Physical Therapy For Knees: Ways To Deal With Your Knee Pain

Knee pain is common in people for a number of reasons such as arthritis, autoimmune disorders, injuries or any type of trauma. It limits a person’s activities and causes them difficulties when they are sitting, walking or climbing stairs. Knee physiotherapy is very important for understanding the cause of the pain, the type of pain and its correct treatment. In addition, the location of the pain allows analyzing which part of the knees has problems and to provide means for appropriate treatment.

Knees help ensure leg stability and mobility. But if you look closer, several other muscles help in its function such as the hips and ankle joints. Therefore, if a problem occurs in one of these muscles, the stability of the knees is affected. Thus, in addition to knee therapy, chain muscle therapies such as hips and ankles are also essential to maintain strength, stability and balance of the body as a whole.

Types Of Knee Pain

Understanding the type of knee pain is important because it helps to properly diagnose the condition and get the right treatment. The types of knee pain are:

  • Acute pain: Lasts for around 1-7 days after injury.
  • Sub-acute pain: Lasts for 2-6 weeks after injury.
  • Chronic knee pain: Lasts for greater than 8-12 weeks

How Physical Therapy For Knees Are Carried Out

Physical therapy for knee pain is performed by an expert called a physiotherapist who first checks the patient’s history and condition and then proceeds with the appropriate treatment. The process includes:

  • Palpation: It involves analyzing the area of the knee with your hands to detect any abnormalities in its structures and to find the exact area of pain.
  • Approach Analysis: It involves assessing human movements during walking and any other changes in the knee area.
  • Balance Assessment: Check for impaired movement, balance problems and the type of stress that causes knee pain.
  • Range of motion: To check the flexibility of the knees by bending or straightening them.
  • Swelling tests: To determine any type of swelling or knee injury responsible for the pain.

Physical Therapy Exercises For Knee Pain

Exercises are the main tool for treating knee pain, whatever its nature. The common exercises to treat this condition are as follows:

1. Leg Lifts or Leg Raise

It is made to strengthen the muscles of the stomach and the front of the thigh to avoid knee pain due to these muscles.

How to do:

  • Lie down with a flat back.
  • Fold the right leg by bringing the foot back to the body.
  • Keep your left leg outstretched on the floor.
  • Keep your right hand on the floor and close to the body.
  • Slowly lift the left leg with your toes towards the ceiling. Do not bend your knees and remember to take your legs above the knee level of your right leg.
  • Hold this position for 5 seconds.
  • Slowly bring your left leg to the ground.
  • Repeat the process at least 5 times, then change sides.

2. Squats

It is made to strengthen the quadriceps and gluteal muscles (the three muscles of the buttocks).

How to do:

  • Stand with your back facing the wall.
  • Step forward with both feet about 24 inches from the wall.
  • Make sure the shoulders and back are always in contact with the wall and that the legs do not touch each other.
  • Slowly bend your knees and hips as if in a normal sitting position.
  • Hold this position for about five seconds, then return to normal.
  • Repeat the process 10 times.

3. Hamstring stretch (Lying)

This exercise helps treat knee pain caused by weakness in the hamstring (the back part of the upper legs).

How to do:

  • Lie down with a flat back, keeping your legs straight.
  • Slowly lift the left leg, place your hands behind the thigh, bend the knee towards the chest, then move it up and in a straight line until you feel the stretch.
  • Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Slowly bend the leg and put it back on the floor.
  • Do the same with another leg.
  • Repeat about ten times.

4. Chair dips

This exercise strengthens the quadriceps (front of the thigh), the hamstrings (back of the leg), the hip flexors and the gluteal muscles (three gluteal muscles).

How to do:

  • Use stable chairs or exercise near the bed. Stand with your back to the bed or chair.
  • Bend both knees to balance, hands holding the chair backwards.
  • Slowly bring one leg in front of you as a kick and hold the position for 5 seconds while you balance the body with the other leg.
  • Stand up straight, then repeat the process with the other leg.
  • Repeat about ten times.

5. Toe touching

This exercise helps to treat knee pain caused by stretching the muscles in the back of the legs.

 How to do:

  • Bring both feet closer to each other, learn from the hips, bringing your arms to the toes and touch them. Avoid bending your legs during exercise.
  • Hold for about 30 seconds.
  • Avoid bending over abruptly. At first, you may not be able to touch your toes, but try to learn slowly as much as possible.
  • Repeat the process 10 times.

Final note: Knee pain is a major health problem in the elderly. People with knee pain may experience problems with their daily activities, such as walking, climbing stairs or sitting. Physiotherapy is the best way to treat your knee pain and make your knee joint strong and mobile.