Similar to “TMJ,” oral-facial pain is a term which typically encompasses and wide variety of symptoms and diagnosis. Most often, patient experience pain with chewing and/or clenching the teeth. This can be caused by either the muscles of mastication or irritation of the trigeminal nerve, a very important cranial nerve in the face.
Knee pain is a common orthopedic condition which is often the result prolonged joint stress or traumatic injury. As a primary weight bearing structure of the lower extremity, the knee endures constant compressive forces, which can eventually compromise the integrity of the joint. This may result in difficulty with prolonged standing, transferring from sit to stand and ascending stairs. Knee pain may then also result in discomfort of the thigh or calf. Additionally, the knee is frequently injured during traumatic circumstances, such as sports injuries or motor vehicle collisions. Specifically diagnosed conditions, which are commonly treated in physical therapy are: Muscle Strain, Ligament Tears, Meniscus Tears, Bursitis, Patellar Instability, Chondromalacia, Osgood-Schlatters, IT Band Syndrome, Total Knee Replacements and other Post-Surgical Conditions.
Treatment for hip pain, whether acute or chronic, typically begins with decreasing inflammations and pain. This includes reducing muscular tension of the hip and low back regions. Restoring range of motion of the hip joint facilitates future progress regarding both pain and functional mobility. Once pain is reduced, patients typically notice a consistent increase in tolerance to weight bearing activities.
Physical therapy treatment for knee pain often requires restoring the balance of the thigh and calf muscles. As the motion of the kneecap functions similar to a pulley, symbiotic activation of those muscles is required to allow fluid motion. Balancing stability and flexibility promotes pain free motion of the knee, while allowing increased compressive forces. Reducing localized inflammation in the knee region is an additional benefit of physical therapy intervention.
Manual therapy is used to decrease pain and improve the mobility of the knee joint. These techniques are essential in restoring knee range of motion and proper joint mechanics. Manual stretching, joint mobilization and soft tissue relaxation are consistently utilized to help patients reduce pain restore their functional movement.
THERAPEUTIC EXERCISE PROGRAMS
Both stretching and strengthening exercises are required in the comprehensive rehabilitation of the knee. Restoring full knee range of motion is essential for a fluid gait pattern and to decrease compensatory stress on the adjacent ankle and hip joints. As physical therapy rehabilitation progresses, specific strengthening and stability exercises are utilized to improve lower extremity movement patterns and reduce the possibility of re-injury.