Can Physical Therapy Help Knee Pain?
Physical therapy is a form of rehabilitative health that has numerous benefits, including improving mobility and balance, preventing injury, and reducing pain. Physical therapy can also treat a variety of injuries and conditions, including knee pain. So how can physical therapy reduce knee pain and prevent future issues from occurring?
Causes of Knee Pain
To properly treat knee pain, a physical therapist first must determine the underlying cause of the discomfort. An ACL injury, a torn meniscus, a bone fracture, or a dislocation of the kneecap are all types of knee injuries that can create pain. These injuries are typically caused by a sudden blow that forces the knee beyond its usual range of motion. Knee pain can also be caused by other medical conditions such as bursitis, osteoarthritis, and patellar tendinitis. These conditions usually occur as a result of repetitive strain, overuse, or wear and tear.
A physical therapist can take several steps to evaluate the nature of your pain. They might ask you about your medical history and symptoms, including questions about your knee, the specific type of pain you’re experiencing, or when the pain occurs. A physical therapist can also perform tests to evaluate the range of motion of the knee, knee tenderness, and how you perform certain physical movements, such as climbing stairs. If you’re experiencing knee pain and are looking for physical therapy, the team at MOTION can help. Our staff can perform a comprehensive evaluation and help develop a personalized treatment plan.
How a Physical Therapist Can Treat Knee Pain
After determining the cause of your knee pain, a physical therapist can develop a treatment plan customized to your goals and your current health status. Some common components of a successful treatment plan can include:
Electrical Stimulation: Physical therapists can use Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) to reduce pain. This involves placing sticky electrodes on specific parts of the leg to simulate muscles that support the knee. This electrical nerve stimulation can also cause your body to release endorphins, which act as natural painkillers. These electrical impulses can be delivered at higher (more intense) or lower (less intense) frequencies, depending on the patient and their preferences.
Ice and Heat: Physical therapists will often use ice, heat, or a combination of both to manage pain. Ice reduces inflammation and numbs pain, while heat increases blood circulation and relaxes tight muscles.
Several MOTION clinics provide two other forms of treatment that most other physical therapists do not possess in their repertoire. These are:
Aquatic Therapy: MOTION offers aquatic therapy in a Hydroworx therapy pool. Aquatic therapy allows patients to exercise in water, which improves flexibility without putting extra stress on the body. The buoyancy of the water also helps to increase circulation and boosts movement skills. Aquatic therapy is particularly effective in treating arthritis and chronic pain conditions.
Gravity Eliminated Treadmill: An Alter-G treadmill can make you feel lighter and provide opportunities for patients to run and exercise pain-free. This also gives physical therapists and patients control over how intense they want the workout to be and allows patients to gradually increase their workload. The Alter-G treadmill is employed by numerous professional sports teams as well as United States Olympic training centers and is part of MOTION’s sports medicine services.
If you’re suffering from knee pain and think you can benefit from physical therapy, contact MOTION for physical therapy today.