What is Knee Therapy?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 25 September 2019
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Knee therapy is a type of physical therapy which is designed to address or prevent damage to the knee. The knee is the largest joint in the body, and a very critical joint for a wide variety of activities, from participating in sports to walking down the street. Knee therapy increases mobility, strength, and tone in the knee, and it is usually offered by a physical therapist who has received training in physical therapy techniques and issues which need to be addressed with a physical therapy program.

For prevention of injuries, knee therapy can be used by people like athletes to keep their knees in good shape. This joint takes a lot of abuse in many sports, and routine heavy athletic activity can severely damage or weaken the knee. By being proactive with physical therapy, athletes can reduce the risk of injury, prolong the life of the joint, and spend more time doing what they love. Knee therapy of this type may be offered by an athletic coach or physical therapist, and the athlete may also consult with a physician.


For non-athletes, knee therapy is usually used to help someone recover from a knee injury or knee surgery. Injuries tend to resolve more quickly when people engage in physical therapy, because physical therapy promotes healing, and knee therapy is often a part of the treatment plan for a knee injury, with therapy beginning once the patient's knee has been stabilized. The physical therapy program is tailored to the patient's needs, with the physical therapist using techniques which slowly build in intensity so that the joint is not damaged.

Knee therapy can include gentle exercise, stretching, massage, and other focused activities. The therapy program usually starts with an interview between the patient, physical therapist, and doctor, in which the condition of the patient's knee and the patient's goals are discussed. The physical therapist may also examine the patient's knee to become more familiar with the physical issues involved, before designing a therapeutic plan for the patient.

The physical therapist can supervise knee therapy sessions in a physical therapy facility which has equipment which can be used in the treatment program, and the patient can also perform therapeutic exercises at home. Homework is usually an important part of physical therapy, and it can include maintenance exercises which continue long after the patient has stopped attending formal sessions with the physical therapist. Physical therapy can be demanding and challenging for the patient, and it requires concentration, commitment, and focus.


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