WHAT IS KNEE PHYSICAL THERAPY?

Knee pain is one of the most common complaints among people seeing their doctors and it’s due to many reasons. We all live in an active society that promotes healthy living, exercise, and sports. Over time, these movements can begin to weigh on the body, especially on pivotal weight bearing joints like the knees. As our activity increases, so do the potential problems that can occur in our knees. Luckily, there are a number of ways to relieve that pain; knee physical therapy is a common treatment that may work for you. Eric S. Millstein, MD specializes in a number of knee treatments if physical therapy doesn’t wind up working out.

The Anatomy of the Knee

Before we discuss how knee physical therapy can improve mobility and decrease pain, it’s important to first understand how the knee works. As most people know, the knee is one of the major weight bearing joints in the body accompanied by the ankle and the hip. An important difference of the knee is its ability to rotate and twist independently from the other joints. The knee is a complex joint that relies on ligaments, cartilage, tendons, and bones to function normally. This intricate framework bears a majority of the weight, especially during dynamic movement.

Knee Physical Therapy

There are three main types of reasons why patients undergo knee physical therapy: trauma, constant overuse, and post-surgical rehabilitation. The primary objective of knee rehabilitation and physical therapy is to restore normal movement and joint mechanics while increasing muscle strength and muscle endurance.

There are four muscle groups that knee physical therapy focuses on to get back to an individual’s movement back to normal:

  1. Quadriceps – Front of the thigh
  2. Hamstring muscle – Back of the thigh
  3. Calf muscle – Back of the calf
  4. Glute muscle – Otherwise known as the gluteus maximus and makes up most of the buttocks.

It’s only through a number of tailored knee/leg exercises and diligent work that a patient can regain full movement.

Physical Knee Exercises

As described by physical therapist Aman Abaye, there are two basic phases of physical knee exercises. Phase I is basic muscle strengthening that focuses on achieving maximum muscle contraction. The goal is to utilize the maximum number of muscle fibers, which in turn protect the knee joint. In this phase, the quadricep and glute muscle are the main focuses. Refer to the video below to learn more about these specific exercises. 

Phase II focuses on more functional movement to better mimic how we move in real life. The squat exercise plays a crucial role in this phase because it’s the most common movement in all of our lives and mimics the stand-to-sit movement we all do unconsciously. When completed correctly, it engages almost every muscle in the leg, especially the glute that is rarely used in everyday life. Refer to the below video to learn more about Phase II exercises.

See Dr. Millstein to Treat Your Knee Injury

Dr. Millstein specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of knee injuries. If you or someone you know has a knee injury, book your appointment today to have a life without pain at (310) 595-1030.

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Dr. Millstein

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