One the most increasingly common health problems in our society is knee pain. As a result of this issue, physical therapists are seeing more and more patients with knee issues.
For the most part, people typically complain of symptoms related to osteoarthritis or just ordinary wear and tear to the knee. Even though osteoarthritis cannot be cured through physical therapy efforts, PT can help reduce the symptoms. It can also help slow down the progression of the problem. This is a treatment approach that really does work.
Not only that, but physical therapy efforts are also very effective for many forms of knee problems and injuries, and not just wear and tear and osteoarthritis.
What Are Some of the Common Problems That People Experience Due to Knee Pain?
- The pain limits your day-to-day activities.
- The pain limits your ability to participate in sports and outdoor activities.
- Long-term need for harmful painkillers to help alleviate the pain and suffering caused by knee problems.
- Having to constantly rest without actually experiencing any long-term improvement to your overall health.
- Learning that you have arthritis of the knee and feeling that there is nothing you can do to ease the symptoms.
We are just barely scratching the surface of some of the main complaints that people often experience and have to live with when suffering from this type of pain. But there are treatments available and physical therapists can help.
What Happens during the Initial Physical Therapy Examination?
The initial examination starts off basically the same as it would with any type of doctor. The physical therapist is going to ask about your previous medical history and injuries. The therapist will perform tests to locate the cause of the problem and evaluate it for treatment. He or she will thoroughly evaluate the problem in order to find out if the pain is stemming directly from the knee joint, or if it’s coming from the lower back, hip, foot, ankle or pelvis. Every one of these areas can affect recommendations for treatment in one way or another.
You may actually have a problem with your foot, hip, ankle, back or pelvis and not even know it and only find out because of the pain you are experiencing in your knee. This can be discovered during your evaluation.
Ultimately, the examination will discover the cause of the problem. Then the physical therapist will be able to implement an effective treatment to eliminate the symptoms and help bring normal motion and alignment back to the knee.
How Will the Physical Therapist Treat Knee Pain?
Typically, the physical therapist will recommend a specific form of treatment. Here’s how the process often works…
- They will begin by working on reducing joint inflammation in order to reduce pain. At this stage of the game, it’s all about applying ice in order to reduce inflation, using support and sports tape, reducing muscle spasms, plus soft tissue healing measures like interferential therapy, ultrasound and laser therapy.
- Now it’s time to normalize joint function. Physical therapy manipulation and mobilization techniques will be applied to the affected areas. The PT will increase movement in the knee as well as the surrounding joints. This will help to increase overall movement and function while reducing pain.
- Exercise and rehabilitation are the final stage. Exercise is needed to improve endurance, strength and stability in the knee. This is only going to begin once it’s appropriate.
For help with severe, mild or moderate knee pain, contact a qualified physical therapist to learn about all of your treatment options.