Knee pain and physical therapy in Highland

Knee pain is a very common affliction. It affects sedentary people and athletes. Sometimes knee pain comes on suddenly, other times it has a gradual onset. The good news is that most types of knee pain can be relieved with a course of physical therapy. FirstCare Physical Therapy in Highland offers physical therapy to the residents of New Paltz, Highland and the surrounding areas with Dr. Donna Jolly.

Runner’s Knee

Runner’s knee, or patellofemoral pain syndrome, is a very common condition. As the name implies, it is a common affliction of runners. It also affects walkers, bikers, dancers- anyone who is active. It is characterized by pain underneath the kneecap that worsens with activity.

Oddly enough, weak hip muscles are a common cause of runner’s knee. The theory is that the weak hip muscles can’t stabilize the pelvis during striding, so the thigh ends up rotating and falling down onto the knee, pinching it. Physical therapy designed to strengthen the hip’s abductor and rotator muscles can often cure runner’s knee.

Torn Meniscus


Meniscus tears are a common injury. They can occur during sporting activities, and they can occur while carrying the groceries to the car or during other mundane activities. Meniscus injuries are sneaky- they don’t usually hurt at the time of the actual injury. Over the next two or three days the knee will gradually swell up and become more painful. Then the swelling will subside and the knee will feel a bit better but will continue to have symptoms.

Mild tears will cause intermittent sharp pain in the knee during kneeling or squatting. More severe tears can cause catching, clicking and popping noises. The knee may feel wobbly. It may occasionally give way. In some individuals, the knee may get stuck or be impossible to straighten.

It used to be that surgery to trim the torn mensicus was recommended for practically everyone, but a series of fairly recent clinical studies demonstrated that not only was physical therapy just as effective as surgery in treating meniscal tears, physical therapy had better long-term outcomes. Individuals who undergo surgery for meniscal tears are also at a greatly increased risk of developing arthritis in the knee.

A course of physical therapy is highly effective in treating the symptoms of a torn mensicus.

Knee arthritis

Knee arthritis is very common. It usually has a gradual onset. Pain may occur when climbing stairs or when first moving after being inactive. The knee may swell up occasionally. It may feel worse during damp weather. It may feel stiff, and emit unpleasant cracking and popping noises.

As counter-intuitive as it seems, the best remedy for knee arthritis is exercise. A physical therapy program designed to strengthen the muscles around the knees and hips can dramatically ease the pain of knee arthritis.

If your knees hurt, don’t suffer in silence. Consult a doctor for a diagnosis and a course of physical therapy to cure the problem.