MENISCUS PAIN GUIDE

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Physiobot. Joint pain questions, meet answers.

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by Matthew Henderson, MPT

Masters of Physical Therapy

PRIMARY STRATEGY

First you need to understand our main objective: Reducing strain on the joint. This will allow inflammation to settle down and healing to begin. 

REST

With that in mind, minimize activities that exacerbate your pain (running, squats etc.) Don't worry, this isn't forever, just long enough to give the joint a rest. Even a few days of good rest can go a long way to jump start your recovery.

ICE VS HEAT
If you notice swelling, go with ice instead of hot packs. This will help soothe the inflammation and stiffness. You can learn more about correct icing techniques on our Icing Instructional Guide.

EXERCISE
Begin a targeted meniscal exercise program. For best results, make sure you address both strength and flexibility. Luckily you don't have to figure out which exercises to perform, our PT's have done it for you! Scroll down to view your exercises.

 
Try to do your exercises a few times a day. You can cycle down as the pain diminishes.

WHAT TO EXPECT
These strategies should lead to noticeable improvement within a few days.

 

BACK TO ACTION

Once the pain eases, slowly return to your normal activities. Let pain be your guide. If it hurts, back off!

KNEE BRACES

The evidence on knee braces is mixed and should not replace exercises. That said, many individuals report significant pain relief when utilizing a knee brace. There are a variety of knee brace types and it is important to pick the option that best fits your needs. For additional guidance, please view our Best Knee Braces of 2022 Guide.

 

NOT IMPROVING?
Connecting with a joint care professional is the logical next step. Many individuals find this a bit daunting and delay care. But it is important to keep in mind that, generally speaking, the earlier treatment is initiated the more likely you are to experience a full recovery.

 

To help promote accessible care, our 2022 Joint Care Guide: Your Best Options in Telehealth, In-Home and In-Clinic is now available.

 

-- Check with your doctor or local physical therapist prior to initiating a new exercise program --

YOUR EXERCISES

#1

Quadriceps Stretch

The quadriceps are located on the front of your thigh. When tight they add strain to the knee joint, particularly the meniscus and kneecap.

#2

Hamstrings Stretch

The hamstrings are located on the back of your knee(s). Tight hamstrings place excessive strain on the knee joint as a whole, increasing meniscal pain and irritation.

Short arc quads

#3

Short Arc Quads

This exercise targets the end range of knee extension strength. This range often weakens following a knee injury, leading to knee buckling and pain.

#4

Quad Strength

The quadriceps are some of the most important functional muscles in the body. When weak, pain and instability in the knee often occurs.

#5

Gluteus Medius

The gluteus medius is located on the outer hip. It may seem strange to target the outer hips for knee pain, but research shows strengthening this region is key to reducing meniscal pain.

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