Strides of Strength: Physiotherapy’s Guide for Optimal Knee Health

Our Knees

The knee is one of the largest joints in the body and functions as a complex hinge.  It is formed by three bones, the femur (thigh), tibia (lower leg) and patella (kneecap).  The function of the patella is to allow for the large quadriceps muscle at the front of the thigh to come together to a tendon that ultimately attaches to the top of the tibia, making it an extremely strong muscle.  The kneecap is also a stabiliser to reduce forces on the joint.  Two sets of ligaments, the cruciate and the collaterals, protect the joint when we twist or kick something very hard.  Menisci are c-shaped and allow the bone ends to sit nicely in the joint, improving stability and act as a shock absorber.  The whole is surrounded by synovial fluid which allows for smooth movement.

Our knees make it possible for us to walk, jump, dance, ride a bike, climb, kick balls, squat to sit, or bend to lift a child – all while bearing the weight of our bodies.   As the knee is crucial to movement, protecting your knee joints is important.

The knee is also prone to pain, injury, and many forms of arthritis. Most of us in our lifetime will experience knee problems of some sort. There are ways to minimize the impact of knee problems.

There are many knee conditions, however some are more common than others. These include:

  • Arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout)
  • Mechanical problems (Loose bodies from degeneration, iliotibial band syndrome, dislocated kneecap)
  • Other injuries including ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears, fractures, torn meniscus, bursitis, patellar tendinitis.

Keep Knees Healthy

Move  Your joints were designed to move!  Regular physical activity can help your knees and other joints in several ways, including:

  • relieving pain and stiffness
  • strengthening muscles that provide support to the knees.
  • reducing weight that puts stress on knees.
  • improving balance therefore falls prevention which will reduce injuries to the knees and other joints.

Exercises such as yoga, resistance bands, walking, swimming, or cycling can all help knees to stay strong (moderation is important).

Physical therapy for knee arthritis can help keep your knees functioning at their best.

Maintain a healthy weight

If you are overweight, this puts additional stress on your knees that can increase cartilage wear and pain.

For people who suffer from osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, losing even a little weight can help.

Maintaining a healthy weight may be one of the best things you can do for keeping your joints healthy.

Protect knees from injury

Injury to an arthritic knee can cause further damage to the joint. Injury to a healthy knee may lead to arthritis down the road and cause other problems to adjacent joints.  

To protect knees, avoid activities that involve repetitive pounding such as jogging or high-impact aerobics, sports that involve pivoting or contact such as basketball or football, or any activity where injury is likely. If you practice this kind of sport, make sure you have good footwear and seek advice from trainers or therapists to support good technique. 

For joint safety, use a correct manual handling technique if loads are to be moved or carried.

In some cases, wearing a knee brace during certain activities may be helpful in preventing injury, a physiotherapist can help you determine if a brace would be suitable and, if so, which one is right for you.

Treat injuries promptly

If you do injure a knee or other joint, reduce swelling and promote healing by practicing RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation)

  • Rest your knees and avoid activities that cause pain.
  • Place a cold pack or bag or ice wrapped in a towel on the painful knee for 20 minutes at a time several times a day. 
  • Wrap an elastic bandage securely around the injured knee to reduce swelling. 
  • Recline with your leg placed on a pillow to keep your knee elevated above your heart as often as you can. 

If your pain is severe, you can’t bend or bear weight on your knee or pain doesn’t improve after a few days, speak with your doctor. 

Potential Knee Problems

Some signs you may have issues with your knee.

  • You cannot bear weight on your knee.
  • You have severe pain, even when not bearing weight.
  • Your knee buckles, clicks, or locks. (clicking without pain, if habitual, is not a problem)
  • Your knee is deformed or misshapen.
  • You cannot flex your knee or have trouble straightening it all the way out.

You need urgent medical attention if your knee joint is bent or deformed. You experienced a “popping” sound at the time of injury, your knee can’t bear weight.

How Physiotherapy can help knees

Is physiotherapy good for knee pain?

The goal of physiotherapy is to increase the flexibility and mobility of the knee joints. It also aids in the management of knee pain by strengthening the muscles surrounding the knee joints, helping to manage any damage and prevent further episodes of pain through rehabilitation.

How can we help?

Our experienced physiotherapists will carry out a thorough initial assessment in the comfort of your home.  This will help identify what are the causes of the problem and how it can be best managed. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing knee and mobility issues, please contact us at the Home Physio Group and one of our qualified physiotherapists will be happy to help embark on the journey toward improved mobility and well-being.

For more information, please contact us on 0330 335 1016 or alternatively please fill out our contact sheet and we will get back to you.

Meet our physios

All our physiotherapists are registered with the CSP and HCPC offering the highest standard of care

Ready to recover?

Call us on 0330 335 1016
You can discuss your requirements with one of our specialist case managers

Why choose Home Physio Group?

We are a dedicated team of Chartered Physiotherapists working exclusively in your home and providing the highest level of care. We recognise the importance of knowing that you are in safe hands and being looked after. With this is mind, our client management team are here to assist you every step of the way and will answer any questions you may have. We are passionate about helping you to reach your goals, relieve your pain, and improve your mobility.

The benefits of using our service include:

  • All our physiotherapists are hand-picked professionals with years of experience
  • We are registered with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) and Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). All our physiotherapists are checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) 
  • We will arrange visits in your own home (or care home or place of work) at a convenient time to you
  • We work at speed and do not have a waiting list
  • We offer daytime, evening and weekend appointments
  • Our team work closely with the country’s leading consultants and specialists in their field
  • You will always have the same physiotherapist visiting you at home
  • You can have as many visits as you require
  • Our fixed pricing structure can be provided in writing so that you can consider it in your own time
  • We believe there is no “one size fits all” approach to care. Your personalised programme and treatment strategy will be unique to you