” in the gym to pretend I wasn’t intimidated & knew what I was doing.
After a couple years of incorrect form, not using my butt muscles properly & hardly ever stretching.. I ended up with a hip impingement.
I was in so much pain that I couldn’t even lift my leg to put a sock on.
And a sock disability wasn’t the only problem..
I couldn’t get out of bed or a car without being in agony
My work was effected since I couldn’t move effectively
I was popping pain killers every day
My mood & happiness was effected by the constant aches & pains
Doctors wanted to start injecting me with steroids
The pain started spreading to my knee & ankle
The causes of all these problems were something so simple & could have been avoided if I’d just invested some time & money into getting some guidance from an experienced Personal Trainer*.
*Experienced PT: Someone who has knowledge and experience in a specific area, who has done extra research & studies (theoretical & practical) on the subject.. not just the generalised, extremely broad & often shit Personal Training qualifications.
This story may be mine but I’ve worked with hundreds of clients as a Personal Trainer & I can confirm that more often than not.. hip, knee & lower back pain is caused by incorrect movement patterns, weak/lazy glutes & poor mobility.
They’re all connected & that’s why pain may start in one area but often immigrate to the others, going even further down the leg to the achilles & ankle or up the body to the neck & shoulders unless something is done about it.
Having excess weight on the body can only put more stress on the joints, which can also make recovery time longer & more challenging.. that’s why this cause made the list.
7 Ways An Experienced PT Can Help Fix the Cause of Your Pain For Good
Okay, we’ve discussed the main causes of hip, knee & lower back pain so here’s what can you do fix the actual causes of pain so you no longer need painkillers, surgery or steroid injections.
1. Correct your technique & movement patterns
Have you ever been taught how to squat, deadlift, hip thrust & lunge properly?
And I mean PROPERLY! Not by social media influencers & not by a personal trainer who has only done the bare minimum qualifications.
As an experienced PT who has done A LOT of extra studying than the standard baseline Personal Training qualifications & has had years of hands on experience with 100’s of people..
I can honestly say that even the majority of personal trainers don’t know how to do these exercises properly.. and it’s made even worse with the millions of shit technique videos on social media.
And if you haven’t had any guidance or aren’t doing any of these exercises.. then why not?
My hip impingement came because I thought I was squatting with correct form without help from an expert.. I was wrong!
And if you aren’t doing any of these exercises to activate & strengthen the body, how do you expect your body to prevent and reduce the effects of aging & gravity?
Do you want to be able to keep walking up and down stairs as you get older?
Do you want to be able to get on and off the toilet or in & out of bed without help?
Do you want to be able to keep picking up your kids & grandkids?
If you said yes, you MUST be doing these exercises.. with the correct form & technique!!
2.Strengthen your glutes (butt muscles)
The gluteals are made up of 3 main players: Gluteus Maximus, Medius and Minimus.
Your glute max is the largest muscle in your body & while helped by the others, is the main dude for supporting that main mass on top called our body.. or trunk, arms, head, organs etc.
So it really should be one of the strongest muscles in the body, however unfortunately it’s much more common for it to be weak.
You can thank our modern day sedentary lifestyles for that.. where we spend the majority of our day lying down, sitting in the car, sitting on the sofa, sitting at work, taking lifts, elevators & those moving walkways at airports.
With the help of glute medius & minimum, glute maximus is responsible for keeping you upright, standing, walking, sitting.. movements essential to living.
If you have weak glutes, your body will use other muscles to compensate for these movements, muscles that aren’t supposed to be primarily used for these functions. And what can this lead to? PAIN!
Here are some signs someone may have weak glutes & needs to focus on strengthening them ASAP include:
Knees bowing in (knock knees)
Sway back (hunchback)
Lordosis (instagram sticky out butt)
Can’t sit on chair without plonking down
Can’t get off chair without help or momentum
Do you notice any of these within yourself?
3. MAKE SURE your GLUTES are activating properly
Now that you know the glutes are the largest muscle in the body but not necessarily the strongest, did you know that they can also be the laziest?
Also caused by all the lazy lifestyle reasons I mentioned above, we don’t use them enough so they basically remain inactive, switched off, asleep in hibernation.. you get my point.
Gluteal amnesia or Lazy Butt Syndrome is a very REAL thing & all too common, it’s essential you get those butt muscles firing if you want to keep your chief anti-gravity muscles working at their best.
There’s also an optimal order in which your glutes, hamstrings & lower back should activate for proper strength, technique & movement.
I test for this in the free consultation I offer to potential new clients, I call it “The Lazy Butt Test”.
If you live on the Gold Coast.. request your free consultation by clicking here.
4. Avoid exercises & movements that cause pain
My general rule of thumb.. Do you feel pain?
No. Great, keeping doing your thang!
Avoid any exercises & movements that cause you pain.
BAD pain.. not “ouch I feel my muscles working & I’m going to stop because I’m lazy” pain, just to clarify.
(I’ve worked with hundreds of people, I know who you are hahaha).
There are plenty of other exercises & movements you can do that will produce the same benefits & results, you just need to work with a trainer or coach who knows what those exercises are.
Just for the love of God, run a mile from anyone who tells you to push through pain, unless it’s a highly qualified Physiotherapist or other health professional.
Although even then I’d still question them for a good reason.
It’s your body, you should do your due diligence when it comes to your health & wellbeing.
5. Include physiotherapy exercises & stretches in your training program
Have you ever been to a physiotherapist, spent a ridiculous amount of money on a 15-30 minute session to be prescribed exercises & stretches to do at home.. and then not do them?
Even though I was living in pain, I had zero motivation to do my exercises & stretches at home. Not with all the other life priorities & distractions going on, they just never got done.
Fortunately, being a fitness coach, I was already in the routine of going to the gym 3-5 times a week or doing something active most days.
So all I had to do was incorporate my prescribed exercises and stretches into the sessions I was already doing.
I would do my glute activation & strengthening exercises as part of my warm up or as supersets during my main workout & would always leave 5-10 minutes at the end to stretch.
Reducing & fixing the cause of my pain didn’t happen overnight or even after a few weeks or months.
It actually took a good year for my pain to go away & to get full range of movement back.
It happens gradually & it gets frustrating because you’re putting in all this time & effort but you still feel pain.
Sometimes you want to throw in the towel because it doesn’t feel like it’s working or that you’re making any progress.. but you need to persevere.
It might take weeks, months & even years but I promise you, the majority of the time, rehab exercise IS the answer if you want to avoid surgery or steroid injections.
Steroid injections & surgery are Band-Aid solutions, you have to fix the real cause of the problem.
6. Improve your mobility & stretch more often
With our hunched over, lazy lifestyles & the effects of age comes super tight muscles & poor mobility.
This lack of range of movement can result in the body over compensating, using muscles that are meant for other actions and… pain!
If you want to continue walking, sitting down, standing up, going up/down stairs & picking your groceries or kids up well into your future years.. you need to stretch & stay mobile.
Here are some examples of poor mobility which should be addressed asap:
Not being able to reach anywhere near your toes
Taking short strides when walking or running
Not being able to lift your knee more than 45 degrees
Needing to almost fall forward when going down stairs
Struggle to put heel down first when walking or running
A tight feeling in your knees when you squat or bend down
There are many tests a health professional or experienced PT can get you to perform to test your ranges & make sure you’re body has the mobility to function optimally now & into the future.
7. Reduce excess weight
Think about might happen to a bicycle if you loaded it with three people (front, middle & back) & it was only meant for one.
The frame might sag, the wheels might buckle, something might snap off.. because it can’t handle the extra weight & pressure.
If you want to save the bicycle from buckling under pressure, you need to remove the extra people the bike isn’t meant for carrying.
Having more weight on your body than is intended for your frame can put pressure on your joints & if you’re not using your core & glutes properly, your body will use and potentially strain other muscle groups not usually used for certain actions.
Before I turned my focus to exercise for pain management, my main focus as a coach was my 12 week Body Transformation program which helped 100’s of people transform their bodies & lifestyle habits.
If needed, my weight loss methods play a huge part in my pain management coaching as well.
Now with knowing all of the above, you have a choice.
You can continue feeling helpless & living with your pain.. OR you can reach out to a professional who specialises in pain management.
If you needed a tooth pulled you wouldn’t go to your hairdresser, you would go to an expert wouldn’t you?
I urge you take action rather than this be another article you read & then forget about.
Take action & do it now before life gets in the way.
It shouldn’t cost you anything, most health & fitness professionals offer a free first visit & I’ve shown you what to look for in a coach or trainer & also what to be careful of.
Please please please do your research & speak to them first before handing over your money, you must feel comfortable & confident with them..
This is YOUR body, health & wellbeing!
If you live on the Gold Coast & would like to have a chat with me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 0451 230 131 or click the button below to go straight to my booking schedule for a FREE consultation :-)