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 of Schenectady, P.C.
Injury Prevention Tips and News

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Most people only consider Physical Therapy when they have already had an injury. But, did you know that Physical Therapists are also well trained in injury prevention?  Many knee injuries that are caused by muscle weakness or imbalances are preventable, especially in the sport/recreational activity category of injury. Our physical therapists take several hours of post professional continuing education classes each year. Many of these classes are geared towards learning new screening and treatment techniques to help keep "athletes" of all ages playing their particular sport or activity.        
   Office Locations
1533 Union Street
Schenectady, NY 12309
(518) 381-9166
42 Saratoga Rd.
Glenville,NY 12302
(518) 399-6861
3434 Carman Rd.
Schenectady, NY 12303
(518) 356-7445
Clifton Park
17 Halfmoon Executive  Park  Dr.
Clifton Park, NY 12065
(518) 371-6777
1182 Troy Schenectady Rd
Suite LL02
Latham, NY 12110
1 Conway Court
Troy, NY 12180
(518) 273-2715
West Sand Lake
43 Mall
West Sand Lake, NY 12196
(518) 674-1744  

178 Clizbe Ave 
Amsterdam, NY 12010
(518) 842-1425
Tamarac Plaza
PO Box 118
3991 State Rte. 2
Cropseyville, NY 12052
(518) 279-4610

Ballston Spa
220 Church Ave.
Ballston Spa, NY 12020
(518) 885-1541

Hand Therapy at Guilderland Accepting New Patients
Located within our Rotterdam/Guilderland office is Hand Therapy at Guilderland. Sheryl Sturn OTR/L, CHT is available for all hand therapy needs.
Call 630-6167
to schedule an appointment.



February 2013
Why Does My Knee Hurt?
It's a question that doctors and physical therapists hear everyday. The answer, however, is not always a simple one. There are many causes of knee pain, some benign and some more complex. Below are a few examples of common pain causing injuries or diagnosis' that we see in our clinics. The list is by no means complete or exhaustive of all possibilities.

Degenerative Joint Disease/Osteoarthritis The ends of our bones that articulate with each other to form a joint are lined with articular cartilage. This lining of cartilage protects the underlying bone from load and stress
Knee Osteoarthritis 
placed on the joints. If this lining begins to weaken or wear
away the bone is exposed. Prolonged exposure of the bone to compressive joint loads can cause it to break  
down or "degenerate" leading to a diagnosis of degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of degenerative joint disease of the knee. Treatments often consist of steroid injections, physical therapy for range of motion and strengthening exercise, and braces designed to unload the knee. Severe cases often lead to a joint replacement surgery.   

Meniscus (Cartilage) Tears
The knee has two pieces of semicircular shaped fibrocartilage positioned between the femur and the tibia called meniscus. This type of cartilage is different from articular cartilage in it's composition and function. The meniscus act as a cushion or buffer to spread joint compressive loads over a larger surface are so as not to have too much force concentrated on a single are in the knee joint. This type of injury often occurs when a person twists awkwardly while their foot is planted o
n the ground. You will see this a lot in sports but it can also happen to people while mowing their lawn or walking their dog. Symptoms are often pain or clicking in the joint, limited range of motion, or a sense of the knee buckling or locking up. Some meniscus tears are capable of healing if they occur in the periphery of the tissue. Larger tears often require surgical debridement (removal). Therapy for small tears focuses on restoring range of motion and quadriceps strength, since both are often limited after a meniscus tear because of swelling.

The "Stiff" Knee Often times patients present with a sore, stiff knee but with no history or mechanism of injury. This type of injury is usually a result of activities that require repetitive bending/squatting. Warehouse workers, landscapers, carpenters/floor installers, or people who sit most of the day often have this type of knee problem. These patients usually have a
loss of range of motion in extension (straightening) or difficulty straightening it after it has been bent for a period of time. Structurally there is usually nothing wrong in the knee joint itself. Often a few simple corrective exercises done several times throughout the day are all that is necessary to fix this problem. 

Other Causes of Knee Pain  
Some causes of knee pain do not originate in the knee joint at all. Weakness in the quadriceps (front thigh muscles) can play a role in knee pain as well.
Some knee complaints are a result of weak muscles in the hip. Even tightness in the hip muscles (especially the Hip Flexors) can contribute to knee pain. Many professionals look at  the foot and ankle as potential sources since altered mechanics here can effect the knee and hip.

Generally speaking, there are several possible causes of knee pain. Interestingly enough, some studies have shown that individuals with no knee pain still have signs of degenerative changes on MRI testing! That just shows that we cannot rely on MRI testing alone to determine why a person has knee pain. Physical therapists are uniquely qualified to evaluate your knee and help determine the best course of treatment to get you moving and active again !  

Exercises to Help Your Knee

The following are examples of some of the exercises that are often prescribed to treat knee pain. They are not intended to be a substitute for medical care.                                         

Quadriceps Setting 


While in a long sitting position with your leg straight and a small towel roll under your knee. Contract the muscles on the top of your thigh in order to press the back of your knee into the towel. Hold for 3-5 seconds. Relax. Then repeat 20-30 times. 3-5x per week. 





Knee Extension Stretch


Sit on a chair and place your heel on another chair or stool. Place your hands just above your kneecap. Press down as to straighten your knee further. Hold for 2-3 seconds. Relax. Repeat 10-12times, 2-3x per day as needed for a stiff knee. 





Sideways Step Up 


Stand on a step in your house approximately 6-8 inches high. Hold onto a wall or railing for balance. Stand up on step using only the foot that is on the step. Be sure to fully straighten your stance knee. Also make sure your knee stays over your foot and does not "buckle" inwards. Pause for a second or two. Slowly lower yourself back to the floor. Repeat 10-15 times daily. Progress to 2 sets as you get  stronger.


Lateral step up




We Want To Hear From You 
We want our newsletter to be specific to the needs of our clients. We would like your help to do this. Please feel free to email any requests for specific topics to be addressed or questions you might have regarding physical therapy and we will do our best to address them in upcoming newsletters. Email requests to ptrotterdam@aol.com attn. Kevin.