Skip to Content

Finding relief for joint pain

Published on April 20, 2015

Finding relief for joint pain

Doug Sticha, Physical Therapist
St. Cloud Hospital Adult Rehabilitation at CentraCare Clinic – Becker

Sore kneeThe question I’m often asked is how to relieve knee pain. The knee is a joint that demands stability. An exercise routine that allows the hip and foot to be mobile helps achieve stability at the knee. This may include movement exercises targeting the larger muscles at the back of the hip and core in the front of the stomach. Usually just a three- to five-minute daily routine can correct the imbalances.

A common cause of joint pain is osteoarthritis, which is progressive wear and tear of the cartilage that covers the bone. People with arthritis often have stiff joints — largely because they avoid movements that can increase pain. However, by not using joints, the stiffness and pain only get worse.

How can physical therapy help with joint pain?

People with arthritis often benefit from physical therapy. Physical therapy can bring pain relief, and may be an alternative to surgery for some patients. Advanced wear and tear on the joint surfaces often can be prevented or delayed by maintaining full range of motion. The cartilage receives nutrition from movement in the joint and loss of motion begins cartilage degeneration. 

Strong muscles act as shock absorbers for the joint. Muscles need to work in the proper manner to protect joints. When muscles are used improperly to compensate, joint protection suffers. Often muscle imbalances in one body region can create pain and discomfort in another area. A physical therapist can teach you how to work out stiffness without further damaging your joint.

How can exercise help with joint pain?

Exercise can:

  • Increase your flexibility and strength.
  • Improve your range of motion.
  • Help with weight control or loss.
  • Improve your overall sense of well being.

Before beginning any new exercise routines, first check with your health care provider about which sports and exercises might be best for you.

Log in to MyChart to send a secure message to your provider.

Health information accessed through is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We strive to present reliable, up-to-date health information on our web site and “For the Health of It” blog. However, this information is not intended for the purpose of diagnosing or prescribing. Please contact your health care provider if you have any concerns or questions about specific content that may affect your health. Log in to MyChart to send a secure message to your provider.

Share This Post

For the Health of It