Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

Review Highlights Effectiveness of Manual Therapy for Patients with Knee Pain

January 11, 2018



Patellofemoral Pain (pain under the knee cap) is the most common source of knee pain among active individuals and athletes.  Symptoms are secondary to increased joint pressure between the knee cap and thigh during walking, hiking, squatting, kneeling, cycling or running.  Most commonly this diagnosis is secondary to muscle imbalances including hip and knee weakness which can be resolved with Physical Therapy treatments.  In addition to exercise, manual therapy to the lower quarter joints has also been shown to reduce pain in patients with patellofemoral pain.  

A recent review article in the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy (Eckenrode et al. 2018) examined the available medical literature behind manual therapy treatments in patients with knee pain.  Authors included 9 previous studies where authors had utilized physical therapy and manual therapy in the treatment program.  Manual therapy was shown to reduce knee pain and self reported function in the short term, but long term results were not found.  This is consistent with treatment in our Boulder physical therapy practice where manual therapy is used in the short term to reduce pain and facilitate a transition to a higher level strengthening program.  

To learn more on how Physical Therapy can help you overcome knee pain contact your local Physical Therapist.