In Knee-d of Some Attention?

   There are a number of factors that ensure a successful return to activity from a knee injury, and Physiotherapy has a profound impact on this outcome.
    
Two of the most common knee complaints are anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries and osteoarthritis (OA). There are some interesting parallels between the two. A recent study demonstrated that due to insufficient strength, a low percentage achieve the same level of athletic performance pre and post ACL injury. The fascinating parallel with the OA knee is that those who don’t maintain quadriceps muscle bulk go downhill faster.

It has been clinically shown that if the muscle strength of the ACL injured leg is less than 85% of the other leg, it is more likely to lead to poor outcomes. The Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatology published an OA study that found a parallel, with the smaller the medial quadriceps muscle the bigger the pain and the greater the medial tibial cartilage loss.

This is actually a good news story as achieving muscle strength in the ACL injured leg above 90% of the other leg, dramatically improves outcomes. The parallel with the OA knee is even more exciting. Getting medial quadriceps bulk up is associated with reduced knee pain in the short term and remarkably, reduced medial tibial cartilage loss in the longer term.
There are many ways to begin to claw back strength around the knee. Exercises easily found on the internet are a good start but getting symmetry after ACL injury and restoring specifically the medial quadriceps in the OA knee is why physiotherapy is an essential component of rehabilitation.

At Target Physio, there are a few things you can expect during one-on-one appointments. Passive pain relieving techniques such as acupuncture, deep tissue massage, joint mobilization, and taping, are offered to support the main treatment of progressive functional movement training which is a blanket term to describe individualized combinations of the following:
  • Strengthening without taxing the joint surface or ligaments.
  • Application of current pain science techniques and strategies.
  • Resolving muscle imbalances across the knee joint.
  • Restoring joint function and movement patterns of the foot, hip and pelvic.
  • Optimising proprioception, impact distribution, take-off, landing, acceleration, deceleration and endurance training.
In addition, Target Physio group programs provide various levels of Functional Movement Training (FMT) to assist knees and other troubled areas achieve good results. Level 1 FMT for falls prevention, balance and bony density includes beginner Pilates through to Level 3 FMT which develops conditioning through load speed and fatigue and includes advance Pilates.

Getting medial quadriceps bulk up is associated with reduced knee pain in the short term and remarkably, reduced medial tibial cartilage loss in the longer term [knee OA].