Physical therapists can provide more than pre/post surgical knee rehabilitation for patients experiencing knee pain.
What Causes Knee Pain?
The knee is a relatively simple joint required to do a complicated job…to provide flexible mobility while bearing considerable weight. While walking down the street, our knees bear three to five times our body weight. When the knee is overstressed in sports or in everyday activities, these structures can break down — and a knee injury occurs.
Common Knee Problems Seen by Our Physical Therapists:
- Strain / Sprain
- Arthritis Pain
- Muscle Weakness
- Ligament Sprains
- ACL Tears
- Tendinitis (ie: Patellar, Pes Anserinus)
- Chondromalacia Patella
- Patellofemoral Syndrome / Knee Pain
- Pre / Post Operative Therapy
How Physical Therapy Provides Knee Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation acutely after knee surgery or a knee injury primarily centers around decreasing swelling in the knee joint. Even a small amount of fluid inhibits the quadriceps muscle on the front of knee by slowing the signal for movement traveling from the brain to the muscle. Manual techniques to decrease muscle spasm and improve length tension relationships of soft tissue are also incorporated. Gradually, exercises to increase strength, range of motion and functional mobility are introduced.
Treatments Offered Include:
- Comprehensive evaluation with an emphasis on determining the source of the problem
- Individualized and specific exercise programs
- Manual therapy (hands-on treatment)
- Modalities as needed
- Work and sport specific simulations
- Progressive home program to help restore independence and self-management
Knee Rehabilitation Goals:
- Reduce Pain
- Improve Mobility
- Movement Awareness/Gait Training
- Functional Strength
- Patient Education
For more information on knee injuries visit our PT & Me Knee Injury Center page by clicking here.
The PT & Me Injury Center goes over diagnoses on how physical therapists treat specific injuries.
To find or search for a local participating PT & Me physical therapy clinic in your local area please click here.
Plantar fasciitis is classically characterized by pain in the central to medial plantar heel. It is thought to be caused by chronic inflammation of the plantar fascia due to repetitive strain and trauma to the fascia. There are many other purported causes including, calcaneal spurs and increased intraosseous calcaneal pressure, among others. Many studies have shown inflammatory and histological changes at the origin of the plantar fascia and surrounding structures that are consistent with repetitive strain and degenerative changes including a thickening of the fascia.
Biomechanics has long been looked at when investigating possible causes of injuries. Alteration of the load-bearing characteristics of the foot has been suggested by several studies to be the underlying problem in plantar fasciitis. Microtears and chronic degenerative changes result from the increased tensile stress placed on the fascia due to the changes in biomechanics. Muscle tightness is one factor that can lead to changes in gait mechanics and load bearing of the foot. Hamstring tightness has recently been investigated as a factor in plantar fasciitis and has been shown to induce prolonged forefoot loading due to increased knee flexion during gait. A rapid progression through the contact phase of gait results from increased knee flexion and in turn increases forefoot pressure. The fascia is a fixed-length ligament, so an increase in forefoot pressure results in increased tension at its insertion on the calcaneus. The increased time spent on the forefoot in gait leads to a chronic traction injury that is localized to the hindfoot insertion of the fascia; which is consistent with the symptoms of heel pain.
Biomechanical deficits have long contributed to injuries. Only recently has hamstring tightness been shown to have an effect on plantar fasciitis. Hamstring tightness affects every step, resulting in a biomechanical deficit which may contribute to a tensile overload of the plantar fasciitis. Recent studies suggest that all patients with plantar fasciitis should be evaluated for hamstring tightness. Physical therapy treatment for plantar fasciitis should include hamstring stretching.
More information about Plantar Fasciitis can be found in the PTandMe injury center.
This information was written by Plymouth Physical Therapy Specialists. They are committed to using evidence-based treatments in their practice. This means that their therapists utilize the most current and clinically relevant treatments in their approach to rehabilitation. For more information click here.