Having realistic recovery goals is critical if you’re recovering from an injury, and this is especially true when you’re recovering from a torn meniscus. The meniscus is a c-shaped piece of cartilage in your knee. Its job is to cushion the ends of the thigh bone and the shin bone, and there are two of these structures in each knee joint. Sudden starts, stops or twisting movements can strain the menisci and cause them to tear.
There are many treatment options you can use to recover from a meniscus tear but physical therapy is one of the most effective options in many cases. Here are three of the goals that physical therapy for a torn meniscus can help you reach:
- Improve your range of motion
Range of motion is the normal amount you can bend and flex a joint. One goal that torn meniscus physical therapy can help people reach is to improve their post-injury range of motion. When you injure a meniscus, you’re likely to have symptoms like swelling or stiffness that make it harder to move your knee normally.
Physical therapists can offer techniques like therapeutic exercises that are designed to reduce stiffness and swelling in your knee. In turn, reducing these symptoms can make it easier to move your knee and work your way back up to a normal range of motion.
- Decrease pain
Another common goal of torn meniscus physical therapy plans is to help decrease pain. On its own, a tear in your meniscus can be very painful, but this knee pain could be increased if the edges of the tear are catching on the bones as your knee moves. The pain of this injury also tends to be greater when patients try to twist or rotate their knee.
Physical therapists can help you deal with your pain by showing you ways you should and shouldn’t move as you’re healing, but they can also use therapy methods like the Graston Technique ® to increase blood flow and speed up healing. Faster healing means you’ll spend less time in pain.
- Improve supporting muscle strength
One reason your meniscus may have torn in the first place is that the muscles that support your knee are weak. This is why torn meniscus physical therapy typically has the goal of helping to increase the strength of these supporting muscles. There are many therapeutic exercises that can be used for this, but an experienced physical therapist can help you find the ones that fit with your specific needs. They can also use techniques like active release to help break down any scar tissue in the knee-supporting muscles. This is an important step because the scar tissue could be stopping these muscles from moving properly and supporting the knee fully.
Meet your torn meniscus physical therapy goals with help from Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation
Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation is the type of supportive partner you’re looking for when you’re in need of torn meniscus physical therapy. Our team offers complimentary screenings from four locations in New Jersey. We have experience building personalized meniscus tear treatment plans, which typically include multiple therapy techniques like:
- Therapeutic exercises
- Manual therapy
- Active release
- Graston Technique®
Take the next step to start getting help with your torn meniscus. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.