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Knee Physical Therapy

The knees are the “hinges” of our legs, but its importance is often overlooked and sufficient care is never duly given. Imagine the hassles and inconvenience that can arise from legs that cannot be straightened or bent, or persistent nagging aches that prevent even simple activities such as walking. Inside this intricate joint, there are many components that are fragile and could well be easily damaged in stresses and exertions we frequently subject them to. Generally, the usual components that may get injured consist of the bones, nerves and soft tissues. For more in-depth explorations, you could refer to the article on KNEE PAIN. Here, we would be focusing more on the treatments and care that can be given to them.

Increasingly, more medical practitioners are echoing the age-old belief that prevention is indeed the best cure. Consistently caring for, and maintaining your limbs consciously could put off wear-and-tear problems, thus enabling a longer time period of agility and mobility, not to mention the money saved from medical costs. However, if you have already sustained injuries to your knee, perhaps you might want to consider some of the remedies suggested below, and concurrently seek professional medical advice. Pain could occur from acute physical injuries, excessive usage of the joints, or wear and tear over time. These causes vary in the symptoms projected onto the joints, such as an acute injury feeling sorer than a subtle one, like a sprained ligament, and when administering treatment it is important to bear that in mind in order to be accurate and aware of your condition.

Physical therapy for the knees usually includes these: ice packs and muscle-toning exercises. For common conditions such as an acute sports injury or a bruise, ice or cold packs will be used to reduce the swelling. Ice is extremely useful in quickly and efficiently minimizing pain and swells, as the cold temperature can constrict arteries and vessels. What this basically achieves is that blood flow and blood loss is rapidly slowed down, and lessened, thus decreasing the metabolism rates of the injured cells and sustain them for a longer period. Hot packs would be ideal instead for mostly chronic conditions such as a persistently stiff joint. Heat would invigorate blood circulation, so you would not want that on the onset of acute injuries.

The duration of each icing session should ideally last about 15 minutes with intervals in between which are sufficient for the joint to at least regain normal temperature. The “ice pack” used could be anything: a packet of frozen peas, iced towel, or just crushed ice put in a bag. A commercial ice pack would, however, be contoured to fit securely, allowing you to carry out other activities while icing instead of having to hold on to it.

Let’s face it, knees, more or less, dictate your general mobility, and it becomes very inconvenient when your legs cannot bend and by then, even walking becomes difficult. In such cases, icing alone would never be sufficient in the long run. It would be pertinent to include therapeutic exercises meant to specifically stimulate the legs. Such rehabilitation exercises should start off on a gentle tone. Examples may include leg raises or limb extensions. There are some exercises, such as squats or knee rotations, which might prove detrimental, depending on your condition, so practice caution.

The whole idea of therapeutic exercises is to help the joints and muscles regain its former dexterity and strength. However, this should always be a gradual and progressive approach. Ideally, you should seek out a physical therapist to help you with an exercise routine, and give your joints the due time and attention they require to get well again.

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