How Physical Therapy Can Help You Reduce Knee Pain

Man clutching his left knee after a knee injury.

How Physical Therapy Can Help You Reduce Knee Pain

Is your knee stiff or achy? Do you hear popping noises? Does it give out? Knee pain is often accompanied by stiffness, swelling, tenderness, clicking noises, limited mobility, or difficulty standing or walking. Read more to learn how physical therapy can help you reduce knee pain.

If you’re experiencing persistent or severe knee pain, it’s important to seek medical care. Untreated conditions can lead to chronic problems and long-term complications.Our physical therapy plans can help.

Knee Pain Due to Injury

Knee pain can be caused by a wide range of factors, including injuries, overuse, and natural wear and tear. Depending on the cause, knee pain can occur suddenly or develop gradually over time.

Some common causes of knee pain include ligament sprains or tears, meniscus tears, tendonitis, bursitis, and arthritis. Injuries to the knee joint, such as a blow to the knee or a fall, can damage the ligaments, tendons, or bones, leading to pain, swelling, and limited mobility.

Overuse of the knee joint, such as repetitive motions or strenuous activities, can also cause damage and inflammation over time, leading to pain and stiffness.

Knee Pain from a Medical Condition

Degenerative conditions and arthritis can also cause significant joint pain and knee discomfort. Osteoarthritis, which is the most common form of arthritis, can cause the joint cartilage to deteriorate over time, resulting in pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.

Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder, can also affect the knee joint and cause inflammation and pain. Conditions such as gout, infections, or tumors can cause knee pain as well.

Symptoms of Knee Pain: Pain, Stiffness, and Swelling

Knee symptoms can range from mild discomfort to severe pain and may be accompanied by other sensations such as stiffness, swelling, or limited mobility. In some cases, knee pain can be felt throughout the entire knee joint, while in other cases, the pain may be concentrated in a specific area, such as the front or back of the knee.

Other symptoms of knee pain may include clicking or popping noises, instability, or the sensation of the knee “giving way” under stress. You may also experience difficulty standing or walking, which can significantly affect your quality of life.

Depending on the underlying cause of knee pain, symptoms may develop suddenly or gradually over time.

Physical Therapy Can Help You Reduce Knee Pain

Physical therapy is a common treatment for knee pain. At Med1Care Therapy Partners, our goal is to help you improve the strength, flexibility, and mobility of your knee joint. Our physical therapists use various techniques to help reduce pain and restore normal function, depending on the underlying cause of your knee pain.

Manual therapy techniques such as massage, joint mobilization, or myofascial release can help improve blood flow, reduce muscle tension, and promote healing in your knee joint. We may also use heat or ice therapy to help reduce pain and inflammation in the joint.

Stretching Exercises for Knee Pain

Stretching exercises can help improve flexibility and reduce stiffness in the knee joint. Our physical therapists may recommend exercises that include hamstring stretches, quadriceps stretches, and calf stretches, which can help loosen up tight muscles and improve range of motion.

Knee Stretching Examples:

Hamstring stretch: Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Slowly lean forward at the hips, reaching for your toes. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then release. Repeat for 3-5 repetitions.

Quadriceps stretch: Stand facing a wall or chair for support. Bend your knee and grab your ankle with your hand, bringing your heel towards your buttocks. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then release. Repeat with the other leg. Aim for 3-5 repetitions on each leg.

Calf stretch: Stand facing a wall or chair for support. Step back with one foot and bend your front knee, keeping your back leg straight. Press your heel into the ground and feel the stretch in your calf. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then release. Repeat with the other leg. Aim for 3-5 repetitions on each leg.

It’s important to check with your physical therapist or healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program.

Strengthening Exercises for Knee Pain

Strengthening exercises are also an essential part of physical therapy for knee pain. Exercises such as squats, leg presses, and lunges can help improve the strength of the muscles around the knee joint, which can help provide better support and reduce stress on your knee.

Strengthening Exercise Examples:

Straight leg raises: Lie on your back with one leg straight and the other bent. Slowly lift your straight leg a few inches off the ground and hold for 5-10 seconds. Lower your leg back down and repeat for 10-15 repetitions. Switch legs and repeat.

Wall squats: Stand with your back against a wall and your feet about shoulder-width apart. Slowly slide down the wall, bending your knees until they are at a 90-degree angle. Hold for 5-10 seconds, then slowly slide back up. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

Step-ups: Stand in front of a step or low platform. Step up with one foot, bringing your other foot up to meet it. Step back down with the same foot and repeat with the other foot. Aim for 10-15 repetitions on each leg.

These exercises are designed to target the muscles around the knee joint, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Strengthening these muscles can help improve knee stability, reduce pain, and improve overall function.

Physical therapy can help you reduce knee pain, but it is important to consult with a physical therapist before starting any new exercise program, to ensure that you are performing the exercises correctly and safely.

Get Started with Med1Care Physical Therapy

At Med1Care Therapy Partners, we are committed to helping you find relief. We regularly diagnose and treat knee pain using exercises, stretching techniques, manual therapy, and other interventions. With our expertise in physical rehabilitation, combined with an understanding of your unique needs, we can help reduce your pain and improve your mobility.

We’ll partner with your physician to help you build a unique treatment plan to improve your movement and function with specialized exercises and education on low impact ways to manage daily living, relieve pain, prevent disability, and strengthen your knee.

Call us at 419.866.0555 to schedule a free consultation.
Our specialists will help you chart a course forward.

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