Well, most of us, at one point or another in our lives pay a visit to the physical therapist to help relieve knee pain. So, to put it simply, physical therapy (PT) does help with knee pain as recorded in recent studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research indicates that PT and exercise are effective pain relief mediums for chronic knee pain, quite like surgery.
The knee is a crucial joint in our body, responsible for important activities such as walking, climbing and rising from a seated position. Knee pain in varying intensities can limit one or most of these bodily functions. By going in for physiotherapy for knee pain you can avoid the joint from becoming immobile and remain strong, thereby reducing damage. Physical therapists are well-trained professionals who can reduce the risk for a myriad of injuries, chronic conditions and diseases that can be caused by the knee pain. More importantly, PT can improve the quality of daily life by decreasing the pain and assisting with better mobility.
How to get started with PT?
Usually, a physician provides a prescription for PT and may recommend a list of physical therapists for you to choose from. Depending on your convenience and health insurance plan, you can pick the PT centre that would best suit your needs.
What does the first session entail?
For first-timers, physical therapy could be a daunting experience due to the several questions looming in the mind about what exactly it would involve. The initial session includes a detailed diagnosis that the therapist would make on the basis of:
• The symptoms
• Your medical history
• Thorough physical examination that includes Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and an X-ray
• Locus of discomfort and tenderness
• Limits of motion
• Muscle weakness
• Point in loss of balance
Some of the common assessments for knee pain could include a walk test, single-limb hop test, and a timed up-and-go test.
What comes next?
Once your physical therapist has completed the focused examination, a customized rehabilitation program will be developed to treat the knee pain. If pre-existing knee problems have been identified, a series of strengthening exercises could be the way to go to reduce the risk of further injury. As a rule of thumb, it is advisable to pick gentle exercises such as aquatic exercise, swimming or walking rather than high impact activities such as aerobics or jogging. Your physical therapist would be the ideal support system in helping you choose the exercises that could benefit knee health. Remember that your physical therapist has the relevant experience and educational background to evaluate your progress and refer further health care if needed.
Depending on factors such as your age, severity of the knee pain and your lifestyle, your PT plan will include select treatments such as:
• Balance training
• Joint mobilization
• Gait training
• Ice and/or heat
• Electrical stimulation
• Usage of orthotics, braces and other assistive devices
Again, your physical therapist would be the right person to suggest the best plan of action to relieve your knee pain. You might also be advised to go in for physiotherapy at home, in addition to the comprehensive exercise regime you will have to follow.
Physical therapy can help improve functional mobility, balance and strength, which is the main goal if you are suffering from knee pain. Depending on your medical history and extent of pain, PT can be quite an effective non-surgical medium for treatment. Studies have showcased that PT, in most cases, has also helped prevent surgical intervention. However, if the knee pain requires surgical options, PT will continue to be an essential part of the path to recovery and make to fit healthy.