Knee Therapy is an effective form of physical therapy that is designed specifically to treat or prevent knee damage. Athletes are at high risk for knee injuries because of the constant pounding of their knees on the floor and in the air. Playing sports can lead to injury if you don’t practice good footwork. Proper footwear is very important when playing sports. By being proactive about proper footwear, sports enthusiasts can lower the risk of joint injury, prolong the active life of their knees, and spend more quality time doing what they truly love.
Knee problems can be acute or chronic, which means that they happen over time. Acute knee injuries happen suddenly due to extreme stress or trauma. Knee discomfort can be felt in the morning while walking or running, or any time the knee part is used most. Acute knee injuries occur over a long period of time, usually due to overuse, arthritis, or aging. Knee pain and dysfunction are common among older adults, but can also occur among younger people.
If you have a sudden knee pain episode, make sure you consult a doctor, who will evaluate your condition. In some cases, physical therapy combined with medication is the best treatment. However, if your condition worsens, it’s time to talk to a surgeon about a knee replacement or even a procedure called arthroplasty, which would make a small incision, repair the joint, and make a big flap. This flap is then closed and sutured so the bone heals around the injured area. Most patients who undergo arthroplasty surgery are advised to get physical therapy every day after surgery. Knee pain usually goes away within two months, but in some cases it may take longer.
After knee surgery, the physical therapist will teach you how to walk using a cane, or how to use crutches. Knee braces can also help to reduce discomfort and increase range of motion, as well as protect the cartilage from further damage. There are many different types of physical therapy – some of which require a hospital stay – and you may need to do some stretching at home first to warm up and loosen the muscles. You may also want to wear a support belt, such as an elastic support belt, to help with blood flow and to hold the skin in place.
Knee braces can also help relieve pain and stiffness caused by arthritis. When the cartilage cushion in your knee weakens and becomes more susceptible to injury and inflammation, arthritis pain often comes on quickly. Physical therapy exercises help to rebuild the lost cushion and keep arthritis from coming on again. When the cartilage cushion is made thicker and stronger through physical therapy and diet and exercise, the pain often eases.
Some physical therapists will recommend an oral steroid, such as prednisone, be taken to treat arthritis. This can be effective for short-term knee pain, but it must be taken consistently and for the rest of your life to get long-term results. In addition, steroid injections could cause bone deterioration in your knees, increase your risk for infections, damage to blood vessels, or slow down the healing process. You may also experience stomachaches or headaches.
Sometimes, instead of taking medication, you may want to try heat therapy. You can heat the area surrounding the knee pain, and the heat will help make the cartilage softer. The heat can decrease inflammation and promote healing. Heat treatments are not permanent, and you may have to return to see the same physical therapist for injections of cortisone or anti-inflammatory drugs. For some people, however, heat treatments are very effective and they don’t require additional medications.
If none of these techniques help to relieve your knee pain, then the only option may be knee surgery. If you have surgery to repair a torn meniscus, you will likely have a small incision inside your knee to insert the screws. Your surgeon will make sure you are protected while your new knee is healing. The cost of knee surgery, depending on the type of surgery, can be up to several thousand dollars.