Soft Tissue Knee Injury | IMPACT Physical Therapy

Soft Tissue Knee Injury

Runner with Knee Injury and Knee Pain

If you’re experiencing severe knee pain, stiffness, or instability, soft tissue injury could be the cause. Below, we’ll take a closer look at the symptoms that characterize this type of knee pain, and how to know when it’s important to seek physical therapy for a knee injury.

What is A Soft Tissue Knee Injury?

Soft tissue injuries of the knee are most often caused by a sudden movement or direct blow that strains the knee beyond its normal range of movement. It can impact all kinds of athletes. Knee pain results when the soft tissue structures that stabilize the knee —  ligaments, muscles, tendons, and menisci — are strained or torn. 

Symptoms of Soft Tissue Knee Injury

How do you know if the pain in your knee is a soft tissue injury? Your physical therapist will evaluate your symptoms and medical history to determine the nature and severity of your soft tissue injury. Knee pain, along with the following symptoms, are most common:

  • Immediate pain along with immediate or delayed swelling
  • Instability or a feeling that the knee may “give out”
  • Difficulty straightening the knee
  • Pain in surrounding bony structures
  • Stiffness
  • Bruising

Knee Pain Treatment for Soft Tissue Injuries

After you receive a diagnosis of soft tissue injury, knee-strengthening exercises, stretches, and low-impact cardio may be prescribed by your physical therapist. Physical therapy for knee injuries typically involves a combination of all three, customized to fit the severity of your injury and your fitness level.

  • Muscle Strengthening — To treat knee pain, it’s crucial to gently and dynamically move the muscles surrounding the injury. This type of treatment is crucial for continued stability and knee function, but should only be administered and prescribed by a qualified knee specialist in Chicago.
  • Stretching — When you’re suffering from knee pain, you’re using your knee as little as possible. Unfortunately, not using your knee while the soft tissue heals can actually exacerbate knee pain and stiffness, and delay the healing process. Your knee pain treatment plan will likely include gentle stretches designed to maintain flexibility and reduce pain.
  • Low-Impact Cardio — If swelling in your injured knee is compromising your balance and stability, your physical therapist may suggest 15 to 30 minutes of low-impact cardio three to five days per week.

Find Physical Therapy for Knee Pain in Chicago

If soft tissue injury knee pain is disrupting your quality of life, a physical therapy clinician can create a custom knee pain treatment plan to reduce knee pain and restore your strength, balance, and flexibility. Contact IMPACT Physical Therapy to request an appointment with a knee specialist in the Chicago area.