HOW CAN PHYSICAL THERAPY HELP YOU?
Our licensed physical therapists at Agility Physical Therapy will examine your knee for signs of misalignment or structural damage, in addition to examining your stance, posture, gait, and range of motion. After your physical exam is complete, your physical therapist will prescribe a physical therapy plan for you, aimed at relieving unnatural stresses and strains, and normalizing your joint function. Treatment plans for knee pain typically include: • Activity modification and manual therapy to allow for appropriate off loading and healing. This may include joint/ soft tissue mobilization, custom foot orthotics, over-the-counter bracing, or kinesio taping in the short term, in order to reduce symptoms and open a window to symptom-limited exercise. • Graded strength, dynamic stability, and capacity training targeting the quads, glutes, hamstrings, foot/ankle complex, and core. Strength training of the quads and glutes has been shown to be highly effective with regard to reduction of pain, and it mitigates the risk of recurrence/ flare ups in the future. • Restoring range of motion in the knee. A knee with poor range of motion that is constantly flexed can cause persistent painful symptoms. Restoring range of motion will help it bend easier and ease stress on the knee, thus relieving pain. • Graded exposure to previously painful activities, as gains in strength, tolerance, and capacity allow. • Educa t i on r ega r d i ng ac t i v i t y modification and the role of the nervous system in pain.
What can I do on my own to keep my knees healthy? While physical therapy is the most effective form of treatment if you are currently experiencing knee pain, there are some precautions you can take to lower your risk of developing unwanted knee pain and injuries altogether: 1. Stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, and adductor muscles each day. By keeping these muscles flexible, the forces on your knee joints stay balanced, which allows you to bend and rotate the knee. 2. Keep the muscles around your hips and knees strong, especially the gluteal and quadricep muscles. Studies show that adults (especially those 55 or older) who have stronger gluteal and quadricep muscles tend to have less back pain and a greater ability to perform daily activities. 3. Exercise regularly. While this is good for the whole body, the knees especially need exercise to keep their cartilage healthy. The cartilage does not have much blood supply and requires its nutrition from joint fluid. Most of the joint fluid absorbs into the cartilage only through movement and compression of the knee. Therefore, it is important to do weight bearing exercises, such as walking, running, or playing a sport. However, if you have arthritis, it is advised that you do activities with less of an impact, such as biking, elliptical machines, or aquatic exercises. Are you living with knee pain? If so, don’t hesitate to contact Agility Physical Therapy today. We’ll help relieve your pain so you can get back to living your life comfortably, without limitations!
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