Knee pain exercises
Knee pain exercises
Knee pain is a common complaint seen by Circle Health and we provide expertise in the diagnosis and rehabilitation of all forms of knee pain. From our orthopaedic team to our physiotherapy team we are led by the best avilable evidence which we adapt to all of our patients.
Knee pain may come in a variety of forms and rehabilitation programs will always be suited to the diagnosis and individual characteristics of the problem.
Degenerative knee pain (odteoarthritis) rehabilitation has a wealth of research behind it which dictates patients should stay active in to mild discomfort, lose weight if needed to offload the joint but also adhere to a specific strengthening program. Strengthening programs for knee osteoarthritis will be dictated by pain levels, exisiting strength and what goals a patient may have. Some examples of lower level exercises include extending the knee fully against gravity or an ankle weight. Mid range exercises may include low range squatting with the back against a wall or sitting to standing exercises. Higher level knee osteoarthrtis rehabilitation exercises often challenge the range of motion more by including step ups, deeper forms of squat and may include some lateral and rotational lower limb strengthening exercises similar to those in the next paragraph.
Another common form of knee pain arises from the knee cap joint (patellofemoral joint). This type of knee pain is commonly seen in adolescence through to middle age and may have a variety of causes. These include a sudden increase in training load, poor rotational control through the hip or ankle/ foot as well as poor base lower limb strength. Our expert physiotherapists at Circle Health will advise appropriate and graded loading programs if a training error has caused the knee pain. If there is a rotational biomechanical problem to be addressed, early stage exercises may involve non weight bearing “clam” top knee turn out exercises. Later stage exercises may combine a base strength exercise such as a squat or lunge variation and place additional rotational force through the lower limb with a resistance band or use of a wall to the side.
Post traumatic knee meniscal or ligament tears as well as post operative knee pain rehabilitation are dictated by pain and inflammation levels in the early stages. Orthopaedic protocol permitting, our physiotherapists will grade the level of strengthening exercise prescribed following acute care until our patients ultimate goal has been reached
Stretches and knee joint range of motion exercises are often included as part of the rehabilitation program for knee pain. Many knee conditions may have a causal relationship with stiffness to certain muscles groups or may cause knee stiffness due to pain and swelling.
In cases where there is existing knee joint stiffness or significant pain or swelling to the knee joint with osteoarthritis or post injury, our physiotherapists will advise on appropriate exercises to regularly stretch the knee to prevent further stiffness developing. In some cases, our physiotherapists may augment the home exercises with mobilisation strategies for the knee during physiotherapy sessions.
Common muscles groups which may place an abnormal load on the knee and lead to problems include the hamstring, quadriceps and calf muscles. A number of different forms of stretching technique may be advised to increase flexibility and improve knee joint biomechanics.
Circle Health physiotherapists and our patients are supported by state of the art rehabilitation equipment. This includes mapped out areas for lateral training drills as well as specialist strength training equipment. Our strength training equipment includes free weights as well as specialist strength training machines.
For certain key movements Circle Health have specialist strength training machines known as isokinetic dynamometers. These machines ensure that there is a constant load throughout the entire range of motion; They essentially prevent an individual from accelerating through a weak part of their movement and, therefore, preferentially work on the weak spots for our patients.
For patients wishing to return to a higher level of function or with a short time frame for sports specific recovery, our physiotherapists are able to set a gradual increase load through the knee by setting protocols on our Alter-G gravity assisted treadmill. This unique piece of equipment allows our physiotherapists to alter the speed, incline and weight bearing force of the treadmill.
To ensure the best possible result for our patients our expert physiotherapists will often use baseline measures at the beginning of a strength training program. Our isokinetic dynamometer strength machines provide a gold standard in the assessment of true strength. Once base strength has been normalised, the phase of rehabilitation will be focused on a sports specific return. Once at this stage our expert physiotherapists will monitor readiness to play based on evidence based physical tests. These may include dynamic balance tests such as the star excursion tests or more ballistic tests such as hop and jump tests.