Those who are nursing a knee tear, sprain, or strain can benefit from receiving physical therapy, as it can help build the range of motion and strength needed to recover. Knee injuries can be painful and may interfere with a person’s ability to go about their daily life. As humans, we need our knees in order to walk, stoop, bend over, sit, and stand back up again. Physical therapists can help people heal from a knee injury through creating a personalized care plan.
What a Physical Therapist Does
A physical therapist is responsible for helping people perform the activities they desire in order to live the fullest life possible. Physical therapists often have a more holistic perspective, and focus on adapting the task or environment to fit the person’s capabilities. This form of care is heavily rooted in science and research has shown several potential benefits. Practitioners can help people of various ages recover from conditions, or help them manage dealing with disability, injury, or illness. When working with a patient, a physical therapist may do the following:
- Evaluate the person’s condition and determine appropriate individual goals
- Problem solve when it comes to a person struggling to perform daily activities
- Ensure goals are being met or evaluating whether changes need to be made
When our knees get hurt, we may have the inclination to take weight off the leg for weeks at a time. While rest can certainly be helpful, it is important to keep the muscles well-conditioned to prevent another or worsened injury. Once the swelling has gone down and a person can walk without sheer pain, a physical therapist may suggest doing exercises that build muscle in the leg and thighs, along with restoring motion and flexibility of the knee. Typically, a physical therapist can begin a care plan 2-3 weeks after the injury accident.
The programs occupational therapists create for their clients can help increase range of motion, decrease pain, and restore proper functioning to the area after knee tear, sprain, or strain. A physical therapist may recommend doing exercises that are low-impact, such as stationary biking or gentle leg lifts.
A physical therapist can create a series of exercises that stretch the leg, thigh, and knee, with the goal to restore functioning to pre-injury levels. Since the thigh and leg muscles assist in supporting and stabilizing the knee, building strength is essential. As the muscles and knee become stronger, an occupational therapist can adjust the program as times goes on.
Duration of Program
The duration of the physical therapy can depend on the severity of the knee damage. For some, a tear, sprain, or strain may take 4-8 weeks to heal. For others with more serious conditions, surgery may be needed which required a much longer period of time for recovery. A physical therapist can evaluate progress every month or so and whether the program should continue, or can end sooner if the injury gets better faster than anticipated.