If you are looking for exercises and a convenient way to end your knee pain, online knee physical therapy (PT) is for you instead of injections and surgery!
Knee physical therapy involves a thorough evaluation of your knee, ruling out possible referred pain from your back and hip. Alignment and walking/running mechanics are also assessed for those with overuse injuries. Your online PT will perform a mechanical assessment to determine the underlying root of your symptoms. They will provide exercises for knee pain specific to your injury and limitations. Your PT will address the mechanical cause of your pain and improve your overall function and mobility.
Over 25% of adults will experience knee problems at some point, and most often, knee pain comes on for no apparent reason. Runners, roofers, carpet layers, and those that use their knees aggressively have higher rates of knee injuries. But for most, the symptoms come on suddenly. One day they have stiffness when straightening their knee and pain squatting and descending stairs.
Luckily, most knee problems are mechanical and respond to a mechanical treatment or exercise. Knee physical therapy has been shown to significantly restore function and mobility.
Mechanical vs. Chemical Pain
Mechanical pain is caused by a problem within the joint, muscle, or tendon mechanics. The joint, muscle, or tendon is not functioning correctly, and the mechanics need to be corrected. Mechanical knee pain is characterized by intermittent symptoms that only occur with certain positions or activities, such as squatting, kneeling, or descending stairs.
On the other hand, chemical pain is constant and caused by inflammation or a chemical reaction and therefore responds to chemical treatment. An example would be a toothache, where the pain is throbbing but only lasts a few days. Chemical knee pain includes the first few days following trauma, inflammatory arthritis, gout, and infections. If a chemical stimulus causes your knee pain, medication is a treatment option.
The majority of knee pain stems from a mechanical disorder. Treatment for mechanical knee pain should be exercises to address the mechanical problem, not medication, injections, and surgery.
Benefits of Exercise for Knee Pain:
Numerous studies have shown the benefits of exercise for knee pain. Exercise has been found to be superior to arthroscopic surgery and injections for knee osteoarthritis and meniscal injuries.
The effect of exercise on knee pain has been shown to significantly improve function, quality of life, and a profound reduction in pain that lasted for many months after completion of the exercise regimen.
Inactivity leads to muscle wasting, demineralization of bones, and tendons, ligaments, and cartilage deterioration. Instead of protecting your knee with rest, you are making it weaker and more susceptible to injury.
Online Knee Physical Therapy:
Physical therapists with advanced training (Cert. MDT) have the training to perform a thorough evaluation of your knee virtually.
A mechanical assessment begins with a history of your knee pain
- When did the knee pain start?
- What activities increase your symptoms?
- What positions/movements give you relief?
A complete physical exam then follows.
- Determination of baseline activity that is difficult/painful
- Observation: swelling or abnormalities
- Knee range of motion
- Functional strength testing
- Screen the low back and hip to rule-out referral of symptoms.
- Gait Analysis
- Repeated movements to assess their effect on your baselines
- Balance/proprioception/gait analysis
A mechanical assessment will determine the root cause of your pain, and your online physical therapist will create an exercise program to meet your specific limitations. (Non-mechanical will be referred back to your physician). Video exercises are provided so that you can perform your therapy independently. Your PT will also be available by email for questions, and you can reschedule for follow-up visits.
Online physical therapy aims to provide you with education to decrease your knee pain, empower you to self-treat with an individualized exercise program, and guide you in returning to full range of motion, strength, balance, and function.
Read: Causes of knee pain.
The majority of knee pain is from a mechanical cause and requires mechanical treatment re: EXERCISE.
A proper diagnosis is required for proper treatment.
Most common exercises required for Knee Physical Therapy
A mechanical assessment will determine the cause of your problem and your specific limitations. Our online physical therapist will then outline a program specific to you. Most knee injuries (arthritis, derangement/meniscal, previous trauma, infrapatellar tendinosis, ITB, previous trauma), have the following limitations:
- Loss of knee extension (There may also be a loss of knee flexion, calf, and hip flexibility)
- Quadricep weakness (Hamstrings, hip, and calf muscles may also be weak.)
- Poor balance
- Reduce aerobic capacity
The most beneficial exercises in knee physical therapy will address these common limitations found:
- Knee extension with overpressure
- Sit to stand – no hands
- Uni balance (eyes closed)
- Daily walking
- Advanced proprioceptive and return to function/work/sport activity.
1. Knee Extension: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNRh0qAZYDA
Extend your knee.
Place your hands above your knee.
Push down for 1 sec. hold.
Release your knee
Perform again 10x.
2. SIT TO STAND – NO SUPPORT
Scoot close to the front of the chair.
Lean forward at your trunk
Reach forward with your arms and rise to standing without using your hands.
Slowly lower to sitting again without using your hands.
3. Uni-stance (eyes closed)
Stand close to an object that you can grab hold for safety.
Stand on one leg.
Close your eyes and leg go supported hands.
Attempt to balance for over 10 sec. Goal of 30 sec.
4. Daily Walking
Walking is one of the best medicines for almost all conditions, including knee arthritis.
It’s a great complement to targeted physical therapy for knee pain.
Start with 15 minutes and work your way up to one hour a day!
Online Physical Therapy:
Technology has now enabled virtual care. You no longer need to travel or wait for appointments.
Now you can receive online physical therapy from your home!