Physical Therapy for Knee Arthritis

Knee arthritis weakens the joint after excessive wear and tear of bones and muscles. Severe knee pain, swelling, and stiffness limit movement. These symptoms prevent you from performing everyday activities in the long run.

At Specialized Physical Therapy, we create personalized treatment via physical therapy for knee arthritis.   Our homecare exercises and manual therapy sessions pave the way for a healthier and painless life.

Overview of Knee Arthritis

The knee joint forms a connection between the upper leg (femur) and lower leg (tibia). Its joined by the kneecap (patella). A small cartilage and synovial fluid is found in the spaces between all three bones. The cartilage and synovial membrane act as shock absorbers, cushioning the bone from friction. Their presence allows you to move your legs up, down, and sideways with ease.  

Osteoarthritis occurs after repetitive wear and tear. With time the cartilage wears off. That causes the knee bones to rub against each other.  Alternatively, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the soft tissues around the synovial membrane become inflamed. In turn, it causes more fluid build-up, making movement difficult.

You also feel a dull and continuous ache in the knee joint.  The affected area becomes stiff and rigid, which limits natural range of motion. 

Knee arthritis can interfere with your ability to walk, climb stairs, and do everyday activities. While there is no cure for it, personalized physical therapy for arthritis can help. It provides knee pain relief and promotes mobility.

Symptoms of Knee Arthritis

Typically, knee arthritis symptoms gradually become more severe as your condition worsens. If you overuse the knee joint or suffer a minor injury, your symptoms may worsen suddenly.

Here are the most common causes of knee arthritis.

  • Stiff and swollen knee joint, making it difficult for you to bend, move, or straighten your knee
  • Pain with knee movement or vigorous activity
  • Limited range of motion
  • Worsened knee pain and swelling after waking up in the morning, resting, or sitting
  • Weakened knee joint, causing you to feel the knee may give out
  • Creaking, snapping, or clicking of the knee joint during movement
  • Deformity of the knee joint

As your condition worsens, your symptoms may get worse. You may experience increased pain and it may happen more frequently. Over time, the knee pain may become constant whether or not you’re involved in an activity.

Causes of Knee Arthritis

There are several possible causes of knee arthritis, including:

  • Old age
  • Wear and tear of the knee joint
  • Obesity
  • Genetics
  • Previous knee injury
  • Previous knee surgery involving the removal of a damaged cartilage
  • Activities causing repetitive knee strain
  • Knee joint condition resulting in joint damage
  • Problems with the layer of bone underneath the knee cartilage

Your physical therapist will do a physical examination, evaluate your medical history, use imaging studies, and conduct laboratory tests to confirm the diagnosis of knee arthritis. We also evaluate joint strength, sensation, and movement (via walking and climbing stairs) to determine which treatment methods would prove to be the most effective. 

Diagnosis

Depending on your condition, we develop a treatment plan that can reduce knee pain, improve knee joint strength and mobility, and prevent further joint damage.  

Treatment

Our  personalized physical therapy programs aim to address individual issues for optimal recovery. Treatment includes exercises and mobilization techniques that improve muscle strength, coordination, and stability in the joint and its surrounding area. We also teach you how to manage your symptoms and use at-home cold/hot therapy techniques to reduce the pain. 

We also recommend adopting healthier habits and certain lifestyle changes for an easier transition to a full range of motion. Typical suggestions include wearing comfortable shoes and eating nutritious food that promotes cartilage growth. You might also need mobility aids and knee braces for joint support.

Over time, you will regain lost mobility and manage to walk, climb stairs, and engage in your favorite activities without the risk of experiencing excruciating pain.

Visit Specialized Physical Therapy clinic in Fair Lawn to treat your knee arthritis.  Early intervention can save you from years of pain. We optimize the healing process with attentive and thoughtful care. Get in touch or call us @ 201-773-8851 to book your first session.

Request a free consultation or give us a call to get started!