Physical Therapy can help your knee pain
Let’s face it- our knees are essential to help us get around. Knee pain is a very common ailment, especially as we age or if we tend to do a lot of physical activity. Roughly 40 % of all Americans complain about chronic knee pain at one point in their life or another! That doesn't even account for knee pain that is the result of injuries. To make sure that you're keeping your knees healthy and pain free as you walk, run, skip, jump, and even bend down and up, physical therapy is a great and essential tool that you can utilize to make sure you always are the bee’s knees.
Can physical therapy help my knee pain?
According to the American Physical Therapy Association, physical therapists “help people live active and healthy lives” with “exercise, hands-on care, and patient education.” The physical therapists at BC + PT specialize in helping our patients with osteoarthritis, sports injuries, and automobile and work accidents alongside many other injuries or conditions. During your first visit, your physical therapist will evaluate your gait, range of motion, and knee strength to develop a personalized plan for you. Our physical therapists work with many different modalities, and will use a combination of active treatments and passive treatments for your specific injury.
Where does it hurt?
The location of your knee pain can help diagnose what’s causing it. Pain on the front of the knee is usually related to the kneecap or patella. You’ve likely injured your meniscus if you’re having pain on the inside of your knee. On the outside of your knee, there are several ligaments and tendons that can cause pain when they’re injured or strained. While rare, pain can occur in the back of the knee and is often caused by a hamstring strain. While it is super easy to just look online and try to diagnose your knee pain yourself, it is always a safer choice to get the opinion of a specialist who will build you your specific wellness plan and make sure you won’t cause more harm to your injury by pushing yourself too hard.
What will a physical therapist do for my knee pain?
Your physical therapist will start off your appointment by making sure they get as much information about your injury as possible, how it happened, where it happened, how much you can bend and straighten your knee before a treatment session, and so on. If your injury is still really new, using the R.I.C.E. principle (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) is usually a safe way to treat your knee pain. This can help relieve pain while the injured knee heals, but if your pain gets worse or goes on for longer than 2 weeks, then it's definitely time to check in with your Bc + PT therapist.
After your initial evaluation, the PT will guide you through different movements and exercises to help strengthen your muscles. Communication is key here - if there is any pain or discomfort, letting your physical therapist know what is going on is the best way for them and for you to make sure you are on track to heal properly. In order to get the full benefit of physical therapy, you’re often expected to do some of the exercises at home between appointments.
Becoming the bee’s knees
While knee pain is common, with around 25% of American adults experiencing knee pain significant enough to interfere with their lives, there are many tools your BC + PT physical therapist will utilize to help relieve your pain. Following the R.I.C.E. principle immediately after an injury, consulting with your doctor, and working with one of our physical therapists is a great way to start on your wellness journey. We expect a lot from our knees throughout our lives so pain is almost inevitable. But being gentle with them and allowing them to heal after an injury or when we have arthritis can help make sure any limitations you experience don’t last too long.