Injuries and other knee pain can be very common, whether they gradually arise from physical activity or from slips and falls. Here, our Orleans physiotherapists explain how we can help to improve your knee health and get you back to your normal levels of movement and function.
It's generally estimated that around 18 million people each year seek treatment for some kind of an injury ot their knee, whether that be as a result from accidents or degenerative conditions. This tracks with what many people intuitively know - that we use our knees constantly in ways that may include repeated impacts to the joint.
Every time we take a step, lift an object or ride a bike, we are using our knees.
When constantly engaging any part of our body, it's only a matter of time before it comes injured - even if that injury is relatively minor. Luckily, physiotherapists are equipped to handle injuries of all severities, including alleviating pain, restoring strength, and encouraging mobility in your knees through a number of treatments.
With physical therapy for your knees, we will have you back to your everyday routine. Some of the most commonly encountered causes for injuries or pain in the knee that our physiotherapists see include:
- meniscus tears
- sprained knee ligaments
Physiotherapy Treatments For Knee Health
When treating your knees, as with any other party of your body, our physiotherapists use two general varieties of treatment in order to help address pain, encourage mobility and support strength: Active and passive physiotherapy.
Passive Physiotherapy for Knee Pain
When treating an injured or pained knee, our physiotherapists will often conduct treatments or therapies on a client, which is called passive physiotherapy (since you don't have to do anything yourself other than receive treatment). Some of the passive physiotherapy treatments we may use to treat health issues related to the knee include:
- Hot and/or cold packs
- Stabilizations using knee braces or taping
- Acupuncture and/or dry needling
- Manual Therapy (soft tissue & joint mobilizations)
- Electrotherapy modalities - EMS, IFC, TENS (for pain & muscle activation)
These treatment modalities, in collaboration with one another and with active physiotherapist, will form the core of your physical therapy, supporting your knee if it needs to be strengthened and encouraging mobility if it has seized up as a result of pain. Physiotherapists' hands and modalities are only a part of a successful treatment plan.
Active Physiotherapy for Knee Pain
Active physiotherapy includes therapies and treatments that involve active participation from the clients (thus, active physiotherapy). Generally speaking, these treatments involve prescribed exercises and activities that our physiotherapists will guide you through and create a schedule for you to use at home.
The following are some examples of active physiotherapy treatments that our Nepean team may prescribe for knee issues in our clients:
- Glute Exercises - the hip often has associated muscle imbalances and contributions to knee pain!
- Heel And Calf Stretch - Stretching out the mucles of your lower leg that may be stiff or siezed as a result of a tramatic leg injury affecting your knee.
- Isometric contractions - Strengthens your desired muscle (quadreceps, hamstrings) in non-weight bearing to preserve the health of your knees and avoid overloading them, while re-organizing the right timing of muscle activation.
- Half Squat - A strengthening exercise for your quadreceps, glutes and hamstrings, mimicking sit-to-stand motions, that may take some of the pressure of a normal squat off of knees that are stiff or in pain. Your physiotherapist may add a modification/alteration to customize this exercise to your needs (glutes co-activation, core co-activation, etc.)
- And more!
You always should wait for a physical therapist's prescription for specific exercises before engaging injured or pained muscles when experiencing knee pain. Attempting exercises without consulting your physical therapist first may only cause more pain and injury.
Using all of the above treatments and more, our physiotherapists will be able to address your knee injury or pain and work with you to create a treatment plan that is best suited to your recovery goals, fitness aspirations and regualr everyday routines.