The knee is a complex joint and the largest in the human body; being made up of two joints, ligaments, bones and muscles. The upper and lower bones of the knee are separated by two discs, often known as ‘menisci’. The bones above and below the knee are connected by a selection of ligaments, tendons and muscles. Supporting this, the joint is covered by articular cartilage which absorbs shock and provides a smooth gliding surface for joint movement. This complexity allows us to have full movement and mobility in our legs, as well as participating in vigorous exercises that push the limits of the body.
How Does Physiotherapy Help Knee Injuries?
So, the real question is, how can physiotherapy help prevent knee injuries? The answer is simple – there are many ways it can help reduce pain and improve the condition of a knee injury.
Getting physiotherapy on your knee can have a significant impact on pain reduction. During a physiotherapy session, your therapist may carry out some massage techniques. During this, endorphins are naturally released into the body to help minimise the discomfort in the knee. As the muscles and tendons around the knee are manipulated, any congestion of metabolic irritants is reduced allowing the muscles to relax. Furthermore, this eliminates the pressure upon the knee and enables the pain to be relinquished.
Engaging in regular physiotherapy sessions will not only help reduce pain, but it will improve the mobility of the knee and flexibility of the leg. With overuse or participation in a strenuous physical activity, the muscles in the knee will begin to seize up and become stiff. Typically, this will result in an injury such as a sprain/strain or ligament injury. Physiotherapy from an experienced physiotherapist will relieve this stiffness in the knee as the tension in muscles is released, and they begin to relax, limiting the stress upon the joints in the knee.
Finally, physiotherapy on your knee will help you in rebuilding the muscle around the joints. The muscles in the knee need to be strong as they will be assisting the support of the tendons, ligaments and kneecap. Weak muscles will result in lower amounts of support, which in turn, can result in further injuries to the knee or leg. By manipulating the muscles through massage, it causes them to soften and loosen up. With the muscles soft and relaxed, this is the best time to carry out gentle exercises on the knee to help rebuild the damaged tissue. From doing this, the knee will be strengthened, improving the condition of the initial injury. As well as this, it will help avoid further injury in future, as long as the treatment is respectfully continued.
How Regularly Should You Have Physiotherapy?
There isn’t necessarily a specific time frame in which you should be having physiotherapy. However, if you find that you are struggling with recurring muscle or joint pains, or need assistance rehabilitating from an injury, then a schedule should be made with your physiotherapist. Commonly, every four to six weeks is a reasonable interval between each appointment. However, bear in mind that the regularity in which you have physiotherapy will vary based on the seriousness of the injury. For a professionally recommended schedule, get in touch with a physiotherapist in Cambridge for an initial assessment and a specific treatment plan for your injury.