Physiotherapy for Knee Pain in Singapore

The knee is a sophisticated structure that bears our body weight, allowing us to perform everyday activities such as walking, running, or climbing stairs. However, due to its complexity and constant use, it is vulnerable to a variety of injuries and health conditions.

Physiotherapy is a common treatment option for knee pain caused by injury, strain, or any other health conditions like arthritis or tendonitis that affects the knee joint. Knee pain is a typical health issue that can affect any age group. The knee is a hinge joint made of two bones: the femur, which connects to the hip and thigh muscles, and the tibia, which connects to the shinbone. The patella (kneecap) is a small bone that sits between these two bones and acts like a cushion that helps keep your knees stable when you walk or run.

The knee has two main functions: to provide stability to the lower leg and to allow movement of the lower leg in different directions. These can be affected if you suffer from knee pain caused by various reasons, which is why it is best to seek physiotherapy treatment as soon as you notice painful symptoms.

What causes knee pain?

The knee joint is a complicated structure that includes the femur, tibia, and patella. There are also various muscles, ligaments, and tendons that are involved in the mechanisms of the knee joint. Injuries to any part of this structure can cause pain and inflammation in the knee joint.

Here are some health conditions that can lead to knee pain:

ACL Injury of the Knee

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament or ACL is one of the four major ligaments in the knee joint. It attaches the femur bone to the tibia bone and prevents excessive movement between these two bones. So, when there is injury or rupture of this ligament, it causes pain and instability in the knee. If left untreated, an ACL injury can lead to severe consequences such as torn cartilage, meniscus, and patella injuries. It is a common knee injury caused by sudden twisting or turning movements. Here are some common symptoms of an ACL injury:
  • Pain and swelling in the knee joint.
  • Instability and giving way of your knee.
  • When you try to squat, you can’t keep a proper balance.
  • Difficulty in bending or twisting of your leg.

In the realm of physiotherapy, strategic and targeted exercises are often utilised to fortify the muscles surrounding the knee. This approach enhances joint stability and mitigates the risk of further damage, offering a non-invasive knee pain treatment option.

patient sitting on hospital bed while holding crutches with knee fracture injuries

Fracture of the knee

A knee fracture is an injury in which the bones of your knee joint break or crack. Knee pain is one of the most common symptoms of a fractured knee.

The most common cause of knee fracture is sudden trauma to the knee, such as falling on it or being hit by an object. A fall or blow can cause some damage to the joints and bones. This can lead to inflammation and pain in your knee joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves.

When it comes to fractures, there are three main reasons why you might experience knee pain:

  1. There may be injury to your ligaments near the fracture site. This can make it difficult to move your leg and can even make walking uncomfortable.
  2. The pain might be caused by damaged nerves or blood vessels at the fracture site.
  3. A broken kneecap often causes severe pain in the front of your thigh and down your shinbone (tibia). A fractured kneecap can also cause bruising around your leg, swelling, and difficulty in the bending or straightening of your leg.

These are the common signs of knee fracture:

  • Pain in front or back of the knee.
  • Swelling and bruising around your knee.
  • Difficulty moving your leg.

The role of physiotherapy in treating such conditions is invaluable, offering a holistic treatment approach for knee pain. Therapeutic exercises, pain management strategies, and manual therapy methods are employed to improve mobility, boost muscle strength, and expedite the healing process.

Torn Meniscus

A torn meniscus is when there is a tear or rupture to one or both of the round, crescent-shaped pieces of cartilage (menisci) that act as shock absorbers between your thigh bone (femur) and shinbone (tibia).

This can happen due to an injury, sudden knee twisting, or effects of ageing.

A torn meniscus can cause knee pain, swelling, and stiffness in your joints. This pain may be dull or sharp and may worsen with activities like walking, kneeling, squatting, or bending your knees. Immediate treatment is advised.

Physiotherapy for knee pain caused by a torn meniscus involves gentle, targeted exercises aimed at enhancing flexibility and muscle strength. This tailored treatment plan is designed to facilitate optimal recovery without aggravating the injury.

meniscal tear illustration possible condition that causes knee pain
Illustration of Knee bursitis occuring when the synovial fluid that lubricates the knee joint becomes inflamed.

Knee Bursitis

Knee bursitis occurs when the synovial fluid that lubricates the knee joint becomes inflamed.

The knee joint comprises two large bones called the femur and tibia. The ends of these two bones are protected with cartilage, which provides a smooth surface for them to move against each other. The knee joint also contains small synovium, which produces and stores synovial fluid. These synovium help to lubricate the cartilage so it can move smoothly during movement of the leg.

Knee bursitis occurs when this synovium becomes inflamed, causing pain and swelling in the surrounding area. This condition comes about when the knee joint has been overused or injured.

These are some of the common symptoms of knee bursitis:

  • Pain in the region around your kneecap.
  • Swelling on or near your kneecap.
  • Stiffness in your knee joint.

The physiotherapy treatment for this knee injury focuses on exercises that alleviate stiffness and swelling and improve joint flexibility. Manual therapy methods are also often included to improve joint function and facilitate a pain-free return to regular activities post-treatment.

Patellar Tendinitis

Patellar tendinitis is a condition that concerns the patellar tendon, which is the large tendon that connects the kneecap to the shinbone.

Patellar tendinitis is commonly known as jumper’s knee. It usually occurs when you overuse your knees and put too much pressure on them. This can happen because of repetitive jumping or kneeling, poor footwear, or a sudden increase in activity.

Symptoms of patellar tendinitis include:

  • Pain around or just below the kneecap.
  • Tenderness and swelling at the point where the patella attaches to your shinbone (patella).
  • Feeling of pain when you squat down or straighten your knee completely.

The key to knee physiotherapy for this condition lies in reducing inflammation, enhancing tendon strength, and implementing preventive measures. A combination of tailored exercises and education on proper body mechanics can significantly reduce the likelihood of recurrent injuries, ensuring a safe return to physical activities.

man with knee pain symptom marked by red in photo requiring physiotherapy treatment

Knee Pain Risk Factors

Knee pain is a condition that can arise due to various factors. The most common risk factors include:

  • Obesity as it puts more pressure on your knees when you walk or stand for long periods.
  • Previous injury that can weaken your muscles, putting more stress on your joints when you walk or stand for long periods.
  • Ageing. As you age, your cartilage begins to wear out, which causes your bones to rub against each other, leading to inflammation and knee pain.
  • Weak and stiff muscles that increase the risk of knee injuries. Strong muscles help to protect and stabilise your joints, while flexible muscles help you achieve a full range of motion without injuring the delicate structures of your knees, like the tendons and ligaments.
  • Sports and jobs that put tremendous, repetitive stress on your knees. This can happen through activities like running, jumping, and climbing. These significantly increase the risk of a knee injury. This is because your knees will experience repeated pounding due to these activities.

Diagnosing Knee Pain

If you feel that you have injured your knee, you should first ice it for 15 to 20 minutes to alleviate the swelling. If the pain continues, then it’s best to see a physician.

The physician will perform a physical exam and ask questions about the injury, these will include when it happened, how long ago, and what activities you were doing at the time of injury.

The physical examination of your knee will include:

  • Looking for swelling or deformity in the joint.
  • Checking for instability in the joint by moving it from side to side.
  • Checking for tenderness around your kneecap by pressing on it or using the thumbs to apply pressure.

The physician may also order visual imaging to identify the source of your pain. These are the standard tests the physician will usually order when diagnosing knee pain to determine the precise cause of your injury before prescribing the proper treatment:

  • X-ray to show bone dislocation, osteoarthritis, or bone fracture.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan uses radio waves and a magnet to develop high-resolution images of your knee joint and the structures around them.
  • Computerised Tomography (CT) scan that uses a computer and x-rays to develop three-dimensional visuals of the structure of your knee joint.
  • Electromyography (EMG) tests your muscles and looks for nerve injuries.
  • Biopsy of the bursa fluid.

Knee Pain Treatment

Knee pain is a common ailment even in Singapore. Thus, it is highly recommended to seek expert advice from a qualified physician if you’re feeling persistent pain or discomfort in your knees. Once your physician has diagnosed and identified the cause of pain in your knee/s, these are some common treatments your physician would recommend:

  • Rest or taking a break from the intense activities that impact your knees.
  • Compress your knees with straps or elastic bandages for supporting or reducing swelling.
  • Physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles of your knees and improve knee flexibility.
  • Over-the-counter painkillers for relieving mild knee pain or soreness.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications for the treatment of mild injuries to the bursa, tendons, or muscles.

Physiotherapy for knee injuries

Physiotherapy plays an integral part in managing and treating knee injuries. Comprehensive physiotherapy treatment for knee pain can significantly enhance the quality of life for individuals suffering from knee-related conditions. The therapy includes pain management strategies, strengthening exercises, and mobility improvement methods, all of which are crucial components of a successful treatment plan.

Specifically, physiotherapy for knee injuries uses targeted interventions to alleviate pain and swelling, helping to restore function and improve strength in the knee joint. Furthermore, physiotherapists can also provide invaluable guidance on preventive measures to reduce the risk of future injuries.

Ultimately, the goal of knee physiotherapy is not just to treat the symptoms, but to promote overall knee health, allowing individuals to regain control of their movements and enjoy their daily activities without discomfort or restriction.

Why choose Benchmark Physio for knee physiotherapy in Singapore?

When it comes to knee injuries, Benchmark Physio is your one-stop solution. Our experienced team of physiotherapists in Singapore are here to help you identify and manage your pain.

As physiotherapy specialists, we understand the importance of getting you back to your activities quickly and pain-free. That’s why we provide a comprehensive range of services such as manual therapy, exercise prescription, and mobilisation methods to help you relieve the pain in those affected areas of your knees. Our team also formulates individualised treatment plans for each patient, ensuring that every patient receives the best quality of care and excellent results. So if you’re looking for an effective and safe solution to pain in your knees, contact Benchmark Physio today.

Our Knee Physiotherapy Treatment Process

Getting started with your Knee Physiotherapy Process: Expert assessment, personalised care, and effective proven techniques for pain relief and mobility restoration

1. Make an Appointment

Reach out to us and our team will get back to you within the next 24 hours.

2. Receive your personalised treatment plan

Our skilled physiotherapists will evaluate your condition and create a personalised treatment strategy and plan according to your goals and needs.

3. Knee Physiotherapy sessions & see results

Begin your path to enhanced knee health with our personalised physiotherapy sessions at our clinic through the initial evaluations, guided by our experienced therapist, and experience noticeable improvements!

Meet Our Physiotherapist

Ng Hong Kai, an experienced physiotherapist, has carefully reviewed the information on this page.

hong-kai's profile photo

Clinic Director and Chief Physiotherapist​​

  • Master of Clinical Physiotherapy (Musculoskeletal), Curtin University (Australia)
  • Master of Physiotherapy, University of Sydney (Australia)
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Exercise & Sports Science), University of Sydney (Australia)
  • Member of Australian College of Physiotherapists and Australian Physiotherapy Association
  • Full registration with Allied Health Professions Council, Singapore, and Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
  • GEMt Advanced Dry Needling Practitioner

Hong Kai has been practising musculoskeletal physiotherapy for more than a decade. He is the first Singaporean to achieve dual credentials as both an APA Titled Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and a tertiary trained Exercise Scientist.

Hong Kai's broad and extensive skillset allows him to create solutions that are simple, effective and tailored to a client’s musculoskeletal needs. His beliefs in continuing education and self improvement led him to complete his Masters in Clinical Physiotherapy (Musculoskeletal), where he had a chance to participate in formal research into knee osteoarthritis under the supervision of world renowned researcher and physiotherapist Prof Peter 0′ Sullivan. 

Hong Kai has experience treating a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, with a specific focus on addressing lower back, neck, shoulder and knee pain.

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