PT for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Path to Relief and Recovery

Person holding knee

Unlocking the Power of Physical Therapy: A Path to Relieving Pain and Restoring Mobility in Knee Osteoarthritis


Physical therapy is a highly effective way of improving overall health and wellness. It is especially helpful for individuals who are living with knee osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative condition that affects the joints and often leads to pain and stiffness. In fact, physical therapy is known for providing significant relief from these debilitating symptoms, leading to a healthier body and more active lifestyle.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the physical therapy treatments that individuals with OA can expect to receive. Additionally, we’ll discuss the expected recovery time, based on the severity of the condition. By understanding the benefits of physical therapy and what to expect from the process, individuals with OA can take important steps toward managing their symptoms and improving their overall quality of life. So, let’s dive in!

What To Expect At Physical Therapy

When starting physical therapy for knee OA, your therapist will evaluate your requirements by conducting range of motion, strength tests and gait analysis. Based on the results of these tests, an individualized course of treatment will be established to cater to your specific needs and goals.

Your treatment plan may include exercises such as stretching, strengthening, balance and coordination activities. Additionally, modalities like heat or cold therapy may be used to ease pain and promote movement in the affected area.

Working with a specialized physical therapist to develop an effective treatment plan can be critical in maintaining or regaining knee agility and overall quality of life.

What Types Of Exercises You Might Do

Physical therapy exercises for knee OA are designed to improve the strength, flexibility and range of motion in the affected area. These exercises may include:

  • Lunges to improve range of motion and strength
  • Squats for improved stability
  • Leg extensions to increase muscular strength
  • Hamstring curls for improved flexibility and movement
  • Step ups to improve knee flexion and extension

Your therapist may also recommend specific stretching exercises that can help reduce joint stiffness.

How Long Recovery Takes

The length of recovery time from physical therapy for knee OA will depend on the severity of your condition and how well you adhere to the treatment plan. Typically, the goal is to relieve symptoms within 6 weeks but it could take up to 12 weeks or more depending on your individual needs. The important thing is that you stay consistent with treatments and follow all instructions given by your PT as closely as possible.

How Physical Therapy Prevents Re-injury

Physical therapy for knee OA can help reduce the risk of future injury or re-injury by building strength and increasing flexibility in the affected area. Strengthening exercises can help to improve stability and balance, while stretching exercises can make sure your range of motion remains optimal. Additionally, physical therapy sessions will often include education about proper posture and body mechanics which can further prevent future injuries.


Physical therapy is an effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis that can help you achieve long term relief from pain and stiffness. Through a tailored treatment plan that includes exercises to build strength and increase mobility, physical therapy can help you manage your condition now and protect you against future injury.