Will Physical Therapy Help Your Knee Pain?
If you are unsure if you will benefit from physical therapy for your knee pain you can follow these guidelines.
If you are experiencing:
- Poor balance
- Loss of muscle mass
If you have difficulty with:
- Going up and down stairs or curbs
- Running or jumping
- Getting into or out of a chair or car
If you answered YES to any of the above questions, you are a candidate for physical therapy.
Physical Therapy for Knee Pain
Physical Therapy is essential for you to achieve your goals following an injection or surgical procedure, as well as with overuse injuries or degenerative changes (osteoarthritis). When you have knee pain, the body modifies how you move and is often referred to as compensation. This could mean that you are limping while walking, going up or down the stairs one leg at a time, shifting weight to the “good leg” when you are getting out of a chair, or when you are standing. This abnormal movement will not correct itself magically following a medical procedure or if you take time off from your sport. This is WHY you need physical therapy!
Our experience assisting people re-learn how to move pain-free is the combination of hands-on techniques for your knee, as well as the entire leg. Treatment will include strengthening and balance exercises to address weakness and poor joint stability. We will also spend time educating you on how treatment does not end once you leave the clinic. You will be given an individualized home exercise program to maximize your success in returning to the activities that you love.
Have a list of questions you would like to ask. Don’t be afraid to ask for more clarity with the answers you are provided.
Please bring a personal identification card with a picture (your drivers’ license works best), your insurance card, and a detailed list of your medications.
In addition, you filling out relevant medical history, you will also complete a functional outcome test for the legs, the Lower Extremity Functional Scale. The survey helps us determine your biggest limitations with your daily life. It also helps us objectively track your success in physical therapy.
Please wear or bring a pair of loose-fitting shorts. We need to see the structure of your legs and how you move as you complete basic functional tasks such as walking, standing, getting out of a chair, and negotiating stairs.
You should bring in your most common footwear choice, as well as your current workout shoes. This will provide insight with how your body moves and if footwear changes are needed.
YOUR VISIT IN THE CLINIC:
A thorough initial physical therapy appointment will take 40 to 60 minutes. This involves us asking you questions for the most relevant information prior to the physical examination. Remember YOUR story is important because there is not a diagnosis, or treatment, which works best for everybody.
THE PHYSICAL THERAPY KNEE PAIN EXAM:
Once a detailed patient history has been given the next phase of the visit is the physical examination. We will address the symptoms while performing additional tests to determine the cause(s) of your complaints in a thorough assessment.
The following tests will be conducted:
- Range of Motion (ROM) – the available movement for a joint
- Hands-on joint mobility and soft tissue assessment
- Muscle length, strength, and endurance
- Balance assessment
- Functional movement
- Neurological screening
To perform these tests you will have to change your body position, for example lying on your back or front, sitting, and standing. If any positions make you feel unsafe or cause an increased level of pain, please let us know. Also, an informed patient is essential, which means we will explain what we are doing prior to testing. Your understanding of our intentions, interpretations, and the expectations of the test are vital to developing an effective treatment approach for you.
THE GOALS OF THE INITIAL VISIT FOR KNEE PAIN:
Based on the findings from the above tests an individualized treatment plan will be developed and discussed with you. We will work with you to develop strategies to help you improve how you walk, negotiate stairs and any other immediate limitations with your daily activities.
The findings of your clinical tests will be discussed and how those findings affect your functional independence. Your understanding of the WHY behind your pain and limitations is important to us. We believe the more you know and understand allows you to be more involved and successful with your physical therapy experience.
Ask questions to understand the goal of treatment
Perform the home exercises
Attend your appointments
We strive to clearly explain:
- WHY physical therapy is needed
- HOW physical therapy will help
- WHAT treatment, both in the clinic and at home, is vital for your success
We will also provide you will resource for performing your exercises at home and the gym.
To ensure our shared commitments, we will hold each other accountable to achieving the best possible results from physical therapy. We believe effective physical therapy is a partnership between individuals.
We will work together to
MOVE BETTER. FEEL BETTER. LIVE BETTER.
Matt is originally from Canada, and graduated from Queen’s University in 2002. His areas of clinical interest are pre and post-surgical rehabilitation, aquatic rehabilitation, and return to play testing. He has more than 15 years of experience working with active people across the lifespan, and athletes from grade school to professional level.