Physical Therapy Treatment for Knee Arthritis

manual therapy Sep 11, 2017

In 60 sec take a sneak peak at how I treat a 75 yo patient with progressed knee osteoarthritis. In this video I integrate a number of different physical therapy modalities including myofascial cupping, Graston technique, trigger point release, joint mobilization, and stretching.

Although many patients feel doomed for a knee replacement once they receive the diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis by an orthopedic surgeon, often times the right physical therapy treatment plan can stave off or eliminate the need for surgery. In my experience, even patients with “bone-on-bone” arthritis can move and function pain free. 

Because knee arthritis is a multifactorial pathology, the secret is to address the problem from a number of different angles. Start by releasing the connective tissue around the knee and patella. While some patients don’t tolerate mobilization of a painful arthritic knee, most patients will see benefit after their first soft tissue release.

Move onto mobilizing the patella, and restoring tibiofemoral glide and rotation.  Stretch the capsule with physiological flexion and extension to tolerance, and finish with a good quad stretch.

Strengthen the hips, quads, and hamstrings.  And give it time… Knee osteoarthritis took years to develop, so pain free movement will not likely be restored right away. Be consistent and encourage the patient to work through some of the treatment discomfort; so long as there is no post-treatment ‘lingering’ pain or swelling, you are good to go.


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