How physical therapy for knee arthritis can help with the pain and stiffness

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Kneeling while weeding your vegetable garden. Chasing your kids or grandkids around the backyard. Squatting down to look for something under the bathroom sink. These are all activities that many people do every day. But they can also become much harder to do when you have knee arthritis. 

Knee osteoarthritis is one of the most common causes of knee pain and stiffness. It’s estimated that 10% of men and 13% of women over 60 have this knee issue. Physical therapy is a treatment option you should strongly consider if you have knee arthritis. In fact, therapy specialists can help treat knee arthritis symptoms in many ways. 

Three ways that physical therapy can treat your knee osteoarthritis symptoms

Physical therapy specialists are experienced at performing many beneficial therapy techniques. This wide range of treatment options is one thing that allows them to effectively treat knee osteoarthritis. 

Your physical therapist will start by evaluating the movement and pain level of the affected joint. They may ask you questions about the activities you do daily. They may even ask you if you’ve injured your knee in the past or if other family members have arthritis. All this information can help your physical therapist choose the therapy methods that can be most effective for you. 

Some of the physical therapy techniques that are commonly used to treat knee osteoarthritis include: 

  1. Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) — Often, muscles and other soft tissue around arthritic knees is tense and stiff. This can pull the joint out of alignment and lead to more joint pain. IASTM therapy involves your physical therapist using metal tools to reduce tension in tense soft tissue. One medical study reveals that five IASTM sessions helped improve knee function scores by up to 44% in athletes with a knee injury. 
  1. Manual therapy — Therapists use their hands to manipulate and mobilize joints and soft tissue during manual therapy. This fact leads many people to call techniques in this category hands-on therapy. 

Manual therapy methods can be very helpful for knee osteoarthritis. Medical researchers report that manual therapy helped knee arthritis patients improve their pain and function scores by 52% in four weeks. 

  1. Therapeutic exercises — Weak muscles provide less support to the knee joint. This lack of support can make arthritic knees feel even more painful and stiff. Your physical therapist can show you therapeutic exercises intended to maintain and build muscle strength. 

Medical studies show that such exercises can be very helpful for knee osteoarthritis. One study reveals that two weeks of therapeutic exercises helped improve pain scores by 36% and function scores by 40%. 

Ready to try physical therapy for your knee arthritis? Armor Physical Therapy can help! 

At Armor Physical Therapy, our team has helped many patients deal with osteoarthritis in many joints, including the knee. We offer complimentary screenings that can reveal exactly how arthritis is affecting your knee. Additionally, our physical therapists are adept at creating individualized therapy plans designed to reduce arthritis symptoms like pain and stiffness. 

Can’t come into one of our therapy clinics for help? No problem! Our team offers therapy services you can use right from home, such as at-home care and virtual therapy sessions. We can even help treat your arthritis if you don’t have a doctor’s referral. 

Contact us today for more information about our arthritis treatment services or to schedule your initial appointment. 

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