Is Physiotherapy Good for Knee Pain?
The short answer is yes! Whether you are suffering from an acute sporting injury, or whether you have more long term pain due to osteoarthritis, physiotherapy is extremely beneficial for knee pain. Physiotherapists are experts in movement and function, and are well equipped to help in your recovery. Here at West Pennant Hills Physiotherapy and Sports Injuries Centre, we see many patients with knee pain, and we have fantastic results in getting them back to the activities they love, such as high level sport, going for longer walks or runs, and increasing general mobility!
Common causes of knee pain
Knee pain is common during growth spurts in children, or with trauma from sport or falls, or it may come on as we age with wear and tear. Knee pain can stem from the muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage or meniscus. It can sometimes also be referred from the hip joint or lower back.
Acute knee injuries often occur with sports that involve:
Rapid acceleration or deceleration
Sudden changes of direction
More gradual onset of knee pain can occur during growth spurts. This is common in children who do activities that involve:
High volumes of running
Repetitive jumping and landing
Knee osteoarthritis is age-related degeneration, or wear and tear in the knee. It occurs when the natural cushioning between the bones, the cartilage, wears away. Symptoms gradually worsen over time.
So how can Physiotherapy help with my knee pain?
Firstly, your physiotherapist will conduct a thorough assessment to determine the causes and contributing factors of your knee pain. Your strength, flexibility and balance will be assessed.
We then utilise hands on techniques such as soft tissue massage and joint mobilisations to help relieve any muscle tightness or joint stiffness.
We also use ultrasound, heat packs and TENS for pain relief. These all help to stimulate blood flow to the area to speed up healing, as well as relax the muscles.
Taping may also be necessary for short term relief of your knee pain as you begin your return to sport or activity. We may recommend the use of a knee brace during sport to help offload the structures and provide some extra support.
If the cause of your knee pain is more of a structural issue and due to biomechanics, we may also recommend that you wear orthotics to help with your lower limb alignment and correct your foot posture.
Can exercise help with knee pain?
Exercise has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to help with pain in the knee. The exercises that you do should be individually tailored for you.
Here at WPH Physio, we prescribe exercises specifically designed for you. We will assess your strength and flexibility and provide you with exercises to address our findings, which could include weakness, tightness, or muscle imbalances. We tailor your program based on your goals and activities you would like to return to.
If you are aiming to return to sport, we will give you sport specific exercises to ensure your knee is well equipped to cope with all the challenges and demands of your sport. If you are an avid gym-goer we will advise you on what machines are safe to use at the gym. We can also liaise with your personal trainer or coach to discuss what exercises you can and can’t do throughout your rehabilitation. If you like to run, we will make any necessary modifications to your running program as your knee heals. We will advise you on the frequency, duration and intensity of your runs. We can also assess your running technique to see if there are any factors that may be contributing to your pain.
If you have recently had surgery on your knee, we will guide you through your post-operative rehabilitation and help improve your range of motion, strength, balance and endurance.
Your exercise program will be updated regularly as your pain improves and you get stronger.
If you are experiencing knee pain and would like some more information or physiotherapy treatment, give us a call on 9875 3760, or email us firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be more than happy to help!