Physical therapy for knee pain involves a thorough evaluation and assessment of your entire lower extremity from your hip to your foot. Your PT can assess your knee pain and prescribe the right treatments - including exercises and modalities, to help decrease your knee pain and improve your overall mobility.
Anatomy of the Knee
The human knee is a hinge joint that is comprised of the tibia (shin) and the femur (thigh). The patella, or kneecap, is located in the front of the knee. The knee is supported by four ligaments. Two shock absorbers, each called a meniscus, are found within the knee.
Pain in the knee can be caused by repetitive trauma and strain or by injury. Occasionally it occurs for no apparent reason. When knee pain occurs, you may experience functional limitations that include difficulty to walk, rising from sitting, or ascending and descending stairs.
What Type of Knee Pain Do You Have?
If you experience knee pain, it is important to determine if the pain is acute, sub-acute, or chronic in nature. This can help guide proper diagnosis and treatment.
Acute pain is usually the most severe and occurs 1-7 days after injury. During this time, you should rest the knee and let the injured structures heal before initiating any motion.
Sub-acute pain occurs from 2-6 weeks after injury. This is a good time to initiate gentle motion around the knee to help regain mobility. Chronic knee pain is pain lasting greater than 8-12 weeks.
PT Treatment for Knee Pain
After a focused examination has been completed, your physiotherapist can work with you to initiate the correct treatment. It is very important for you to be active and engaged in the program. Often, exercises to help strengthen and improve the mobility of the knee will be prescribed. You may be required to perform exercises at home as well as part of a home exercise program.
Exercise should be your main tool for treating your knee pain. Exercises to help your knee pain may include:
- Quad sets and straight leg raises
- Short arc quads
- Exercises to strengthen your hips (Your hip muscles help control the position of your knees. Weakness here may cause knee pain.)
- Lower extremity stretches
- Balance exercises
Your physiotherapist will tell you how often to perform your exercises at home, and they will monitor your progress when you visit them.
Our physiotherapist at The Bali Physio will keep the knee joint mobile and strong, problems with knee pain may be avoided, and your mobility can be maintained.