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Pain-free movement is a luxury that we don’t often notice until it’s gone. That’s why chronic knee pain, or even temporary stiffness, can make people view their mobility in a new light. When carefree moving is taken away from us, it’s a reminder to maintain as much health as possible.

Whether you’re dealing with knee pain and stiffness or trying to stay ahead of joint pain, regular exercise with at-home physical therapy (PT) is integral to your recovery. As they say, “motion is lotion”, and keeping up with physical therapy from home with targeted exercises delivers the motion you need.

Common sources of knee pain

Before a physical therapist or other care team members can restore your knee’s mobility, you need to understand what kind of injury you’re contending with.

Some of the most common forms of knee damage include:

  • Tendon Damage
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Post-traumatic Arthritis

Your doctor will recommend different forms of at-home treatment depending on your condition. Before your doctor escalates your knee treatment to surgery (like a knee scope or replacement), or even injection therapy, physical therapy is likely to be recommended. Knee physical therapy and daily knee exercises should be a foundational part of your recovery.

The benefits of at-home physical therapy

There are plenty of reasons you may want to avoid going to the doctor’s office. Long trips to see specialists are taxing, especially if you have to take time off of work or arrange childcare. Finding specialists in your area who can treat your knee pain may even be challenging depending on where you live and what kind of pain you’re in.

Accessibility is one of the many benefits of at-home care and physical therapy. PeerWell’s team of physical therapists and multi-specialty doctors on demand can meet with you on your schedule. What’s more, physical therapy exercises for your condition are instructed via the device you already own. Digital physical therapy programs allow you to exercise at your own pace, with built-in guidance and compliance. In other words, one on one physical therapy sessions from home with guided follow-up exercises can be very effective.

Key benefits for at-home physical therapy:

  • No travel time.
  • Access from best physical therapists regardless of where you live—remote or in a city.
  • Perform exercises at your own self-guided pace.
  • Daily program and exercises to support in-person physical therapy.
  • No added risk if you have a secondary condition, are immuno-compromised, or have been advised to limit exposure.
  • A digital PT program is more versatile and may even adapt to your recovery progress.
  • A digital PT program may have built-in tools that count reps, measure accuracy of movement, and can monitor your progress in a way in-person therapy could not.

A glimpse into physical therapy from home for knee pain

Ideally, you’ll meet one on one with a live physical therapist. Whether you do this in-person or virtually, being able to talk about your specific knee pain, injury or condition, is important. Your physical therapist will be able to determine the best exercises, treatment plan, and number of visits you may require for recovery.

Some popular knee physical therapy exercises include:  

  • Quad sets
  • Short arc quads
  • Calf exercises
  • Hip-strengthening exercises

For a list of top 10 exercises before joint replacement surgery, click here.

Physical therapy will aim to improve your knee movement, flexion, extension, strength and range of motion. After all, knee pain and range of motion (ROM) are connected.By focusing on improving knee movement, through physical therapy from home, you can actively cut-down on your pain.

Read more about improving range of Motion (ROM) and more targeted knee exercises for pain and arthritis.

Get more than just at-home physical therapy

Putting a stop to knee pain and treating the root cause of your condition generally means more than just physical therapy. While physical therapy is a very important pillar in your recovery to overcome pain, it’s just one aspect. A total recovery from knee pain and injury should be multidisciplinary. At PeerWell, we call this ‘the five pillars of health”.

What is the multidisciplinary approach to healthcare? It’s a “whole person” approach where a team of experts (like physical therapists, mental health therapists, doctors, specialists, nurses, and care coordinators) band together to deliver more complete care. Instead of one doctor treating your pain, speciality experts work collectively to deliver care that targets the many factors that contribute to your pain or condition.

PeerWell’s Five Pillars of Health for a multidisciplinary knee pain recovery: 

1. Physical Therapy

Treating your knee pain should be centered around targeted exercises and movements that support, strengthen, stretch, and improve flexion or extension. Working through daily, personalized exercises that are proven to reduce pain, and improve mobility, and kickstart healing is necessary for making a full recovery. At-home physical therapy and virtual visits are key, but they are not the be all, end all.

2. Nutrition

Nutrition is often overlooked when it comes to managing your pain. However, your diet can actually influence your knee pain, mobility, and inflammation. Better diet, weight loss, and nutrients with healing properties are proven to contribute to a full recovery.

Read more about using food as medicine and ‘eating for surgery’, like a joint replacement.

3. Pain and Anxiety

Chronic pain and joint conditions (like back pain) are closely linked to emotional health, anxiety, and depression. Pain is difficult, and learning skills to reduce pain from home offers lasting, long-term relief. A total recovery from knee pain takes both physical and emotional healing.

4. Health Literacy

Understanding the source of your knee pain, condition, or surgery is critical. The more you know, the better you do. When you feel empowered, understand more about your knee pain, and recognize risk factors that may worsen your condition, you can be more active in your recovery.

5. Environmental Preparation

Removing trip and fall hazards from the home after a knee replacement or installing proper equipment in the bathroom are often overlooked. If your house is unsafe, or your environment is stressful, small adjustments can make for a better, faster recovery.

Recap: Why physical therapy from home?

  • Meet with live 1:1 sessions with physical therapists who you may not have had access to, depending where you live. Your location won’t inhibit you from getting the best care!
  • Get an at-home recovery program for daily exercises. Work on your recovery between physical therapy appointments.
  • Benefit from things like: no travel time, reduced risk, and recover with more guidance from home.
  • A complete knee pain recovery program will include more than just physical therapy. Overcoming pain needs to be multidisciplinary in nature (like the Five Pillars of Health).
  • Digital recovery programs that include knee physical therapy and offers you access to other specialists, is whole person care.

Whole person care with a connected team of specialists will help address the root cause of your knee pain. Learn more about PeerWell Health’s proven treatment to help you overcome knee pain. 

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