Generally speaking, physical therapy for knee pain involves a complete evaluation and assessment of your entire lower extremity from your hip to your foot.
Your Palmdale Physical Therapist can assess your knee pain and prescribe the right treatments—including exercises and modalities—to help bring down your knee pain and improve your overall mobility.
Understanding The Anatomy of the Knee
The human knee is a hinge joint that is made up of the tibia (shin) and the femur (thigh). The patella, or kneecap, is located in the front of the knee. The knee is supported by four ligaments. Two shock absorbers, each called a meniscus, are discovered within the knee.
Pain in the knee can be caused by repetitive trauma and strain or by injury. Here and there, it occurs for no apparent reason. Our Palmdale Physical Therapist say that when knee pain happens, you may experience functional limitations that include a hard time walking, rising from sitting, or ascending and descending stairs.
What Type of Knee Pain Do You Have?
Our Palmdale Physical Therapist say that if you experience knee pain, it is crucial to figure out if the pain is acute, sub-acute, or chronic in nature. This can aid in guiding proper diagnosis and treatment.
- Acute pain is typically the most drastic and occurs 1-7 days after injury. During this time, you should rest the knee and let the injured structures heal prior to initiating any motion.
- Sub-acute pain generally happens 2-6 weeks after injury. This is an exceptional time to initiate gentle motion around the knee to help regain mobility.
- Chronic knee pain is pain lasting greater than 8-12 weeks. Knee pain that is chronic should be evaluated by your healthcare provider.
Location of Knee Pain Symptoms
Our Palmdale Physical Therapist say that the location of your knee pain can assist you in figuring out which structures are at fault and can help make sure you have proper treatment.
Always remember to check with your physician, physical therapist, or healthcare provider if symptoms are a bit extreme or last more than a few weeks.
- Pain in the front of the knee. If you feel pain in the front of the knee, there may be a problem with the tracking and position of the kneecap, often called patellofemoral stress syndrome (PFSS). The kneecap and the tendon between the kneecap and the shin may become inflamed and painful. Pain here usually limits the ability to kneel, ascend or descend stairs, or run and jump.
- Pain on the inside of the knee. If you have pain on the inside part of the knee, there is most likely an injury to the medial meniscus or medial collateral ligament. These structures are typically injured during athletic activity when the foot is planted on the ground, and the body twists over the knee. The medial meniscus is a shock absorber located inside the knee. Occasionally, it suffers from wear and tear or arthritis and can be damaged with no specific injury.
- Pain on the outside of the knee. Pain on the outside part of your knee can be the result of injury a handful of structures. There is a ligament there that may be injured during athletic activity. In addition, pain here can also be caused by iliotibial band (ITB) stress. The ITB is a thick band of tissue that runs from the outside of your hip to the front of your knee. As it crosses the knee, the ITB can rub abnormally on the knee, and a burning pain can build up afterwards. Also, on the outside part of the knee is one of the three hamstring tendons. Strain to this tendon may be a source of knee pain.
- Pain in the back of the knee. Our Palmdale Physical Therapist say that pain in the back of the knee is rare but can happen. One of the hamstring tendons attaches here, and pain here is likely due to a hamstring strain. Another possible cause of pain here is a Baker’s cyst. This is an abnormal swelling of the knee joint that occupies space in the back of the knee and usually causes pain with excessive bending of the knee.
If you develop acute knee pain, our Palmdale Physical Therapist suggest you instantly follow the R.I.C.E. principle. R.I.C.E. stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. After a few days of R.I.C.E., you can start using the leg, only gently.
If knee pain continues for more than 2-3 weeks, you should visit a doctor, physical therapist, or another healthcare provider to rule out any drastic problem and to make sure proper diagnosis and management occurs.