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Does Physical Therapy Work For Knee Pain

How Can Physical Therapy Help

Knee Pain – What Works & What Doesn’t Work | El Paso Manual Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a noninvasive way to minimize the progression of osteoarthritis, lessen the pain caused by it and improve strength and flexibility. PT for osteoarthritis is widely seen as an alternative to surgery and prescription pain killers. A physical therapist will begin by assessing the extent of the joint inflammation, how it impacts your body mechanics and how to strengthen and or stretch the muscles surrounding and supporting the joint. This assessment will be used to create an individualized treatment plan aimed at reducing pain and inflammation and maximizing pain free movement.

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Can This Injury Or Condition Be Prevented

Knee pain may result from an injury or trauma that is out of your control. Health conditions, such as knock knees or bow legs , also can cause knee pain.

However, healthy individuals can help prevent knee pain by maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes:

  • Taking part in regular, safe physical activity.
  • Getting adequate rest.
  • Eating healthy foods.

Weight management also is vital for maintaining healthy knee function. Excess body weight puts extra pressure on all joints, including your knees. Ideally, people of all ages should perform regular exercises to maintain flexibility, strength, balance, and endurance. A physical therapist can design an effective exercise program to match your specific condition and goals.

It also is important for athletes to perform appropriate warmup exercises before beginning any physical activity, and to stretch regularly. Physical therapists can guide athletes to safely achieve and maintain their highest performance levels.

CAUTION: If any exercise or activity causes you knee pain, contact a doctor or physical therapist before your symptoms worsen.

Find Relief For Your Hip And Knee Pain With Physical Therapy

HomeFind Relief for Your Hip and Knee Pain with Physical Therapy

Your hips and knees provide complex movements for the body by incorporating multiple joints, muscles, and tendons. When there is damage to any of those joints, muscles, or tendons, it can make moving the hips or knees increasingly difficult.

Luckily, with the help of physical therapy, you can find relief for your hip and knee pain, in addition to decreasing your chances of sustaining further injury in the future. For more information on how our services can benefit you, schedule a consultation today!

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Can Knee Pain Be Prevented

Yes! In most cases, knee pain can be prevented. Ideally, everyone should regularly get 3 types of exercise to prevent injury to all parts of the body, including the knees:

  • Range-of-motion exercises to help maintain normal joint movement and relieve stiffness.
  • Strengthening exercises to keep or increase muscle strength.
  • Aerobic or endurance exercises to improve function of the heart and circulation and to help control weight. Weight control can be important to people who have arthritis because extra weight puts pressure on many joints, including the knee.
  • Keep up-to-date on how to treat knee pain new research is always being released, and with every study we learn more about prevention and treatment.

To keep knee pain and other musculoskeletal pain at bay, its important to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle, exercise, get adequate rest, and eat healthy foods. Its also important for runners and other athletes to perform physical therapist-approved stretching and warm-up exercises on a daily basisespecially before beginning physical activity.

Physical Therapy Treatment For Knee Pain

Lasting Relief for Hip &  Knee Pain with Physical Therapy

At Global Health Physiotherapy Clinic we have successfully treated hundreds of patients presenting with knee pain. The knee is composed of 4 articulating bones , ligaments, tendons, bursa , and meniscus . When something goes wrong with the function of any components in your knee joint, the result can be quite painful. Physical therapy treatment is highly effective in reversing pain, inflammation and speeding the recovery of your knee from a number of potential ailments.

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How Can I Naturally Lubricate My Knees

Have you ever noticed when it is cold outside that your knees tend to achy more? The cold weather will reduce circulation and the flow of synovial fluid around the joint. Synovial fluid is like WD-40. It helps to keep the joints lubricated and gliding smoothly.

When you have been sitting for a while, or when the temperature drops, youre prone to notice your knees aching a bit more. When this happens you can simply bend and straighten your knee 5-10 times to help spread the synovial fluid and this will help the knee ache less.

Why Do You Need Physical Therapy

People require physical therapy to strengthen the muscles in their body, allowing them to move freely. One of the most important reasons why people acquire physical therapy is to curb knee pain. The knee, which is more like a hinge joint, comprises of the shin, thigh and the kneecap, which is located right in front of the knee. The knee gets its support from four ligaments and two shock absorbers known as the meniscus.

When your knee experiences continuous trauma through strain and injury, then youre most likely to suffer from knee pain. Sometimes the pain might just occur out of the blue for no particular reason. When you experience pain in your knee, youre limited in carrying out certain tasks and find it difficult in engaging in simple physical activity such as sitting, walking, or climbing up and down the stairs. When things get this difficult, you need to stop doing what you are doing and undergo physical therapy, as that is the best way to get relief from knee pain and get back on your feet.

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Surgery Or Osteoarthritis Physical Therapy

If we dig deeper, a better question to consider might be, Do I need to change the structure of my knee in order to resume the activities I enjoy? There are several studies to suggest that abnormal findings on X-rays and MRIs can be common, even in persons without knee pain. In fact, a 2020 study2 of a population with a median age of 44 and no knee pain found that an astounding 97% of knees had abnormalities on MRI. In addition, when comparing physical therapy management to surgical intervention, there are many cases with similar outcomes.

Now, this is not to say that everyone with knee pain should get physical therapy instead of surgery. Sometimes, surgery is exactly whats needed to improve your overall quality of life. However, including a physical therapist on your health care team before and after surgery is beneficial, even without changing the structural abnormalities that are often presumed to be the problem.

Maintain Or Increase Joint Range Of Motion

Physical Therapy for Knee Pain Relief – Ask Doctor Jo

Osteoarthritis can make a joint stiff. Physical therapy can improve your ability to bend and straighten a joint. Even incremental improvements in a joints range of motion can make a significant difference in joint function. For example, getting an arthritic knee to bend just 10 more may allow you to comfortably get in and out of low chairs.

See Exercising with Arthritis

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What Happens During Physical Therapy For Knee Pain

Before starting with the main part of physical therapy that involves all the exercises and movement to relieve muscle tightness and pain, you will first begin with the evaluation process. Once you are able to find a professional licensed physical therapist, he/she will examine you and try to come up with the best treatment plan.

Your therapist will discuss different types of ways you can receive treatment. When examining your knee, the therapist will lightly move it to see if you are able to balance, stand on one leg, and the weakness in your knees. Mentioned below are the different types of ways your physical therapist will examine your knee:

Still Got Knee Pain After Physical Therapy

What do you do with knee pain after going to see your physical therapist? Do you give up? Do you settle for what you got?

Heres a question that came in through last night through the Knee Pain Guru Facebook page on that very subject.


Hi there. Just got done with a month and a half of physical therapy for my knee. The Therapist helped my knee feel better but Im still getting pain and discomfort whenever I bike or use the elliptical. I dont even try to run anymore because of the pain. The xray come back normal other than the knee cap being slightly out of place. which was worked on during therapy. I was also diagnosed to having a fatigued popliteus and had to continually get the knot worked out of it. I definbately feel better but not nearly as good as i had hoped. Do you have any suggestions on what i could further do?


This is the exact place many people end up after finishing physical therapy

Look, physical therapy is great for what they are good at

Which is getting the legs strong againso kudos to them for this

However in order to get the knees and body feeling smooth, fluid and normal again.

We must look deeper into the body to the very nervous system to relieve the tension patterns the body took on to protect the knee from the initial injury.

The process is simple

Create comfort in your knee and the nervous system will do all the heavy lifting for you.

In Corbys case

How to proceed?

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Types Of Knee Injuries

There are two categories that a knee injury can fall into: 1) acute/traumatic and 2) chronic/repetitive stress. Acute injuries are when the incidents occur immediately, like a fall, car accident, landing in a strange way, twisting/pivoting quickly, etc. Many sports injuries, especially sprains and strains, fall under this category.

Chronic injuries are caused by repetitive stress over a long period time. Poor posture and/or body mechanics can play a major role in chronic conditions. Physical therapy can be very beneficial in correcting these issues.


Knee pain can be caused by degenerative changes in osteoarthritis. Arthritis is when the cartilage cushioning the bones wear down leading to swelling, stiffness, and pain.

Unfortunately, in the cases of the knee pain due to severe osteoarthritis, Physical therapy intervention is limited and one should consult with an orthopedic doctor to assess whether a total knee replacement is appropriate.

Knee pain is more commonly seen in people who do not yet have visible arthritic changes on radiographic examination. Those people are engaged in various physical activities while struggling with the knee pain during and after the activity.

Anterior Knee Pain aka Runners Knee

Patellar Tendonitis aka Jumpers Knee

So You Might Be Wondering: If I Have Arthritis And Degenerative Changes In My Knee How Can Pt Help

Knee Pain

The answer to this is relatively simple. If we can prescribe a home exercise program designed to improve mobility of your knee and to strengthen all of the structures around it this will begin to reduce the stress and inflammation around your knee eventually reducing your complaints.

These exercises need to be specific to your conditions and designed to work on your specific impairments all while not adding extra stress to the areas with wear and tear. If you begin doing steps, squats, and lunges these could potentially only make things worse. We will usually start initially with non-weight-bearing exercises that will allow you to strengthen your leg without the added compression and irritation through the joint.

A few examples of basic exercises we might start with would include:

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Physical Therapy For Knee Osteoarthritis

Posted on 10/25/2021

Did you know that knee osteoarthritis affects nearly 14 million adults in the United States1 per year? Or that meniscus tears are present in 60-90%1 of those with knee osteoarthritis? With symptoms ranging from knee pain, swelling, stiffness and limited range of motion, medication, injections, surgery and physical therapy are all commonly prescribed to manage knee pain. Medication and injections, however, may simply serve to mask your pain. Surgery can be costly and taxing on your body. Physical therapy, on the other hand, emphasizes a more holistic approach to the body with emphasis on education, pain management and strength and conditioning.

At first glance, it can be frustrating when you are referred to physical therapy for management of knee pain related to structural issues like osteoarthritis or a knee joint tear. Is the physical therapist going to magically reverse your arthritis or heal your meniscus? Shouldnt you address the structural problem head-on instead of just strengthening around it?

Not necessarily.

How Can Physical Therapy Help With Knee Pain

If your doctor recommends physical therapy, your therapist will examine your strength and range of motion, check your balance and functional abilities , ask you your goals, and then come up with a personalized treatment plan to relieve your knee pain and restore your mobility.

Physical therapy treatments for knee pain may include:

  • stretching
  • gait training
  • joint mobilization/stabilization

Heat, ice, ultrasound, electrical stimulation or athletic taping may be part of your physical therapy program as well. Your physical therapist can also provide advice on the use of braces, orthotics and assistive devices. Your physical therapist will also work with you to create a comprehensive home exercise program that will help you maintain your quality of life beyond your therapy sessions.

Also Check: Inversion Table Knees

How To Ensure Proper Physical Therapyfor Knee Pain

If you require immediate physical therapy, then you must first know where exactly your knee hurts. Physical therapy involves focusing on a particular part of the knee so that it gains enough attention and relaxation. You have to be able to determine where in the knee structure youre experiencing pain, and that if it requires treatment. Mentioned below are the different locations you might experience knee pain, and the symptoms that come with it:

Strengthening Exercises And Other Osteoarthritis Treatments

Why does knee pain get better faster at One80 Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy can be your first line of defense for managing knee OA symptoms.

Having knee osteoarthritis can sometimes seem like a double-edge sword. Overusing your knees can worsen your joint health and knee OA, but the less you move your knees, the weaker they can get. You need to find that balance of keeping your knee joints moving just enough so they’re strong and healthy, and physical therapy helps you do that.

With knee OA, the muscles surrounding the knee can become weak, and the knee joints can become stiff. This makes it difficult to do everyday tasks, such as walking or getting out of bed.

Physical therapy can help to reduce the pain, swelling, and stiffness of knee osteoarthritis, and it can help improve knee joint function. It can also make it easier for you to walk, bend, kneel, squat, and sit. In fact, a 2000 study found that a combination of manual physical therapy and supervised exercise has functional benefits for patients with knee osteoarthritis and may delay or prevent the need for surgery.¹

Common Passive Treatments for Knee Osteoarthritis

Common Active Treatments for Knee Osteoarthritis

Both strengthening and flexibility exercises are important to do because they can help take strain off the knee. Learn more about exercise for knee osteoarthritis in our article about exercising to manage knee osteoarthritis.


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Stop Living In Paincontact Us Today

Your physical therapist can conduct a thorough examination of your body, pinpoint the areas in your hips and knees where youre struggling with pain, and create a customized program to treat your particular condition.

Find out today how physical therapy can reduce or even eliminate your knee or hip pain. You deserve to get back to the activities you love without feeling as if your hips and knees will limit you. You can find relief with one of our highly experienced physical therapists, so what are you waiting for? Contact our office to schedule your one-on-one evaluation today, and get back on the road to recovery.

Ready To Try Physical Therapy For Your Knee Arthritis Armor Physical Therapy Can Help

At Armor Physical Therapy, our team has helped many patients deal with osteoarthritis in many joints, including the knee. We offer complimentary screenings that can reveal exactly how arthritis is affecting your knee. Additionally, our physical therapists are adept at creating individualized therapy plans designed to reduce arthritis symptoms like pain and stiffness.

Cant come into one of our therapy clinics for help? No problem! Our team offers therapy services you can use right from home, such as at-home care and virtual therapy sessions. We can even help treat your arthritis if you dont have a doctors referral.

Contact us today for more information about our arthritis treatment services or to schedule your initial appointment.

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What Exercises To Avoid When You Have Hurt/ Bad Knees

There are certain exercises that will place more stress on your knees. Now the knee joint is quite a complicated joint. You have the femur and tibia, and you also have the kneecap in the front. Different exercises will add stress to either one of these areas of the knee.

For instance- the kneecap will have a lot of pressure on the joint when you are doing a knee extension machine at the gym, but this exercise is typically fine for the rest of the knee joint.

If you have osteo-arthritis of the knee joint – then you will want to avoid deep squatting, lunging, and jumping type exercises. These exercises are not necessarily bad, but they will add stress to your knee joint, especially if performed incorrectly. Here is a great reference article to check out if you would like to explore incorporating some of these exercises correctly into your recovery plan

Does your knee pop or click during exercise, or even daily activities? Not sure if you should be concerned or not? Then be sure to read our other knee blog: Should I be Worried My Knee Pops or Clicks


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