AOPT Health Blog
Knee Pain and Physical Therapy

Knee pain can occur as the result of many different issues, including trauma, overuse injury, a direct blow to the knee, or sudden movements that cause increased stress to the knee preventing you from being able to participate in daily activities.

The Importance of Physical Therapy

A recent study performed by Graff, et al. has demonstrated that physical therapy is a successful first option and alternative to surgery for individuals with generalized knee pain such as meniscal injuries. Here at AOPT, when our patients consistently come to their appointments and perform their exercises at home, they get an average of 104.2% improvement in knee pain and function compared to the national average of 51.7% improvement.

How is Knee Pain Diagnosed?

A Physical Therapist will complete a full assessment of your knee and surrounding joints, looking at and assessing:

  • Strength of the muscles surrounding your knee, hip, and ankle.
  • Range of motion and ability to move your knee.
  • Ability to perform certain motions and activities such as stairs, sitting to standing from a chair, etc.
  • Ability to perform sport-specific movements and activities for athletes.
  • Overall balance and coordination.
  • Ability to walk.
  • Perform special tests to assess ligament and meniscus integrity.

How Can Physical Therapy Help?

After performing a complete assessment of your knee and discussing with you any concerns you may have, a Physical Therapist will develop an individualized plan to help decrease your knee pain, improve range of motion, and help you return to your daily activities. Your individualized treatment plan may include:

  • Stretching/Strengthening Exercises: Providing you isolated and specific exercises and stretches to help build your strength and endurance with daily activities and return to sports.
  • Manual Therapy: Providing a hands-on manual assessment of your knee to help restore mobility and range of motion.
  • Home Program: Providing you with a list of exercises and stretches custom made to address your concerns and help keep you accountable at home.
  • Return to Activity: Provide you with appropriate warm-ups, stretches, and exercises to complete before and after participating in daily or sporting activities to prevent future injury.


Physical Therapy can play a role both before and after surgery:

  • Help to improve overall strength and range of motion before and after having a total knee replacement to speed up your recovery.
  • Decrease your chance of needing surgery through strengthening and increasing the stability of the knee joint.
  • Improving strength, balance, and range of motion to prevent future injuries from occurring.

How Can AOPT Help You?

If you have been experiencing knee pain a Physical Therapist can help you get back to your daily activities pain-free! At AOPT we have three full-time therapists who are equipped to provide you with an assessment and treatment plan as you begin your road to recovery. If you are unsure whether physical therapy is recommended for your injury, or if you simply have questions you would like to discuss with a PT click the link below to schedule a free screen with one of our therapists!


Fransen, M., McConnell, S., Harmer, A. R., Van der Esch, M., & Bennell, K. L. (2015). Exercise For Osteoarthritis of The Knee. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004376.pub3.
Graaf, V. A. V. D., Noorduyn, J. C. A., Willigenburg, N. W., Butter, I. K., Gast, A. D., Mol, B. W., … Poolman, R. W. (2018). Effect of Early Surgery vs Physical Therapy on Knee Function Among Patients With Nonobstructive Meniscal Tears. Jama, 320(13). doi: 10.1001/jama.2018.13308
Loudon, J. K., Gajewski, B., Goist-Foley, H. L., & Loudon, K. L. (2004). The Effectiveness of Exercise in Treating Patellofemoral-Pain Syndrome. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 13(4), 323–342. doi: 10.1123/jsr.13.4.323

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