Physical Therapy For Knees - Techniques and Exercises for Pain Relief
Knee pain can be a tough thing to tackle, because the knee is a joint that is almost constantly in use. Everyday activities like sitting, standing up, walking, and even climbing the stairs demand the use of the knees, and aching knees can be unbearable. Thankfully, physical therapy for knees can help a lot, and by performing a few simple exercises, you can manage the pain or even reduce it substantially. Here are some techniques you can use and exercises you can do to get relief from knee pain. Make sure you discuss any exercises you’re planning to do with your physical therapist, to make sure that you’re doing the exercises in a way that isn’t damaging. Without further ado, here are some tips for techniques and exercises for physical therapy for knees.
Techniques used to understand and relieve knee pain
- Evaluating your gait – Assessing how you walk can help a physical therapist understand if your gait is affecting your knees badly. Sometimes, we inadvertently tend to bear our weight on one of our two feet while walking, causing the knee on that side to take on extra pressure. Be extra careful with your knee joint, if you're already injured then don't push yourself farther than you need to do.
- Palpation technique – By feeling the affected knee and the areas around it, a physical therapist can figure out if there are any abnormalities in the joint. Palpation techniques can help therapists to work out the right course of treatment for your knees.
- Strength and range of motion measurements – Measuring the range of motion around the joint can help evaluate how easily the knee can be bent and straightened. Strength evaluation can measure the amount of muscular weakness and imbalance around your knee.
Exercises to relieve knee pain
- Prone leg raises – This is an uncommon exercise that’s highly underrated. You’ll begin by lying on your stomach. Then, tighten the muscles in your bottom and your hamstrings and lift your leg upward, without bending the knee. Hold this pose for about five seconds before lowering your leg back to the initial position.
- Side leg raises – This is a commonly recommended exercise that can relieve stress from the muscles around the knees. Lie on your left side, and stretch your legs out. Lift your right leg upward without bending your knee. Raise the leg as much as you can without experiencing pain. Repeat this movement on the other side.
- Standing calf stretches – The muscles connecting your calves to your knees can sometimes be under stress, causing your knees to bear the brunt of the tension. Calf raises performed in the standing position can help stretch and loosen these tensed muscles, offering some relief from knee pain that’s related to these issues.
- Stationary bike – If you’re keen on improving the range of motion on your knee joint, exercising on a stationary bike can be a helpful activity. Remember to go at a pace that isn’t painful, and to make sure that your legs don’t move sideways when they bend. It can be easy to get distracted and lose focus halfway. So, try and concentrate on the activity.
Additional assistance in the form of hot and cold packs can also prove to be very helpful in relieving knee pains. If your knee pain is chronic, your therapist will probably advise you to visit a doctor, because you may need scans to understand the cause of the problem. Once the cause is established, your physical therapist will find it easier to determine the right technique and exercises to heal the problem, and your doctor will know whether surgery will be needed.
Other items of importance
Knee replacement surgery is not something we're going to discuss in this article but if you have a knee injury and it's been in chronic pain, please go see your doctor. Depending on how you got injured you might need surgery, for example, if you had a history of sports injuries and you sprained your knee, it is likely that if you had a meniscus tear and it might require surgery.
Physical therapy for Knees
If you are interested in physical therapy for knees, please give your local physical therapist a call and schedule an appointment. In case you're interested, here is a quick link to our Our Clinics.