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Stiffness, tightness or swelling in a joint

By Angie Austin, LPTA

Knee pain is something that everyone will experience at some point in their lifetime. Having knee pain can be the result of many factors and affects all ages. As physical therapists, we work with patients to educate them about their problem in addition to how it can be corrected. So don’t sweat it! We are here to help!

The knee is a large hinge joint that gives you the ability to bend and straighten your knee. This movement is necessary for day to day functional tasks like getting up from a chair or going up and down stairs. When you are dealing with knee pain, it can interfere with the basic movements like walking. When your knee is painful, odds are good that you are not using it as designed which may result in loss of range of motion, strength and stability. This in turn can contribute to other problems associated with the way we avoid pain and increases stress on other areas of our body.

Persistent knee pain is something that you should not ignore! The severity and location of your symptoms can depend on the cause of your problem. Some other symptoms associated with knee pain may also include:

  • Swelling or redness
  • Weakness or instability
  • Popping/crunching or grinding sounds
  • Inability to straighten out your knee
  • Stiffness

Knee pain can come from a number of causes that most likely will be due to injury, surgery, mechanical related problems, arthritis or just changes in the health of the joint. Injuries can be related to both that of soft tissue like ligaments or tendons but also bones which may be due to repeated stress like playing a sport or from a fall.

Overuse injuries are very commonly treated in physical therapy. If these kinds of injuries are not corrected, they can lead to further problems. Surgeries involving the knee are high in number these days and can be very successful with therapeutic interventions. Osteoarthritis is another common condition we see in the knee and it is associated with the breakdown of the joint. Physical therapy can help you address symptoms that can help preserve the life of the joint.

So as you can see there are many things that can cause knee pain! That being said, physical therapy is a great option to help reduce your knee pain and get you back to the activities you love pain-free! Let one of our therapists here at Loudoun Sports Therapy Center fully evaluate your knee so that we can help restore your function to its fullest.

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