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Physiotherapy for Knee Pain

Does Physiotherapy for Knee Pain Help?

Knee pain can vary from a slowly developing dull ache that worsens with activity to intense pain experienced while climbing stairs or standing after sitting for a long time. It may also include a clicking noise and leg weakness. Regardless of how it feels, if knee pain disrupts your daily life, you’re probably looking for relief. The treatment for knee pain largely depends on what’s causing it. 

Whether or not your knee pain is causing a severe hindrance in your routine activities, it can still impact your fitness level. In either scenario, this problem can be treated by physiotherapy. Multiple physiotherapy exercises help with knee pain.  In this blog, we briefly look at the causes of knee pain and how physiotherapy treatment can benefit you.

Types of Physiotherapy Exercises Used to Treat Knee Pain

Various exercises play a crucial role in physiotherapy for addressing knee pain, with the selection tailored to your specific condition and overall fitness. Among these, certain exercises can be very effective:

Range of Motion Exercises

These exercises are to enhance flexibility and improve your knee joint’s range of motion. Actions may include gentle leg movements typically in a back and forth plane of movement. 

Strengthening Exercises

Predominantly focused on building the muscles surrounding the knee joint, these exercises alleviate pressure on the joint, thereby reducing pain. Examples include closed chain exercises such as squats and lunges.  Other exercises may include emphasis to build quadriceps, hamstrings and hip strength.

Balance or Proprioception Exercises

Achieving improved balance and coordination is the goal, so the target exercises often involve activities such as standing on one leg. Enhancing these aspects contributes to overall knee joint stability and function.

How Physiotherapy For Knee Pain is Treated?

Knee Braces 

For effective management of knee ailments, a physiotherapist may recommend using tape or braces. This supports maintaining activity levels while dealing with knee pain, and the physiotherapist provides personalized advice on the most suitable approach.  This can help stabilize the knee joint while returning to sport or activities of daily life.

Inflammation Reduction

Physiotherapists employ various techniques to reduce pain and inflammation in injured knees. Swift reduction of swelling is crucial for a prompt resolution of knee issues, and physiotherapists apply targeted treatments to achieve this goal.

Activity Modification

When dealing with a sore knee, modifying activities to avoid strain is essential. Physiotherapists guide individuals on activities to avoid, offering specific recommendations based on the nature of the knee problem, such as advising against certain squatting or lunging exercises for those with issues under the knee cap.

Rehabilitation Post-Surgery

Physiotherapy treatment plays a crucial role in the aftermath of knee surgery, with an early start ensuring optimal results. Your therapist will develop a customized rehabilitation plan to facilitate quick and healthy knee recovery.

Increasing Range of Motion

Injured or ostearthritic knees often experience stiffness, leading to pain, weakness, and reduced function. This is where your physiotherapist focuses on enhancing movement in stiff knees to alleviate these issues.

Muscle Development

Even a slight degree of swelling or soreness in the knee can impede the functioning of vital quadriceps and hamstrings (thigh) muscles. Physiotherapists address muscle imbalances to prevent potential long-term knee difficulties.

Soft Tissue Release

Tightening of soft tissues around the knee due to muscle imbalance, inflammation, or scar tissue can be identified and relieved by physiotherapists through targeted soft tissue release techniques.

Causes of Knee Pain

Minor knee injuries often result from overstretching, twisting, or exceeding the knee’s ability to load. Sudden movement or deceleration, especially on uneven surfaces or during athletic training on rough terrains, can cause knee injuries. Specific injuries and conditions contributing to acute or  chronic knee pain include:

  • Muscle injuries: Injuries to the muscles that control knee movement can increase the risk of instability.
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL): It involves the tearing or overstretching of the ligament in the knee, causing instability and potential functional impairment.  The ACL is one of the main ligaments that stabilizes the knee joint
  • Tendinitis: Inflammation of tendons caused by joint overuse.
  • Patellofemoral syndrome: This is a common condition affecting people of all ages.  This  causes pain above or underneath the patella (knee cap)  at the front of the knee.
  • Patellar Tendonitis: It is inflammation of the patellar tendon, causing pain and discomfort around the kneecap.  This is usually due to overloading or training and repetitive movements.
  • Iliotibial band syndrome: Tight fibrous band along the lateral aspect of the knee.
  • Arthritis: Inflammation of the knee joint due to inflammatory diseases (e.g., osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout), and other factors, accompanied by swelling and stiffness.
  • Osteoarthritis: Chronic degradation or wearing down of joint cartilage
  • Baker’s cyst: A cyst developing behind the knee, often due to a torn meniscus
  • Osgood–Schlatter disease: Inflammation of the tibial tubecle, prevalent in adolescents and children, impacting their development.

Benefits of Physiotherapy for Knee Pain

  • Pain Relief: Physiotherapy provides relief from knee pain through targeted exercises and techniques in both short-term and long-term.
  • Improved Mobility: By addressing the underlying causes of knee pain, physiotherapy enhances mobility and increases the range of motion in the affected area.
  • Reduced Risk of Re-injury: It focuses on strengthening and stabilizing the muscles around the knee joint, lowering the risk of re-injury.
  • Personalized Treatment: Tailored to individual needs and goals, physiotherapy offers customized care based on each person’s unique condition.
  • Non-Invasive Approach: A non-invasive option that avoids medication or surgical procedures, making it a safe and natural choice for managing knee pain.


Knee pain is a common health concern that can significantly impact an individual’s daily life. It is imperative to seek practical solutions to alleviate discomfort and enhance overall functionality. Physiotherapy emerges as a safe, non-invasive, and customized treatment option, addressing the underlying causes of knee pain. With the guidance of a knowledgeable  physiotherapist and a comprehensive approach to care, individuals can achieve lasting relief from knee pain, allowing them to resume daily activities effortlessly.

At Bridgwater Physiotherapy, we are committed to delivering personalized care that targets the root cause of your pain and helps you attain your wellness objectives. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and take the initial step toward effectively managing your knee pain. Allow us to be your partners on the optimal health and wellness journey.