From student-athletes to retirees, a torn meniscus is a relatively common injury. For those younger in age, most tears come from sudden movements or collisions experienced in contact sports and other activities. The meniscus weakens with age, making seniors particularly vulnerable. Statistics estimate some 40% of people 65 and older have a torn meniscus.
No matter your age or why the tissue is torn, physical therapy can help you strengthen your knees and have less pain. Surgery might be unnecessary. If you do have surgery, physical therapy is an essential element of your post-surgery rehabilitation.
ProFysio Physical Therapy offers a variety of therapeutic treatments that can reduce the pain caused by meniscal tears and can enhance mobility. Some of the following treatments might be appropriate to treat meniscal tears:
- Sport Specific Conditioning
- Strengthening Exercises
- EPAT-Shockwave Treatment
- Electrical Stimulation
What Is a Meniscus?
A meniscus is a cartilage in your knee. You have two in each knee (menisci when referring to them in plural). This cartilage is a shock absorber. They also help your kneecap to glide properly as the knee bends and straightens.
Symptoms of a Torn Meniscus
There are many symptoms that point to a possible torn meniscus. An MRI can more definitely diagnose a tear.
Symptoms of a torn meniscus include the following:
- The knee joint locks
- Knee swelling
- Reduced range of motion of the knee joint
- Knee pain when rising to a standing position
- Knee pain when descending stairs
There are several exercises you can do at home to improve the symptoms of your torn meniscus. It is always important to use proper form. If you are unsure, you should see a physical therapist who can establish a safe exercise program.
The following exercises may cause minor discomfort but not pain. Do not continue anything that causes pain.
- Straight Leg Raise. Lie on the floor with the left foot flat on the floor and the knee bent. The right leg is extended out on the floor. Keep your back and pelvis neutral throughout the exercise. Keeping the right leg straight, lift the leg to about 45 degrees and then slowly lower to the floor. Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions. Repeat on the other side.
- Mini Squats. Stand with your back against a wall and your feet about one foot from the wall. Begin to bend your knees to slowly lower your hips. Stop after bending your knees about 15 degrees. Hold the position for about 10 seconds and then slide your back up the wall to your beginning position. Repeat 10 times. Rest for about a minute and then repeat for another 10 times (or less if needed).
- Hamstring Curls. Lie on your stomach with your legs extended and your forehead resting on your arms. Slowly bend your left knee and slowly bring your heel toward your buttocks. Slowly lower foot back to the floor. Repeat 10 times and then perform 10 times on the other leg.
- Standing Heel Raises. Stand with your feet about hip-distance apart. You can have your hands on a counter or heavy chair for support. Slowly come onto the balls of your feet as you lift your heels off the floor. Pause at the top and then slowly lower both heels to the floor. Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
- Sitting Leg Extensions. Sit in a chair with your back straight and both feet on the floor. Flex your right foot and extend that leg out in front of you. Slowly lower the foot back to the floor. Repeat this 10 times and then switch and perform 10 repetitions on the other leg.
Helping You Get Back in Motion
Our team is passionate about helping you feel less pain and live an active lifestyle. Through our advanced techniques and therapies, we are able to improve many conditions that create pain and discomfort.
If you have a torn meniscus or another injury that is causing you pain, schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we might be able to help you.
Contact us today by calling (732) 812-5200 or by using our online form.