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Can physical therapy provide pain relief while you're waiting for a knee replacement?

3 minutes, 34 seconds

It’s estimated that nearly 4 million people in the U.S. currently have knee replacements. That number is expected to significantly increase within a few years. People often receive knee replacements for conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or joint damage caused by a major knee injury. Knee replacements are meant to increase knee function, improve range of motion and reduce chronic knee pain.


Those who choose to undergo knee replacement surgery are often in a great amount of pain before their procedure. Fortunately, there are ways to help relieve some of this pain while waiting for knee replacement surgery to take place. Are you or someone you know interested in learning how to get pain relief while waiting for a knee replacement? If so, you'll find the information you're looking for below.


What are the other benefits of going to physical therapy before a knee replacement, besides pain relief?


  • Improved range of motion — One of the benefits of going to physical therapy before a knee replacement surgery, besides pain relief, is for improved range of motion. Physical therapy exercises can help you work on knee flexibility and improve your knee's range of movement.


  • Increased muscle strength — Another benefit of going to physical therapy before a knee replacement is increased muscle strength. Completing regular exercises with an experienced PT professional will likely result in better muscle strength. Muscle strength can help protect your knee from future injury.


  • Improved preparedness for surgery — A result of getting physical therapy before your knee replacement can also be improved preparedness for your surgery. Your therapist will probably have helped you build muscle strength and improved range of motion, which can support your knee after the procedure. It can also potentially shorten the amount of time you’ll need to stay in the hospital after the procedure.


  • Increased chance of faster recovery — Physical therapy will not only help with pain relief as you await your knee replacement surgery, but it will most likely help with your chances of a speedy recovery after the surgery. Building muscular strength and range of motion can support the knee as it heals and can minimize the amount of muscle you’ll lose during the recovery process.


  • Reduced levels of inflammation — PT can also help reduce any inflammation present within the knee. If you’re experiencing any swelling due to inflammation, a therapist will work to help you minimize as much of this as possible before you head into your surgery.


  • Improved levels of circulation — An added benefit of PT before surgery is that it can help boost your circulation to your knees and legs for improved healing and reduced inflammation.


Should you get physical therapy even after your knee replacement?

In short, the answer is yes! Physical therapy sessions are effective before and after your knee replacement surgery. Not only can it help relieve some of that knee pain and build up your strength before you have your knee replacement surgery, but it can also help you recover afterward. Physical therapists are specially trained to help guide you through a unique treatment plan that accounts for your physical state before and after your surgery. They can help you work toward each of your goals, whether they include pain relief, speedy recovery or maximum mobility. If you’re experiencing pain in other areas as a result of your knee replacement surgery—like your shins, for instance—therapists know how to address this too.

Virtual physical therapy may even be ideal for those individuals who may not be able to commute to a physical therapy clinic regularly for each session. Virtual PT has been proven just as effective as in-person physical therapy sessions. It can be helpful for knee replacement candidates as they await their surgery, especially. If you’re dealing with knee pain and limited mobility, you’d likely benefit from attending virtual PT sessions from the comfort of your own home to mitigate pain before your procedure.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for pain relief while you’re waiting for your knee replacement

If you’re waiting to have knee replacement surgery and you’re hurting now, you have options. At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. 

Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you get pain relief as you wait for your knee replacement. 

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

Come find help for your injury or chronic condition today!