My Knees Always Hurt: Can Physical Therapy Help?

My Knees Always Hurt: Can Physical Therapy Help?

Knee pain is a common ailment among people of all ages. Injuries and chronic problems can lead to knee pain, which may be debilitating in severe cases. Some treatments provide short-term relief, but not all work, like physical therapy.

Physical therapy is an excellent option for most types of knee pain. It allows you to build strength, flexibility, and range of motion after an injury or when you have osteoarthritis and other chronic joint problems.

If you're ready to take the next step in knee pain treatment, the team at Orthopaedic Specialists has the experience and tools to help. Dr. Brandon Downs is our orthopaedic surgeon, offering physical therapy, joint injections, and other cutting-edge treatments for chronic or acute knee pain.

Why do my knees hurt?

Knee pain is a common problem affecting kids, teens, young adults, and older adults – though often for different reasons. Knee pain in younger adults and kids is usually due to an injury. In comparison, older adults may have knee pain for various reasons.

Osteoarthritis is prevalent among older adults. It occurs when the protective cartilage that lines the joint wears away. As the cartilage dissipates, the bones rub together, causing inflammation and pain.

Anyone can sustain an injury to their knees, including young athletes and older adults who fall or have an accident. Some common injuries that affect the knees include:

Arthritis is the most common form of knee pain in older adults. It may come from wear over time or a previous injury you sustained. There are varying forms of arthritis, all of which affect the joint and lead to pain and inflammation.

Many treatments for knee pain exist, including medications, joint injections, and surgery. However, physical therapy is often the first line of treatment because it has lasting results.

The facts on physical therapy

Physical therapy is a conservative treatment allowing Dr. Downs and a physical therapist to build a specialized plan for your knee problem. They work together to devise rehabilitative exercises and other ways to reduce pain, increase mobility, and improve range of motion.

The best thing about physical therapy is that it's personalized to your needs. The physical therapist takes the first appointment to evaluate your knees, discuss the symptoms you're experiencing, and develop a treatment plan.

During a typical physical therapy session, the physical therapist evaluates your progress and may begin the appointment with gentle stretching and range-of-motion exercises to get the blood flowing.

When you're warmed up, they give you specific exercises that target the bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the knee joint and those that support the legs. You perform these exercises slowly and carefully to build up strength over time.

After the exercise portion of the appointment, they often use heat, ice, or TENS therapy to relieve any inflammation or discomfort from the session. Physical therapy usually lasts months to address the joint problem and provide long-term relief.

Exercises that help painful knees

Physical therapy exercises target the supporting muscles, ligaments, and tendons around the knee joint. They allow you to rebuild strength around the joint, removing some of the load on the knees.

Our team utilizes various exercises to improve pain in the knees and enhance functionality, including:

We also provide balancing exercises and various stretches so you get the most out of every appointment. The key to these exercises is taking time and going at your own pace.

If you go too fast, you're more likely to suffer from an injury. Being sore after a physical therapy appointment is normal, but you shouldn't feel extreme pain or discomfort while exercising.

Call Orthopaedic Specialists today or request an appointment using the convenient online booking tool to learn if physical therapy is an option for knee pain.

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