The knee is the largest joint in our body. It is the connecting point of three bones in the leg. The lower end of the femur (thigh bone), the upper end of the tibia (shinbone), and the patella (knee cap). Other parts include the shock absorbing cartilage, acting as cushions between articulating (moving) bones in a joint. The tendons are the cords connecting muscles to bones. Ligament are the bands connecting bones directly to other bones. Physical therapy addresses damage to these tissues. The ligaments alone are vulnerable to pulling, stretching and tearing.
The knee has four major supporting ligaments. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) at the center, the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) also at the center, the Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) at the outer knee, and the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) at the inner knee. Of the four ligaments, the ACL is the most often injured. So it is, essentially, the “weak point” of the entire system. Although it is located next to the PCL, the PCL is much larger (four times as large). Physical therapy treats damage to all these interacting, moving parts.
Physical therapists recommend injury prevention. As a result, it will provide better protection for our knees. Because, it is one of the most easily injured joints in the human body. Therefore, it should receive additional warm-up before strenuous exercise. Without proper attention, a variety of injuries could result. These include: Cartilage Injuries, Chondromalacia, Tendon Injuries, Iliotibial Band Syndrome, Osgood-Schlatter Disease, Osteochondritis Dissecans, Plica Syndrome, or Arthritis.
If you wish to avoid developing any of these conditions, you should heed the advice from physical therapists. The most often prescribed treatment for a knee injury involves RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation). Whether you have an injury or pain, or are recovering from injury, physical therapy can be beneficial. As long as you seek immediate care.
There are other procedures beyond simple physical therapy that include arthroscopy surgery, or a total knee replacement. Knee physical therapy is a preferable first choice, offering easy access to prevention, emergency care, or rehabilitation. Following less invasive options, such as evaluation, therapy, education, and aftercare, physical therapy can help get you back on your feet. Finally, Jump, stand, run, and pivot–jump for joy if you have a healthy knees!