Knee Pain: 10 Signs You Need a Physical Therapist
Knee pain affects millions of people and can range from mildly annoying to debilitating. It’s important to take your knee pain seriously and seek medical attention if it persists. The signs of knee pain can vary from person to person, but there are some common warning signs that to which you should pay attention. If you’re experiencing any of the ten warning signs of knee pain, it’s time to see a physical therapist for diagnosis and treatment. Living with knee pain has physical and emotional impacts, from pain and swelling to difficulty walking. Don’t ignore the signs, and take the steps towards feeling better.
What is Knee Pain?
Knee pain is any localized pain around your knee joint. The most common cause of knee pain is overuse of the knee joint. This can be from sports (like basketball), overuse at work (like carpentry), or even some medical conditions such as arthritis. There are many signs of knee pain; some people may experience more than one.
Some common signs of knee pain include:
- Swelling and Warmth: If you notice swelling and warmth around your knee joint, it could indicate a bacterial infection. If not treated, it could spread to your bloodstream and become life-threatening.
- Pain with Movement: Pain while performing everyday activities like walking, climbing stairs, or bending your knee is a common sign of knee pain.
- Pain when Sleeping: If you’re experiencing knee pain, there’s a good chance you’re also experiencing pain while sleeping. It’s high time to see a physical therapist to get relief from knee pain.
10 Signs You Need a Physical Therapist for Knee Pain
If you’ve ruled out any underlying medical conditions, and knee pain is persistent, it’s time to see a physical therapist.
Here are some warning signs that might indicate you should see a physical therapist for knee pain:
- Pain and swelling: Pain and swelling in the knee are common. Pain or swelling happens when the muscles and tissues are inflamed. Injuries to the knee can occur during sports, such as biking or running, or even from everyday activities like walking.
- Walking difficulty: Walking while in knee pain is difficult and frustrating. The knee, also known as a “hinge joint,” is where your thigh bone meets the shin bone. The knee is vital for basic walking and all sorts of athletic activities. It’s important to treat it well to keep it strong and pain-free.
- Pain after sitting and standing for an extended period: When you stand up after sitting for a long time and feel pain in the front of your knee, that’s patellofemoral pain syndrome—also known as “runner’s knee” or “jumper’s knee”. It can affect athletes—but anyone with weak quad muscles may also suffer from this condition, which happens when there is too much pressure on the kneecap while running or jumping.
- Difficulty climbing stairs: A knee injury can make climbing stairs difficult. There is a considerable risk of osteoarthritis of the knees, which often becomes painful and incapacitating. It is important to consult a physical therapist for a treatment plan for knee pain.
- Popping, grinding, and cracking noise: If you hear a crackling or grinding sound when moving your knee, it likely means osteoarthritis is developing behind the patella.
- Sore and achy: The pain and stiffness you feel after physical exercise are often due to Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). A physical therapist can use manual therapy involving soft tissue mobilization to relieve discomfort, improve flexibility, and reduce the chance of DOMS reoccurring.
- Loss of flexibility in the knee: Loss of flexibility in the knee is a condition that can make it more difficult to perform certain movements. The most common reason people lose flexibility in the knee is arthritis, but any health issue that causes inflammation can cause this problem.
- Decreased range of motion: Knee injuries happen when you do too much work too quickly in an awkward position and overuse the joint. In such instances, it can be painful and affect how you walk.
- Redness or warmth in the knee: Knee soreness, swelling, and redness are common symptoms of knee pain. The knee is an important joint for every person because it supports your body weight daily. Contact a physical therapist if your pain is unbearable.
- Tenderness around the knee: Tenderness around the knee is common. This condition can cause pain and stiffness in people for decades before it’s diagnosed.
How is Knee Pain Treated?
If you’ve been diagnosed with knee pain, a physical therapist will be able to identify the source and cause of your pain. After an exam, they’ll provide you with a treatment plan and recommendations to help manage and treat your knee pain. The exact treatments and recommendations will depend on the cause of your pain.
Common treatments for knee pain include:
- Rest: The most common treatment for knee pain is rest. This means avoiding activities that cause or exacerbate your knee pain.
- Ice and Heat: Applying ice and heat to your knee can help decrease inflammation and pain.
- Strengthening Exercises: Some knee pain can be attributed to weak muscles. Specific strengthening exercises can help treat the sources of knee pain.
- Balance Exercises: Improving your balance can help prevent future knee injuries.
When Should you See a Physical Therapist for Knee Pain?
If you’ve been experiencing knee pain for more than two weeks, it’s worth seeing a physical therapist. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you’ll get relief. Knee pain can negatively impact your quality of life and cause long-term health problems. If knee pain is interfering with your sleep, or you’re experiencing knee pain that isn’t improving, it’s time to see a physical therapist.
How Long Does It Take to Find Relief?
The treatment duration will depend on the severity and cause of the knee pain. If you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis, it’s going to take longer to find relief than if it’s just general overuse. While knee pain can be frustrating, don’t give up. Physical therapy is a proven and effective treatment, and you’ll find relief. With the right treatment plan and dedication, you’ll be back to enjoying life with no knee pain.
Why Choose Breakthru for Physical Therapy for Knee Pain?
If you’re looking for a physical therapy clinic to help you find a solution to knee pain, then Breakthru Physical Therapy is the place for you.
Our team of doctors in the field of physical therapy is here to help you get back on your feet with their experience and knowledge. At Breakthru, we have the tools and experience to help you get back on track with your life.
We specialize in helping patients suffering knee pain due to a variety of injuries and conditions. We also offer rehabilitation services for patients who have had surgeries or other procedures where they have lost mobility in their knee joints. Our physical therapists can provide treatment plans tailored to each individual’s needs so they can return quickly and safely to everyday activities.