Physiotherapy Exercises for Knee Pain
Looking for physiotherapy exercises for knee pain?
Perfect! You’ve come to the right place, but first, an introduction.
You’ve heard that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile, but how many muscles do you need to injure to experience agonizing knee pain?
That’s a trick question.
The knee area contains bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons as well as muscles; if just one thing goes wrong, your stable support, your ability to bend and straighten, climb, jump, turn, run and walk, goes wrong too.
So, what causes knee pain in the first place?
Different Kinds of Knee Problems Can Cause Knee Pain
Unlike other common types of pain such as pain in the lower back, knee pain doesn’t discriminate by age or gender; a male teenager is just as likely to have it as a post-menopausal woman. Knee pain can be caused by injury, such as a fall, direct blow, or making the wrong sudden movement (like twisting while landing on a stair). Alternatively, knee pain can also be caused by arthritis or wear-and-tear injuries to the various parts of the knee. Obviously, in the latter case, prevention plays an even more important part in avoiding knee injuries; while people certainly can’t avoid contracting inflammatory knee diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, we can all go the extra mile to strengthen our leg muscles, warm up before exercising regularly, wear good shoes, and keep the extra weight off so as not to put too much pressure on the knees.
While a doctor can and should diagnose lingering knee problems with a physical exam and the use of diagnostic tests such as X-rays or biopsies, there are things you can do at home to mitigate and prevent knee pain.
Knee Pain Treatments
If you already have a diagnosis of osteoarthritis, you can use NSAIDs, gel rubs and aspirin to provide temporary pain relief, but unfortunately the pain will continue to flare up. Better long term solutions involve exercises to improve strength and range of motion, as well as keeping body weight under control. Only the most severe cases of arthritis indicate a knee replacement/reconstruction surgery.
For other types of knee problems, such as a tear to the meniscus or other cartilage disorder, exercise is again indicated. The same is true for torn ligaments: once all the icing and bracing is done, it comes back to exercise to strengthen the muscles. Even in the case of tendinitis, which is one kind of knee injury that requires more RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) than other knee injuries, while high impact sports like hockey and football should be limited, exercise should not be.
Physiotherapy Exercises for Knee Pain
Whether your knee pain is being caused by a soft tissue injury like a sprain or strain, or even by fallout from back pain, a Toronto physiotherapist at Integra Health Centre can help get you moving again with proven knee mobilization techniques, proper taping, rehabilitative treatments, and of course, a regimen of knee stretching and strengthening exercises to practice at home. In the meantime, to strengthen your knees, begin these simple exercises at your desk:
– Leg extended in front of you, tighten your quadriceps (the muscle at the front of your thigh), hold for 5 seconds, relax and repeat 10 x.
-Lying on your back with your knee relaxed and a rolled up towel under the knee, slowly extend your leg and flex your foot, tightening the quadriceps muscle as hard as you can without feeling pain.
-Sitting in a straight backed chair with knees bent, slowly press your heel into the floor, tightening the hamstrings (back of the thigh) as you do. Hold for five seconds and repeat 10 times.
Then come see us at Integra so you can resume your normal daily routine and recreational activities as soon as possible!