Physical Therapy

Manual Therapy

Physical therapists are trained in manual (hands-on) therapy. Your physical therapist will gently move and mobilize your muscles and joints to improve their motion, flexibility, and strength. These techniques can target areas that are difficult to treat on your own. In patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, the addition of manual therapy techniques to exercise has been shown to decrease pain and increase function.

Modalities

Your physical therapist may recommend therapeutic modalities, such as ice and heat, to aid in pain management.

Bracing

Devices such as realignment braces are used to modify the forces placed on the knee. These braces can help "unload" certain areas of your knee and move contact to less painful areas of the joint during weight-bearing activities.

Activity Recommendations

Physical therapists are trained to understand how to prescribe exercises to individuals with injuries or pain. Since osteoarthritis is a progressive disease, it is important to develop a specific plan to perform enough activity to address the problem while avoiding increases in stress on the knee joint. Activity must be prescribed and monitored based on type, frequency, duration and intensity, with adequate time allotted for rest and recovery. Your physical therapist will consider the stage and extent of your arthritis and prescribe an individualized exercise program to address your needs and maximize the function of your knee.