Physical therapy exercises are an important aspect of treatment for effective knee injury recovery. Physical therapists educate their patients about their knee problems or injuries and provide them with instructions on how to perform exercises. This will assist in both making their knees stronger as well as restoring function to those areas. It is suitable for all patients, ranging from those who have knee pain due to minor sprains, tears or strains and extending to patients who require rehabilitative care following knee surgery.
Before Physical Therapy Exercises
To decide on the best exercises for a particular patient, the physical therapist may do any or all of what follows:
Observe his patient to see whether the patient favors one leg when walking or is shifting weight to one region.
Closely inspect the injured area to establish whether the region surrounding the knee is warm or swollen.
Ask the patient questions pertaining to what effect the pain has on him and determine whether the pain is dull, stabbing or sharp.
Types of Exercises That May be Prescribed
The following are some of the kinds of exercises that may be prescribed as part of the physical therapy rehabilitation:
Leg Raises – To do this exercise, the patient must lie on his back, extend his injured leg and flex the uninjured leg while ensuring that the foot is flat on the floor. The injured leg should be raised until it is as the same height as the bent knee, and then lowered. This process should be done about 10 times.
Simple Leg Raise – The patient should sit at the edge of a bed, chair or table and lightly extend his leg so that it faces straight out. The leg should then be lowered by bending at the knee. This sequence should be followed several times every day.
Squats – This exercise helps to reduce the chance of re-injury and improves leg strength. It would be performed at a stage when the patient does not feel pain in his leg. The feet should be placed shoulder-width apart. The lower body should be dipped by flexing the knees up to a maximum of 90 degrees. The knees should ideally not extend beyond the toes.
Calf Stretches – This involves taking a step back with the injury-free leg and positioning the heel of the injured leg at a distance of approximately a foot in front of him. The hips should be utilized to bend forward and stretch the injured leg. The position should be maintained for close to a minute.