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Physical Therapy for Knee Injuries

Knee injuries are common and can happen to people of all ages and levels of exercise. Physical therapy is an important part of getting back on your feet after a Knee injury, whether you’re a player trying to get back in the game, a weekend warrior who got hurt suddenly, or just someone who likes to move around without pain. Welcome to our complete guide on “Physical Therapy for Knee Injuries”

The knee is a complicated joint that has to carry a lot of weight every day. This makes it prone to injuries like tendon sprains, torn meniscus, and dislocated kneecaps. Knee injuries can vary in how bad they are, but the value of proper rehabilitation stays the same. In this series of articles, we’ll learn more about knee problems and how physical therapy is a key part of getting better. We’ll talk about the latest treatments, exercises, and expert tips to help you get your knee strong, stable, and confident again so you can get back to doing the things you love.

What injuries require physical therapy?

Any damage to the knee could make it hard for you to move around. Strains, tears, sprains, and bruises can cause a lot of pain and sometimes even need surgery. When ligaments are torn, they almost always need surgery and a lot of physical rehab. Most sprains and strains don’t need surgery, but they still hurt. They should be handled with care, or they could get worse.

If you hurt your knee and don’t know how bad it is, you should see a doctor right away. They will figure out what’s wrong with you and get you started on the road to getting better.

Types of Knee Injuries and Common Causes

Knee injuries can be debilitating and are often caused by a variety of factors, including accidents, sports activities, and even everyday wear and tear. Understanding the different types of knee injuries and their common causes is crucial for prevention and proper treatment. In this article, we will explore several common knee injuries and what leads to them:

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear:

Common Cause: Sudden stops, changes in direction, or direct impact to the knee, often occurring in sports like soccer, basketball, and skiing.

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Sprain:

Common Cause: Forceful impact to the outer knee, typically during contact sports or accidents.

Meniscus Tear:

Common Cause: Twisting the knee while bearing weight, often during activities that involve pivoting or squatting.

Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper’s Knee):

Common Cause: Repetitive jumping and landing, overuse, or excessive strain on the patellar tendon.

Patellar Dislocation:

Common Cause: A sudden change in direction or a direct blow to the knee, frequently seen in sports with rapid movements.

Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome:

Common Cause: Overuse or repetitive friction of the IT band along the outer thigh, common in runners and cyclists.


Common Cause: Prolonged kneeling, overuse, or trauma to the knee, leading to inflammation of the bursae.


Common Cause: Age-related wear and tear, joint overuse, or a previous injury that results in the breakdown of cartilage.

Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Common Cause: Autoimmune condition affecting the joints, including the knee.

Tendon Tears (Quad or Hamstring):

Common Cause: Sudden, forceful contractions or overstretching of the tendons, often seen in athletes.

Understanding these knee injuries and their causes is the first step in preventing them or seeking appropriate treatment. Whether you’re an athlete, an active individual, or simply looking to maintain your knee health, recognizing the signs and risks associated with these injuries can help you take proactive measures to protect your knees and ensure their long-term well-being.

6 physical therapy exercises for knee injuries


For this workout, you’ll need a support band. They can be bought for a reasonable amount of money. They should also be at your gym.

  • Wrap the exercise band around your ankles.
  • Stand up straight with your feet together and your knees slightly bent.
  • Keep your head and hips level, and make sure your toes are pointed straight.
  • Take two steps to one side.
  • After eight or nine steps, go back the way you came.

The resistance band should make the steps a little harder, but not so hard that you have to stretch. If the resistance band makes your knees fall, it’s too tight. If you fall forward, you’re taking too big of steps. Take more steps, but not bigger ones, as time goes on.

The hips and glutes get stronger when you do side steps. When your knee hurts, taking care of the muscles around it can help.


For the single-leg deadlift, your muscles have to help you keep your balance.

  • Stand on one leg and slightly bend the knee.
  • Reach forward and down toward the ground. As you move forward, the foot that is in the air should rise at the same rate.
  • Keep your knees still and reach as far down as you can.
  • Slowly stand up again, and do this 5 times for each leg.
  • Keep your back straight the whole time. 

When you reach down, you should be able to move your knees as you wish. The goal of the exercise is to strengthen the legs, back, and abdominal muscles.

3. Hamstring stretch

Knee pain can be made worse by tight hamstrings, so stretching them out is a great way to ease pain. Put a mat or other padding material under your back to make this stretch more comfortable and get the most out of it. 

How to stretch your hamstrings: 

  • Lay down on the floor or a mat and put your legs out straight in front of you. If it makes you feel better, bend your knees and put your feet flat on the ground. 
  • Next, wrap the bottom of one foot with a towel, belt, or band. 
  • Straighten that leg and lift it into the air. Pull the wrap with your arms to help you find a deep but easy stretch along the back of your leg. 
  • Hold that pose for 30 seconds before letting go and switching sides. 

As part of a good workout plan, try to do each side two to four times.

4. Quadriceps stretch

The quads are strong, but if you don’t stretch them often, they can get very tight and make knee pain worse. Here’s how to stretch the quadriceps to relieve knee pain. 

You can stretch your legs by:

  • Get close to a wall or a chair to help you stay steady. 
  • Make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart and slowly bend one knee as you bring your foot up towards your hips. 
  • After that, grab your ankle and gently pull it as close as you can to your hips.
  • Hold this pose for thirty seconds, then go back to where you started and switch legs. 

For the best effects, do these steps 2–4 times on each side.

5. Straight leg raise

Straight leg raises are a simple and effective way to get knee pain under control. When the muscles around the knee get weak or tight, it can hurt and be uncomfortable. Straight leg raises help to develop these muscles and make the area around the joint more flexible, which makes the knee less painful overall.

How to raise your straight leg: 

  • Lay on your back with your arms at your sides and your legs bent at a 90-degree angle, with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Gently stretch and lift up one leg while keeping the other foot on the ground. Try to raise it so that your legs are parallel to each other. 
  • Hold this pose for 5 to 10 seconds, then slowly put your leg back where it started.
  • Do 10-15 reps on each side, then switch.

Aim for 2–4 sets per day for each leg. 

6. Clamshells

The clamshell exercise is a great way to reduce knee pain because it strengthens the hip muscles, which can help reduce knee pain. This exercise helps to make the muscles more flexible and stable, which may help to ease pain in the area.

To do the clamshell exercise, you need to: 

  • Lay on your side with your feet stacked on top of each other and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Put one arm under your head to make yourself more stable. The other arm can rest on the top of your hip or anywhere else that feels good. 
  • Slowly lift your top knee up toward the sky while keeping your feet together until you feel the muscles. Hold this pose for 5 to 10 seconds, and then slowly move the knee back to where it started. 
  • This practice should be done 10–15 times on each leg. 

Always try to do a full set of these two to four times a day for the best effects. 


In the end, physical treatment is a key part of getting better from knee injuries. These routines not only help you get your strength and flexibility back, but they also help keep your knees healthy and stable in the long run. Remember that healing may take time and consistency, and it’s important to get help from a skilled physical therapist to make sure the exercises are right for your needs. By giving these exercises time and effort, you can rebuild your faith in your knee, improve its function, and work toward a pain-free, active lifestyle.

Read More: Article: physiotherapy exercises for lower back pain

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Physical Therapy for Knee Injuries


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