Updated: Feb 20, 2022
Many people experience knee pain. It may be due to age, having put on a little weight, or having suffered an accident such as fracture or dislocation. Having bad knee pain affects normal movement and is generally disabling.
Knee problems may be caused by medical conditions such as arthritis or osteoporosis. It can also be due to natural wear and tear as people age. For athletes, putting strain on the knee due to repeated movements or a sudden change in direction as in high impact sports, knee injuries can happen.
Diagnosing knee issues can be done by a physician through a physical check, as well as scans to see the extent of damage. Treatments may involve oral or injectable medications to manage pain, surgery for more severe cases, and physical therapy.
Physical therapy can help for either non-surgical or surgical cases. It can help in restoring normal functions post-surgery or after an injury. It rehabilitates the damaged tendons and surrounding muscles to help in full recovery of the knee. Physical therapy uses various techniques such as manual therapy which aims on applying manual or physical techniques or modalities to address and reduce pain, restore function, and bring overall well-being.
Manual therapy techniques include massage, lymph drainage, traction, active release techniques, trigger point therapy, assisted active range of motion (AAROM), passive range of motion, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), joint manipulation, and joint mobilisation. These manual therapy techniques, done by skillful therapists, are combined with exercises to achieve the optimum and effective rehabilitation.
Exercises are done to help strengthen the affected and surrounding areas to support full recovery as part of the treatments. Single step down exercises can build up and strengthen the hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteal and hip muscles, thus supporting the knee’s efficient motion and rehabilitation. Using a sturdy, heavy and stable stool that does not exceed 6 inches in height (mimicking a one-step stair platform), the patient steps on the stool with the right foot and left foot hanging behind. Supporting the body weight with the right foot, the left leg is lowered down. The right knee is bent slightly, and the lowering and raising motion of the left leg is repeated. Then switching to the left leg to remain on the platform, with the repeating raising and lowering of the right leg.
Another exercise to help in stabilising the knee and reinforcing the glutes is the lateral band walk. Using a resistance band with just the right strength, the lateral band walk works up the hip and glute muscles to control the knee’s motion, thus correcting the knee’s position and avoiding inward collapse or misalignment. The band is placed flatly above the ankles and around the legs. Then place the feet about shoulder-width distance, ensuring that it is snug but not overly stretched. Then bend the knees and squat only slightly, still keeping the feet on its shoulder-apart width. Facing the body forward and distributing the weight evenly on both feet, shift the body sidewards and step the leg in and out. Do eight to ten repetitions per set, while ensuring that the back remains straight.
One useful exercise to strengthen the leg and knee areas is foam rolling glutes. Sitting on a foam roller, put your hands behind you, bend your knees, and place the feet flat on the floor. Place the right ankle on your left knee. Then move towards your right glute gradually by leaning the left knee to the right. Roll the foam roller up and down. This exercise will loosen up tight muscles in the hip and glutes, thus stretching and preventing pains on the back and knee.
Arise Physical Therapy offers these physical therapy exercises and techniques that will ensure full rehabilitation and recovery. They have competent and qualified physical therapists that can evaluate and recommend the appropriate therapy program. You may book an appointment today to schedule an evaluation.