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Physical Therapy for Chronic Knee Pain

A detailed examination and assessment of the entire lower leg, from hip to foot, is part of physical therapy for knee discomfort. Your physical therapist may analyze your knee discomfort and recommend the appropriate therapies, such as exercises and modalities, to help you reduce pain and increase overall mobility.

The knee joint is one of the most difficult to maintain in the body, which is why it’s so vulnerable to damage and other chronic problems that cause knee discomfort. If you’re one of the millions of Americans attempting to figure out what to do about knee discomfort, bear in mind that physical therapy is one of the most effective, long-term solutions. Indeed, a new examination of knee pain treatment data spanning almost six decades shows that exercise and mobility training, guided by your physical therapist, is one of the most effective strategies to restore knee function and reduce knee pain over time. 

Your physical therapist may give you the following five knee exercises, but there are many more that can assist.

Physical Therapy for Chronic Knee Pain

Here are some stretches and exercises that can help alleviate chronic knee pain.

1. Leg Raises with Straight Legs 

Straight leg lifts increase quadriceps strength, which can help maintain knee health even if you experience knee discomfort. Lie down on the floor on your back on an exercise mat. Bend one knee while keeping the other foot firmly planted on the ground. Raise the opposite leg to the same height as the bowed knee by straightening it. Use your abdominal muscles to maintain your pelvis in place. Your physical therapist may prescribe numerous repetitions for each leg. 

2. The Overpass 

Bend both knees and maintain your feet about hip-width apart while still resting on the floor. To create a bridge, use your glutes to lift your hips as high as possible. The hamstrings and glutes will be put to the test. Then try elevating your toes while keeping your heels anchored to the ground. Return your hips to their original position and repeat as many times as necessary.

3. Straight Leg Raises (prone) 

Roll over onto your stomach, keeping your legs straight. Squeeze your glutes and raise one leg toward the ceiling, holding for 3 to 5 seconds. Switch sides after roughly 10 repetitions, or as many as advised. 

4. Squats Against the Wall 

This exercise may be done with or without an exercise ball. Your physical therapist can explain how to perform it either way during your physical therapy appointment so that you can do it at home as well. Place your back against a wall and your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly bend your knees, keeping your entire back forced against the wall until your items are nearly parallel to the floor. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, then gently work your way back up to standing against the wall using your glute muscles.

What Kind of Knee Pain Do You Suffer From? 

If you have knee pain, you must first identify whether the pain is acute, sub-acute, or persistent. This information can aid in accurate diagnosis and treatment. 

Common Areas for Knee Pain

The location of your knee pain might aid in determining which structures are responsible for your discomfort and ensuring correct therapy. 

If your symptoms are severe or linger for more than a few weeks, consult your doctor, physical therapist, or other healthcare practitioner. 

Discomfort in the Front of the Knee 

If you have pain in the front of your knee, it’s possible that you have patellofemoral stress syndrome, which is caused by a problem with the tracking and position of the kneecap (PFSS). Inflammation and discomfort can occur in the kneecap and the tendon connecting it to the shin. Kneeling, ascending or descending stairs, and running and jumping are all restricted by this pain.  

Pain on the Inside of the Knee

If you feel pain on the inside of your knee, the medial meniscus or medial collateral ligament has likely been injured. When the foot is put on the ground and the torso turns over the knee, these structures are commonly damaged during sports exercises. Inside the knee, the medial meniscus acts as a shock absorber. It might be injured without any specific injury because of normal wear and tear or arthritis.

Pain on the Outside of the Knee

Damage to one or more structures on the outside of your knee might cause discomfort. There is a ligament there that might be harmed when participating in sports. Illiotibial band (ITB) tension can also produce pain here. The ITB is a thick band of tissue that runs from the outside of your hip to the front of your knee. The ITB might rub unnaturally on the knee when it crosses it, causing a burning discomfort. The outside of the knee also houses one of the three hamstring tendons. Knee discomfort might be caused by a strain on this tendon. 

Back of the Knee Pain

Back of the knee pain is uncommon, although it can happen. A hamstring strain is likely to cause discomfort here since one of the hamstring tendons connects here. A Baker’s cyst is another probable source of discomfort in this area. This is a type of abnormal knee swelling that takes up space in the back of the knee and creates discomfort when the knee is bent too far.

What to Expect From Knee Pain Physical Therapy 

If you’ve been sent to physical therapy for knee discomfort, the first session is crucial for ensuring accurate diagnosis and treatment. Your physical therapist will conduct an interview with you at this appointment to learn about the history of your condition, aggravating and relieving variables, and any previous medical history that may have contributed to the overall problem. A targeted assessment will be undertaken based on the facts acquired throughout your medical history. The examination may include, but is not limited to, the following sections: 

Physical Therapy for Chronic Knee Pain — Desert Edge Physical Therapy

When struggling with dysfunction, pain, or injury, seeing a physical therapist might be precisely what your vehicle needs to keep running smoothly for the rest of your life. Too many of us believe we must just cope with the discomfort that results from inactivity, dysfunctional movement, or injury; however, Desert Edge Physical Therapy is here to help you restore your normal mobility so you can enjoy your favorite activities again!

published on Saturday, May 7th, 2022