Knee and Leg Physical Therapyadmin2021-07-20T14:09:30-05:00
Having knee issues? Total Motion Physical Therapy can help diagnose and rehabilitate your knee problems so you can get back to enjoying life.
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The knee is the most commonly injured joint in the body. Knee pain can be a result of overuse, traumatic strain /sprain, or other inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis. Injury to the knee can cause loss of motion, decreased muscle control, and impaired strength and endurance loss of the muscles that support the knee.
When you have a painful knee that continues to limit your daily activities, athletic participation, or other hobbies, it is important to have it examined by a medical professional. If your injury is the result of a direct blow or sudden strain to the knee, a medical professional can help determine in if you have a significant ligamentous or cartilaginous injury requiring extensive knee pain treatment. Many knee injuries can be treated conservatively with rest, ice, mobilization, and physical therapy. Along with the knee, there are also leg problems that can interfere with daily life, such as shin splints and restless leg syndrome. Physical leg therapy can help ease discomfort and avoid long-term pain.
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The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is one of the primary ligaments in the knee that controls the motion of the shin bone on the thigh bone. 70% of tears are the result of non-contact injuries and 30% are from contact in sports requiring sudden changes of direction or jumping and landing. Usually there is a loud “pop” heard and a sharp, intense pain felt. There is swelling within minutes to hours of injury, and it can be difficult to walk due to pain and a sensation of the knee “giving way.”
Most people require surgery after an ACL injury, however, if your lifestyle does not require cutting, pivoting, or intense physical activity there is a chance you may not need surgery. Your physical therapist and orthopedic surgeon can help determine what the best treatment plan for you is by performing several tests and possibly imaging such as an MRI. Physical therapy will be important for you whether it is prior to surgery, after or in the case you do not require surgery. Full recovery from ACL injuries takes 6-12 months.
Total Knee Replacement: Total knee replacement (TKA or TKR) is the end result of knee osteoarthritis. Knee osteoarthritis is the most common knee injury. When people suffer from chronic knee pain leading decrease in quality of life, inability to walk pain free, and constant aching in the knee, TKA is a viable option after failed conservative treatment. Your physical therapist can help give you leg exercises before your TKA to restore mobility and strength needed for a speedy recovery. After the knee replacement surgery, physical therapy can help reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation immediately afterwards. In addition 2-3 months of physical therapy is usually beneficial to improve range of motion, strength and balance in the operative leg. Participating is PT after your surgery will help you return to the exercise, leisure and recreational activities you enjoy.
Patellofemoral Pain – Runner’s knee: Patellofemoral Pain syndrome (PFPS) refers to pain located in the anterior knee around the kneecap (patella). It typically occurs in athletes, active adolescents, and physically active adults. It is described as an “overuse syndrome”, due to the fact that it typically results from someone doing too much of a certain activity. Common symptoms are: pain that is worse while walking up and down hills, stairs or uneven surfaces, pain after sitting for long periods of time, occasional cracking or grinding of the knee.
What predisposes most individuals to overuse syndromes is an underlying weakness, tightness, or stiffness in the body. In the case of PFPS this causes the kneecap to get out of alignment while the knee bends and straightens. Repeated activity where the kneecap is “out of place” causes unwanted rubbing leading to irritation. A physical therapist can help to identify the weakness or tightness of your leg. After your muscle imbalances are discovered specific hands-on interventions, self-stretching, and strengthening exercises will be used to correct how your body moves.
Iiliotibial band syndrome – ITBS: ITBS is a common knee condition in endurance athletes such as runners and cyclists. Typical symptoms are a stabbing/stinging pain close to the knee cap over the outside of the knee. There may be swelling present, tightness felt in the knee or outside of the hip, and pain after walking, climbing stairs or going sit to stand after sitting for long periods of time. As with PFPS, this is typically an overuse syndrome and muscle imbalances are the cause of the symptoms. Physical therapists can provide effective strategies for activity pacing, strengthening and stretching to address these muscle strength imbalances and get you back to your recreational or sporting activities.
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Debridement:Debridement can refer to a variety of different surgical procedures. Most often at the knee debridement is performed on the meniscus. It can also be referred to as a “scope”. With continued use of our bodies they start to break down and often times the menisci in the knee start to wear and tear. When this happens small pieces can become trapped in the knee and create pain for the individual. The purpose of the debridement is to remove the frayed pieces of tissue and “clean up” the knee joint. Rehab following a knee scope is typically 3-6 weeks in physically active people. Physical therapy will strengthen your muscles and regain your motion in order to restore your ability to function. Most people are able to return to sports and recreational hobbies without limitation.
No matter what the cause of your knee pain is, whether it’s from meniscus tears or sports injuries, Total Motion will help you through your rehab in order to ensure the best outcome. Our job is to help restore your total function for a total life. Contact us today to schedule your appointment. Remember, a referral may not be necessary.