A physical therapist Gaithersburg, MD patients trust is always happy to discuss treatment options for those who are interested in receiving care at the Pain & Arthritis Relief Center. Most people believe physical therapy is strictly for recovery from an injury or surgery, however, that is just not true. More research than ever has been done to show that physical therapy can help anyone – regardless of age and abilities – restore mobility, reduce pain, and help stay active. There is a lot of misinformation about the field that discourages people from seeking the help of a physical therapist.

The team at the Pain & Arthritis Relief Center can answer any questions about the benefits of physical therapy and design a program that addresses any pain or mobility issues you are facing.  A few of the misconceptions about physical therapy include the following:

  • A referral or prescription by your doctor is necessary to be evaluated by a physical therapist. Some states do have restrictions on the treatment a physical therapist can perform without a referral. Eighteen states currently have unrestricted patient access with no physican referral. Twenty-six states allow patient access with provisions (access for evaluation and treatment with some exceptions such as the number of visits, or for specific treatment such as spinal manipulation or needle EMG). There are only six states with a stricter regulation for referrals, where treatment is limited to patients with a previous medical diagnosis or subject to a physician referral.
  • The only reason to go see a physical therapist is to treat an injury or accident. Physical therapists are skilled at diagnosing and evaluating issues before they become disabling or more serious injuries. They can treat a frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic headaches, lower back pain, etc.
  • My insurance does not cover physical therapy treatment. On the contrary, most insurance companies cover some sort of physical therapy. Following a successful physical therapy treatment program, a patient may be able to avoid further treatment, scans, and prescription drugs.
  • Physical therapy is always painful. A physical therapist will work with your pain threshold, helping you to heal and restore mobility. This fear is mostly voiced by people who have never been to a physical therapist.
  • I don’t have any other option but surgery. The fact is, physical therapy has been proven to be as effective as surgery in many cases, such as degenerative disk disease, some forms of knee osteoarthritis and meniscal tears. Visit a physical therapist for a second opinion when considering surgery to see if PT is a viable alternative.
  • Why can’t I do the therapy myself at home? Of course, a patient’s progress is also dependent on the work done on their own. However, every patient needs the guidance of a licensed physical therapist to ensure proper execution of the exercises, make any changes to the plan, and evaluate the progress.

Can a Physical Therapist Help with Knee Pain?

At the Pain & Arthritis Relief Center, we offer several treatment options to patients with knee pain and are ready to assist you. With the right physical therapy treatment, you may be able to get rid of your knee pain for good.

Causes of Knee Pain

A physical therapist in MD has dealt with many patients with knee pain. Some of these patients experience knee pain because of a health condition while others have knee pain because of an injury. Let’s take a closer look at some of the common causes of knee pain:

  • Osteoarthritis: This joint condition commonly affects the knees and can result in pain, inflammation, and stiffness. Knee osteoarthritis can be due to many things, such as an infection, an injury, or being overweight.
  • Loose Cartilage: If the knee gets injured while doing an activity, it may cause the cartilage to break off and get stuck in the joint. This may lead to pain and swelling.
  • Iliotibial Band Syndrome: The iliotibial band is a piece of tough tissue located in the hip and outer part of the knee. This tissue can become inflamed if a person overexerts him or herself during an activity.
  • Bursitis: A physical therapist may have also treated patients with knee pain that resulted from bursitis. If the bursa, a sac that holds fluid that’s under the skin above the joint, becomes irritated from overuse, it can result in pain and swelling in the knee.

What to Expect from Your First Physical Therapy Session

If you were referred to a physical therapist at our clinic, you might be curious about what the first session will be like. During your first visit, a physical therapist may ask you details about your medical history and give you an examination. The examination may consist of several different tests, including:

  • Gait evaluation: During this evaluation, a physical therapist is assessing how you walk. This is to assess the changes of motion in your knees as you walk.
  • Strength measurements: A strength measurement test can help determine if muscular weakness is the cause of your knee pain.
  • Balance assessment: It may also be important for a physical therapist to check your balance. If you don’t have the best balance, it can lead to excess stress in one of your knees.
  • Range of motion measurements: A physical therapist may use instruments to measure how far your knees are stretching and bending.
  • Swelling measurements: If you injured your knee, there may be swelling in the knee joint. A physical therapist may measure exactly how much swelling there is to determine the best treatment.

Each physical therapist from the Pain & Arthritis Relief Center is board-certified and provides years of experience in targeted areas such as orthopedics, neurology, women’s health, and sports injuries to name a few. Contact our office today for a comprehensive evaluation and discover what a physical therapist can do for you.  There is really no reason to live with chronic pain. We are here to help you achieve a more pain-free lifestyle. Learn more about When Does a Patient Need Physical Therapy.

Types of Physical Therapy Treatment Approaches

A physical therapist may use a variety of approaches to treat a patient’s condition or injury. The goal of these methods is to reduce pain, encourage healing, and help restore function of the body. The physical therapy modalities commonly used include ultrasound, electrical stimulation, heat, cold, light therapy, and more. To hear more about the treatment options available to you, please call the Pain & Arthritis Center today to have your questions answered. 

  • Ultrasound: Approved by the FDA for therapeutic uses, ultrasound is used for treatment of fractures, plantar fasciitis, epicondylitis, thrombus dissolution, sprains, tendonitis, bursitis, and more. The transducer tool uses sound waves (that are too high for humans to be able to hear), to warm muscles, tendons, and other tissues. By warming the damaged area, it can improve blood flow and stimulate the healing process.
  • Electrical Stimulation: Electrical stimulation modalities can be utilized to improve swelling and pain of joints, prevent muscle atrophy, increase range of motion, enhance muscle rehabilitation, improve blood flow, and reduce stress. It works by sending electrical impulses through the skin layer to stimulate muscles that are injured or manipulate nerves to decrease pain.
  • Heat: Dry heat treatments are a common approach for chronic and subacute injuries. The local effects of dry heat helps heal superficial tissue, fat, and skin. Patients who do heat therapy may experience an increase in mobility and less pain temporarily.
  • Cold: Cold therapy treatments are used to decrease inflammation and reduce blood flow in the acute healing phase. If applied quickly enough, it can temporarily prevent muscle or joint swelling after exercise. A physical therapist may suggest applying heat first to help patients warm up for therapeutic exercises, and then apply a cold pack to ward off inflammation afterwards.
  • Light Therapy: After an evaluation from a physical therapist at our clinic, we may suggest using light therapy as a component of your care plan. Light therapy entails the use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and lasers, to aid in healing injured tissues. Light therapies can be effective for treating lower back pain, wound healing, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Call The Pain & Arthritis Relief Center Today

If you suffer from knee pain, don’t hesitate to seek treatment through physical therapy. If you have another condition or injury related to the musculoskeletal system, then we may be able to help you. We have seen how much our patients have benefited from receiving physical therapy, and hope that you reach out to us so we can provide you with a free initial consultation. For more information about physical therapy, or to make an appointment with a Gaithersburg, MD physical therapist, contact the Pain Arthritis Relief Center today.