The knee is considered as one of the key joints in the body. It joins together various body parts: femur or the thigh bone, the tibia or shin bone, the fibula, and the patella or kneecap. The tendons connect the bones and the muscles enabling movement, while the ligaments attach the bones together ensuring stability.
As sophisticated as the knee is and being one of the most used body joints, it is susceptible to injuries, thus resulting in pain. The natural wear-and-tear that comes with aging and the daily stresses experienced by the knee bring about several types of injuries.
Athletes, whose sports involve quick movements or high-impact actions, commonly suffer problems and injuries such as ACL, knee tears and dislocations. Elderly people also suffer from knee pain due to conditions such as osteoporosis or gout. People who are overweight or obese also experience knee pain due the load of the body’s weight.
One of the most common knee injuries is tendonitis or tendinitis. It is when the tendon, which attaches together the bone and the muscle, becomes inflamed or irritated. It is usually caused by repeated impact or stress induced on the knee. Activities that can cause knee tendinitis include cleaning the house, carpentry, gardening, shoveling, painting, and sports such as golf, tennis, and skiing.
Adopting an incorrect posture or lack of warm-up prior to an exercise or sport can contribute to tendinitis. Similarly, not exercising the knees enough and then taking on work or sports that will repeatedly move and bend them can cause tendinitis.
Tendinitis commonly affects people that are over 40, as the tendons become weaker and less elastic as they age. Tendinitis causes pain at the location of the tendon, including the surrounding areas. The pain may happen gradually or be severe at the onset and can also limit motion or movement.
Treatment for tendinitis may involve resting the knee, applying ice on the area, and avoiding extraneous activities. Taking oral non-steroidal prescription medicines and getting steroid injections can help manage the pain.
Undergoing physical therapy, to address the issues or as a post-surgery treatment, will be beneficial in resolving the source of pain and preventing further problems or injuries. Manual therapy can be done for knee tendinitis, where pain is modulated, the range of motion is increased, and soft tissue inflammation is reduced. This specific therapy can also improve the tissues’ rehabilitation and stability, as well as facilitating better movement.
Doing movement exercises is a technique that can help to stimulate motion and achieve ease especially when bending the knee, while walking, or when getting to stand from a sitting position. In movement, the knee is strengthened and conditioned for a better performance, thus preventing injury.
One such exercise is doing a repetitive single leg step up and down a one-step platform. This physical therapy exercise repeats the knee’s normal movement at low speed levels, while simulating the joint glide motions, thus improving the mechanism and increasing extensibility.
Also, doing a lateral band walk, while using a resistance band, will help increase the knee joint’s stability. This strengthens the glutes area, specifically the gluteus medius, which helps in lessening the stress on the knee. Lateral band walking also encourages correct knee movement, as against an incorrect one which results in the knee caving in or out.
Arise Physical Therapy offers these manual physical therapy techniques that can help address and prevent debilitating knee problems and injuries. You may send them a message today for an evaluation or to book an appointment.