Physical Therapy for Knee Arthritis

Janice CarsonJanice Carson

When it comes to severe cases of arthritis, a doctor might recommend physical therapy for knee arthritis. Patients who have arthritis in the knees typically experience pain, discomfort and swelling. Many patients discover that they cannot enjoy the same level of freedom that they had before because the pain stops them from being active. Physical therapy for knee arthritis helps because the therapist shows the patient ways to cope with their condition. Those who take part in physical therapy for knee arthritis typically work with the therapist but also work at home.

Physical therapists teach arthritis sufferers simple exercises that they can do when not attending the physical therapy for knee arthritis. One of these basic exercises is the flexion. With the flexion exercise, the patient works the muscles in the knee and lower leg. He sits in a chair and places an exercise band under one foot. He pulls on the band until his knee extends straight out. After holding the pose for several seconds, he slowly lowers his foot to the floor. Physical therapy for knee arthritis typically involves exercises of this type and others. For example, physical therapy for knee arthritis might include an abductor raise.

Abductor raises are common in physical therapy for knee arthritis because it uses several muscle groups. The patient lies flat on one side and keeps his bottom elbow raised so that it supports his weight. His lower leg keeps a slight bend in it, while the second leg sits flat. He slowly raises and lowers the upper weight when doing this type of physical therapy for knee arthritis. Some therapists add an ankle weight to the upper leg, which increases resistance during this physical therapy for knee arthritis.

Physical therapy for knee arthritis often includes use of a whirlpool. The whirlpool uses warm water that gently circulates around the body. Many therapists use this at the end of a physical therapy for knee arthritis session. The strain that the patient puts on his knees can cause inflammation. The heat of the whirlpool reduces the swelling that might occur because of the workout. Physical therapy for knee arthritis might also include massage, especially therapeutic massage of the tissue in the knee. Patients usually attend therapy sessions one or more times every work but work their way down to less frequent visits as they learn ways to do the same exercises at home.

 

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