The knee is a large and complex joint, and because it handles and disperses stress in a variety of ways, a number of different injuries can develop in and around your knee. The good news is that a number of these common knee injuries respond well to a combination of physical therapy and other conservative care techniques. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at five common knee injuries that typically respond well to physical therapy treatment.
Common Knee Injuries Treated By Physical Therapy
Here are five common knee injuries that we work with on a regular basis because physical therapy oftentimes helps lead to the fullest recovery possible.
- Knee Instability – Knee instability, also oftentimes referred as patellar instability, involves an unstable kneecap that shifts out of the groove at the end of the thigh bone that helps to hold it in place. This can make bending and straightening your knee painful and uncomfortable. Physical therapy is considered an effective treatment because your PT will work with you to develop exercises that strengthen the muscles that help hold the kneecap in place, and we can work to gradually increase your comfortable range of motion.
- Osgood-Slatter Disease – Osgood Slatter disease typically affects teens and young adults because it is brought on by periods of excessive strain during a period of rapid bone growth, which is especially common in young athletes. Rest is a key component of Osgood-Slatter treatment, but for most effective treatment it will be paired with physical therapy, which will strengthen nearby muscle groups to take pressure off the knee and improve overall function.
- Ligament Injuries – Your knee is home to four major ligaments, and if one or more of these ligaments becomes overstressed, they can become sprained or torn. Whether you’re dealing with a sprained or torn ligament that needs to be addressed with surgery, physical therapy will be an eventuality. Like the above knee issues, physical therapy will work to restore normal function, strengthen supportive structures, improve range of motion and develop stability in the knee joint. Your PT will do this through exercises and manual manipulation.
- Meniscus Tears – Regardless of whether or not you need surgery to correct your meniscus tear, physical therapy will likely play a big role in your recovery. Research has also shown that physical therapy may help you avoid the need for surgery. Physical therapy can help to control swelling after a meniscus tear, reestablish lost range of motion, take pressure off the area by strengthening nearby muscle groups and improve your balance and proprioception, which may have been affected by the meniscus injury.
- Knee Arthritis – Knee arthritis is perhaps the most common knee injury that affects older adults, and it’s caused by natural degeneration in the joint that is brought on by years of regular and chronic stress. Physical therapy will not be able to help you regrow cartilage in the knee, but it can help to slow arthritis progression and decrease symptom prevalence. Physical therapy can change gait or postural imbalances that could be putting excess stress on the knee, and it can strengthen your quadriceps and hamstring muscles to take strain off your knee.
If you’re dealing with any of these knee injuries, or you just want help getting to the bottom of your knee pain and find an effective treatment, reach out to the team of physical therapists at OrthoRehab Specialists today.