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How PT Can Treat Weak Knees

If you're experiencing knee buckling, physical therapy may be your secret weapon for treatment and pain relief
By Luna
How PT Can Treat Weak Knees

Knee buckling is a common ailment among adults. It occurs when one or both knees suddenly "give out." That "buckle" or giving-away is a sign of knee weakness and is the body's defense mechanism for preventing further injury. Unstable or weak knees are a tell-tale sign of damage, especially if they buckle often and there's associated pain. 

Causes and Symptoms of Knee Buckling

Several things cause knee buckling, including:

  • Dislocation of the kneecap - If your knee cap constantly dislocates, it's known as patella instability. The dislocation causes misalignment, resulting in weakness and buckling of the knees. 
  • Inflammation - Inflammation resulting from knee injuries can interfere with the smooth movement of the joint. Plica Syndrome is inflammation of the medial plica (part of the knee's joint lining and synovial tissue). The swelling causes the knee to pop, crack, and buckle.
  • Torn ligaments - The knee has four primary stabilizing ligaments: the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament), PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), MCL (medial collateral ligament), and the LCL (lateral collateral ligament). Tearing of any of these ligaments is painful and results in knee instability.
  • Bone and cartilage fragments - When fragments get trapped between the knee joints, movement of the knee is challenging. You may hear a grinding sound when flexing the knee joint. 
  • Arthritis - While worn cartilage and injuries often lead to arthritis, knee buckling is a common symptom of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Both are autoimmune diseases.
  • Multiple sclerosis - MS is another autoimmune disease. Because it attacks the central nervous system, it causes balance and sensory problems, resulting in knee weakness and instability.
  • Torn Meniscus - A torn meniscus is a common knee injury. When this ligament is lacerated, the knee becomes unstable and is prone to buckling. A torn meniscus causes knee pain that typically gets worse over time.
  • Nerve damage - Knee pain, tingling, and numbness could be signs of nerve problems. Nerve damage causes numbness, weakness, or paralysis in the knees, making them prone to buckling.

How to Treat Knee Buckling

Resting the knee and utilizing either a cold or hot compresses are excellent treatments. Consider wearing a knee brace to provide more stability and help prevent future episodes of knee buckling. However, if your knee continues to give out or you're experiencing chronic knee pain, get an exam to determine the cause. If severe damage is found, it may require surgery. Minor knee injuries and damage, however, are often treatable with physical therapy.  

Knee Buckling and Physical Therapy

When there is only nominal damage to the knee, physical therapy can effectively treat it quickly. PT helps to strengthen weak muscles and heal the damaged tissue that surrounds the knee. Also, it improves stabilization as well as accelerates the overall healing process. 

 

On-demand physical therapy is an excellent way to avoid putting more strain on your knee while getting the help you need. You get one-on-one time with a board-certified PT who comes to your home and prescribes an exercise plan tailored to your unique needs and environment. It's convenient, effective, and designed to help you feel better faster.

 

Stop worrying about your knees buckling and start healing instead. Contact Luna on-demand physical therapy for the help you need today.

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