How To Reduce Knee Pain With Physiotherapy

Find out how to reduce knee pain with physiotherapy exercises

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What is knee pain?

Where is your knee pain?
Physio for knee pain
Did you know that your body is in a constant state of change?

This means that every day, things are changing: bone is broken down and rebuilt, muscles tear and new muscle is formed to make them heal and become stronger. This is normal.


Knee Pain Causes

Types Of Knee Pain

Knee Pain Exercises

What Is Knee Pain?

As one of your main weight bearing joints, pain in your knee can take many forms. Some patients complain of weakness, stiffness or tightness around their knee. Or you may have pain in different parts of your knee. Sometimes, you may find it hard to bend your knee. Other times, putting weight on it can cause pain. Trouble walking, managing steps and getting up from sitting are common complaints. Another common cause of knee pain is knee arthritis.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a term that relates to any disorder which affects your joints. The meaning behind “arthritis” is joint inflammation. Arthritis can affect different joints throughout your body. There are many types of arthritis. Some of the more frequent types seen include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Gout
  • Juvenile arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
Arthritis is common in our society, affecting both young and old, women and men. Some forms of arthritis will also affect other parts of your body, such as your eyes, skin, lungs, heart and kidneys.

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What Causes Knee Pain?

Just as there are many different forms of knee pain, the causes of your knee pain can also vary. Some common causes of knee pain treated by your physiotherapist include:

  • Bursitis
  • Iliotibial band syndrome, or ITB syndrome
  • Infection
  • Knee arthritis
  • Ligament sprain (eg. ACL, MCL)
  • Muscle strain
  • Osgood Schlatter disease
  • Poor alignment of your knee cap or patella (Patellofemoral pain syndrome, of PFPS>
  • Tear in your knee meniscus
  • Tendonitis

Knee pain from an injury happens quite often such as a fall, accident or sporting event such as knee pain after cycling. Other times, what can cause knee pain without an injury includes the daily wearing down of your knee over time or with repetitive use.

Types of knee pain

Knee pain and pain in general can often be categorized partly based on how long you have been having the pain. For example:

  1. Acute: Pain that has been around for less than 3 weeks
  2. Sub-acute: Pain lasting between 3 weeks and 3 months
  3. Chronic knee pain: Any pain lasting longer than 3 months

Is It Rheumatoid Arthritis Or Osteoarthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis can usually be found on both sides of your body. It can also affect several other joints throughout your body such as your fingers, wrists and feet. It can lead to changes in your skin, blood, heart, eyes and lungs. With rheumatoid arthritis, there can sometimes be a family or genetic history as well.

With rheumatoid arthritis, mornings will usually be toughest for you. With rheumatoid arthritis, you will feel it more after staying still for longer such as after sitting for awhile.


With osteoarthritis, it usually only affects 1 joint and is often due to wear and tear over time. The cartilage that sits between your bones can get worn down over time. Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative joint disease.

Pain from osteoarthritis is usually sharp. It typically will get worse later in the day or after you have been more active. You may notice knee pain when squatting, or have knee pain with running. The most typical places to get osteoarthritis are in the joints in your hands, hips, knees and spine.

Symptoms of knee arthritis

Arthritis in your knee can be either rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or even both. With arthritis, some of the symptoms you may feel can include:

  • Discomfort related to weather changes
  • Feeling of warmth around your knee
  • Hard to bend or straighten your knee
  • Joint stiffness
  • Knee locking, clicking, grinding
  • Knee pain in cold weather
  • Pain behind your knee
  • Pain in knee when bending
  • Pain when standing or putting pressure on your knee
  • Swelling

Get Back On Your Feet

Your physiotherapists can help you develop the best plan on how to fix knee pain from running and get you back on your feet.

Call us to schedule an assessment with one of your North Burnaby physiotherapists. Learn how to help your knee pain today

Consult Your Physio

Click To Phone 604-738-1168

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Where Is Your Knee Pain Located?

Where you are having knee pain can give clues as to what is causing your pain or knee trouble. Here are some possible examples. Keep in mind that this list does not cover all the possible causes and any confirmation and diagnosis should done with your physiotherapist:

  • Above your knee cap (patella): Quadriceps tendinopathy

  • Back of knee pain: Arthritis, Bakers cyst, circulation problems, hamstring strain, ligament sprain

  • Below your knee cap: Jumper’s knee, Osgood-Schlatter disease

  • Inside of knee pain: Arthritis, bursitis, meniscal tear, MCL sprain

  • Knee cap pain: Arthritis, bursitis, runner’s knee

  • Outside part of your knee: ITB syndrome, LCL sprain
physiotherapy for knee pain near me

How Can A Physiotherapist Help Reduce Knee Pain And Arthritis

Arthritis will not go away but many live without pain. Studies have proven that aerobic and strengthening exercises are safe for osteoarthritis and can reduce your knee pain, even with bone-on-bone arthritis. Exercise does NOT make the disease progress faster. Research shows that running can actually protect your knee.

What will a physiotherapist do for knee pain

Manual therapy: Joint mobilization can temporarily relieve pain and increase range of motion. Afterwards, proper stretches for knee pain can prolong the changes

Knee pain treatment can include

Weight loss: Does losing weight help knee pain? For every 1lb lost, there is a 4lb reduction in pressure on the knee. Your physiotherapist can prescribe a safe, effective exercise program to promote weight loss. Even without losing weight, the treatments here can help provide knee pain relief

Physiotherapy Exercise For Knee Pain

Strengthening exercises

Exercise at least 2x/week to increase strength and reduce pain. Your physio can assess which muscles are weak and teach you exercises with the home equipment you have

  • Offloads pressure on the joint
  • Improves alignment

Aerobic exercises for knee pain

An exercise program consisting of the things you like to do so your body can adapt and learn to do them with less pain

  • Pumps out inflammation
  • Improves cartilage health
  • Releases healing synovial fluid into your joint

Arthritis and exercise

For those with osteoarthritis, rebuilding and adapting to exercise can take longer. This does not mean that you should stop exercising, just that you may need more guidance.

When you exercise, these processes happen much faster as your body adapts to the increased load. Your body must lay down bone and muscle in the body parts you are exercising.

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Patient Review

frozen shoulder exercise Araceli

Very knowledgeable and professional
And mostly kind with the patient, I took my senior mom to other physiotherapists and none of them made her feel secured in regards to her knee issue , the attention to detail and care that Dr Ramos gave her truly made her day and at same time , we went home with a painless knee and a happy mom .

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does a physiotherapist do for knee pain or arthritis?

How to treat knee pain: if you are suffering from knee pain or arthritis, there are many benefits to seeing your physiotherapist. They can start with treatment to relieve your knee pain such as hands-on manual therapy, IMS dry needling, electrical modalities and taping or bracing.

They can help guide you on the best and safest exercises for your knee. Exercise rehab is an important component in managing your knee pain and arthritis, as the goal is to allow you to stay active and moving

What are the first signs of arthritis in my knee?

Some early signs your knee may have arthritis can include things such as find your knee getting more stiff, swollen, tender, locking, giving out or bumpy. Knee pain at night may also be a symptom of knee arthritis

Can I get rid of arthritis in my knee?

There is no way to cure the arthritis in your knee, but there many things you can to help you manage your knee discomfort and try to slow down the arthritis. With proper management, you will be better able to minimize pain flares and stay active and moving

What are some good exercises for my knee arthritis?

What to do for knee pain: If you have arthritis in your knee, exercise is an important way for you to keep your symptoms under control, your knee working well and slowing down the wear on your joint. You want to ensure that the exercises you are doing will help and not harm your knee. Progress slowly and avoid pushing beyond the physical limits of your knee.

Also important is knowing when to exercise and when to rest, as well as what knee pain exercises to avoid. Take advantage of those days where your knee is cooperating and feeling better. When you have a flare, it is alright to take a break and rest for a brief time

Get Back On Your Feet

Visit your physiotherapist to discover how to reduce knee pain while walking and start moving again.

Call us to schedule an assessment with one of your North Burnaby physiotherapists and they can help you learn how to stop knee pain

See Your Physio

Click To Phone 604-738-1168

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