Live Pain-free With Physical Therapy for Your Knee
By: Dr. Abe Kopolovich, DPT, MBA, JD-IP
Did you hurt your knee or had surgery? Or is it achy and stiff because of arthritis? Either way, you might feel like the last thing you should do is get on your feet and move your joints around. But often physical therapy (PT) is what your doctor will suggest to get your strength back and put you on the road to recovery.
Physical therapy is a non-invasive approach to treating knee pain that involves exercises and other techniques to strengthen the muscles around the knee joint. The goal is to reduce pain, improve range of motion, and prevent further injury.
In some cases, this might be all you need to treat your condition. Keep reading to learn about what you can expect when you receive physical therapy for your knees.
Knee Pain Types
Understanding the different types of knee pain can help you identify the underlying cause of your condition and develop an effective physical therapy treatment plan.
One of the most common types of knee pain is osteoarthritis. This is a degenerative condition that occurs when the cartilage in your knee joint begins to wear down over time. This can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling.
Another type is patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee. This is a condition that occurs when the kneecap doesn’t track properly over the femur, causing pain and inflammation.
Acute injuries like sprains, strains, and fractures can also cause knee pain. These injuries may be caused by a fall, a sports injury, or other types of trauma.
On the other hand, there are conditions like tendinitis, bursitis, and gout. These can be caused by overuse, inflammation, or other factors.
If you’re experiencing discomfort on your knees, it’s important to talk to your doctor to receive an accurate diagnosis and get treated as soon as possible. Depending on the cause of your pain, treatments may include physical therapy, medication, or even surgery, to help reduce pain and improve your mobility.
Benefits of Physical Therapy for Your Knee
Pain is often the main reason people seek physical therapy for their knee. A physical therapist can help you identify the source of your pain and develop a treatment plan to reduce it.
Some things you might need are:
- Stretches and exercises
- Ice and heat
- Electrical nerve or muscle stimulation
Improve range of motion
If you’re experiencing pain, you may have trouble moving your knee through its full range of motion. A physical therapist can improve these symptoms through diverse exercises and stretches. Through this expert-devised plan, you can regain your ability to walk, climb stairs, and perform other daily activities.
Weakness in the muscles around the knee can contribute to pain and instability. These exercises can involve resistance training, weightlifting, and other techniques that target specific muscle groups.
Improve balance and coordination
Working on your balance and coordination is important to prevent falls and other injuries. These exercises can involve activities like standing on one foot, walking heel-to-toe, or performing squats on an unstable surface.
Prevent further injury
By following a good exercise plan with proper expert supervision, your physical therapy journey will get you on your way to prevent further knee injuries. This is especially important if you’re an athlete or someone who engages in regular physical activity.
So, what can you expect during an in-home physical therapy session for your knee?
Your first encounter with Therapy in Motion’s experts, you’ll work one on one with your assigned physical therapist to come up with your treatment plan. They will discuss ways to rebuild the strength and movement in your leg and knee, so you can feel better and go back to doing the things you love to do.
At your first visit, your therapist will look at your leg and see how well your knee bends, straightens, and moves. They’ll also see if:
- It’s hard for you to balance
- You have pain in your knee
- It hurts when you move your lower leg back and forth
- It’s hard to stand on one leg
- You have weak muscles in the front and back of your thigh, which support the knee
After your examination is done, your physical therapist will teach you exercises that may be done in the comfort of your home, with professional supervision. Over time, you may be able to start performing them by yourself.
Physical therapy is an ongoing process, and your physical therapist will work with you to monitor your progress and adjust your treatment plan as needed.
Are you ready to begin? Contact us today and book your first session towards wellness!