What is Knee Pain?
Knee Pain often occurs from repeated stress on the knee, a contact or non-contact injury, lack of use, or simply aging. Knee pain can also be related to inflammation (such as arthritis), or less commonly, rarer diseases or conditions. Knee pain can produce a variety of symptoms, including throbbing pain, swelling, instability, or joint stiffness. Some may also find the knee hard to bend or straighten, unable to bear weight, or hear and feel it “popping” or “clicking.” If you are experiencing knee pain, consider attending knee physical therapy. SportsCare offers knee pain treatment to manage pain and restore function.
Understanding Knee Anatomy
The knee is the largest joint in the body and joins the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone). It is a hinge joint (similar to how a door swings open and shut) and helps raise and lower the body. Knees allow us to walk, sit, stand, crouch, and perform countless other movements throughout each day. The knee provides stability when we are in an upright position and supports the weight of our upper body. Knees are critical for gross mobility, but since they experience repetitive impact and carry a large stress load; they are prone to injury and the effects of wear and tear.
Causes of Knee Pain
Knee pain can occur at any age and may vary in severity from person to person. Knee pain may originate from multiple causes, including, but not limited to:
- Ligament sprains or tears (commonly ACL, MCL, LCL, PCL, or MPFL)
- Tendonitis (commonly patellar, IT band, or quadriceps)
- Muscle strains (quadriceps, hamstrings, calf)
- Meniscus tears
- Total knee replacement or other surgery
- Chondromalacia patella
- Bone bruises
- Poor strength and balance
- Inactivity or overactivity
- Improper footwear
Knee Pain Conditions We Treat
SportsCare Physical Therapists offer knee pain treatment and strategies for a variety of injuries, issues, and conditions. Our PT’s regularly use knee physical therapy to treat patients with:
- Total knee replacement
- Meniscus surgery (meniscectomy or repair)
- Ligament repairs and reconstruction (ACL, MCL, PCL, LCL, MPFL)
- Tendon repairs (quadriceps, hamstrings)
- Rehab following injections (PRP, stem cell, HA, or cortisone)
- Ligament sprains and tears
- Muscle strains and tears
- Tendinitis (patellar, quadriceps, IT band, hamstrings)
- Fractures and bone bruises
- Chondromalacia patella (also known as patellofemoral pain, anterior knee pain, or runner’s knee)
Knee Pain Treatment
SportsCare provides high quality physical therapy for knee concerns. Your first appointment at SportsCare Physical Therapy will include a thorough, professional evaluation with your PT. They will assess your injury/condition, measure your current function, and discuss your rehab goals. Your physical therapist will then develop a personalized knee pain treatment plan to best suit your individual recovery. Knee physical therapy at SportsCare may include:
- Manual Therapy
- Therapeutic Exercises
- Treatment and education to reduce inflammation
- Education for injury prevention
- Home Exercise Program
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy
- AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill
- Unweighted Treadmill System
- Aquatic Pool Therapy
- Intermittent Compression with Cold (Game Ready and Normatec)
- Electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and hot/cold modalities
- Kinesio Tape
- Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training
Frequently Asked Questions
Resolving your knee pain begins with a comprehensive exam with your physical therapist to diagnose your condition and causal factors. With an accurate diagnosis, an individualized treatment plan is established based on your goals, your preferences for the treatment approach, and evidence-based interventions recommended by your PT.
You should see your physical therapist if you have new or worsening knee pain, instability, or swelling. You should also see your PT if you have had long-term knee pain, as many different chronic knee pain conditions can be improved with skilled physical therapy.
Duration of physical therapy care is dependent on your goals for your recovery, the type and severity of your condition, and your preferences for treatment approach. Our goal at SportsCare Physical Therapy is to help you fully recover, to empower you to independently maintain or improve your progress, and to prevent reinjury. Duration may range from as little as one visit with your PT to months of treatment with biweekly visits depending on your individual factors. Your condition is continually assessed by your PT keeping your treatment plan flexible – this ensures optimal progress and efficiency in your treatment.
Your physical therapist will collaborate closely with you and your attending physician/provider to help you safely return to work following a knee injury. Your timeline for return to work is based on your progress and abilities compared to the physical demands of your job. Your PT will share assessment information with your attending provider to help make informed decisions on your ability to return to work on a modified duty or full duty basis.
Return to sport is based on a number of individual factors including having the required mobility, strength, balance, coordination, and in some cases, your ability to pass a sport-specific test indicating your safety and preparedness for return to play. It is also based on physiological tissue healing timelines specific to your injury. There are many reasons an athlete may have knee pain. It is also important to learn from your PT which types of pain are safe to play with, and which types are harmful. Whether you have a surgical or non-surgical injury, your PT will help you physically and mentally prepare for a successful return to play.
Here is a list of the insurance plans accepted by SportsCare Physical Therapy and Armworks Hand Therapy. If you are unsure of your coverage or if your plan is accepted, please contact one of our offices. We are happy to assist you in learning about your benefits.
SportsCare Physical Therapy has offices in Gresham, Sandy, NE Portland, Clackamas, Beaverton, and Salem. For location specific contact information click here.