Knee pain can be caused by disease or injury. Knee pain can restrict movement, affect muscle control in the sore leg, and reduce the strength and endurance of the muscles that support the knee.
The most common disease affecting the knee is osteoarthritis, which is caused by the cartilage in the knee gradually wearing away, resulting in pain and swelling.
Knee injuries can occur as the result of a direct blow or sudden movement that strains the knee beyond its normal range of motion, as can happen in sports, recreational activities, a fall, or a motor vehicle accident. Knee pain caused by an injury often is associated with tears in the knee cartilage or ligaments. Knee pain also can be the result of repeated stress, as often occurs with the kneecap, also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome. Very rarely, with extreme trauma, a bone may break at the knee.
Based on the evaluation, our physical therapists at Progressive Physical Therapy will develop a customized rehabilitation program, including a specific set of knee exercises, for you, and educate you on ways to help reduce stress/compression forces on your knee joint.
If you already have knee problems, we can help with a plan of exercise that will strengthen your knee without increasing the risk of injury or further damage. As a general rule, you should choose gentle exercises such as swimming, aquatic exercise, or walking rather than jarring exercises such as jogging or high-impact aerobics.
We can offer specific ways to maintain your knee health following injury or surgery. Our highly-skilled physical therapists have the relevant educational background and expertise to evaluate your knee health and to refer you to another health care provider if necessary.
Depending on the severity of your knee problem, your age, and your lifestyle, there are a variety of treatments that can be used.
The quadriceps is responsible for straightening the knee during activity and controlling knee and hip movements and is particularly active during sprinting, jumping, hopping or kicking. Whenever the quadriceps muscle contracts or is put under stress, tension is placed through the quadriceps muscle fibers. When this tension is excessive due to too much repetition or high force, the quadriceps muscle fibers may be torn. When one or more parts of the quadriceps muscle tear, the condition is known as a quadriceps strain.
Small tears in the small muscle fibers of your quadriceps can cause bleeding, inflammation, and swelling on the front of your thigh. You may see bruising, and your thigh may appear larger or puffier than usual. Difficulty bending and straightening your knee joint is another sign of a pulled quad. At the time of injury, you may have heard a popping sound near your joint. Your quads may feel overly tired, stiff, and weak after a muscle pull. When using your quadriceps muscles, your experience of pain and weakness may increase.