When it comes to meniscus injuries, movement therapy is a real game-changer. Imagine you're a weekend warrior who loves playing basketball with your buddies. One day, during a particularly intense pick-up game, you feel a sharp pain in your knee. You shrug it off and finish the game, but the next morning, your knee is swollen and painful. Your therapist tells you you’ve got a meniscus injury.. but what does that mean?
Injuring your meniscus means damage to the crescent-shaped cartilage in your knee that helps to distribute weight and absorb shock, stabilize the knee joint and keep it in proper alignment. If left untreated it can create ongoing issues in not just your knee, but in other parts of the body as well.
Most meniscus injuries can be managed conservatively. This means that no medical or surgical intervention is necessary. This is where a movement therapist comes in. They'll start by assessing your injury using the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA). This comprehensive assessment system looks at your body as a whole, rather than just focusing on your knee. By doing this, the therapist will be able to identify any underlying movement dysfunctions that may be contributing to your meniscus injury.
Once the underlying causes of your injury have been identified, the therapist will develop an individualized exercise program using the principles of Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS). DNS is a movement-based approach to physical therapy that focuses on how your body's neuromuscular system interacts with your joints, muscles, and bones. By addressing movement dysfunctions and reinforcing proper movement patterns, DNS can help alleviate pain and improve overall function and mobility.
The exercise program may include exercises to improve stability, balance, and range of motion in your knee and surrounding joints. It may also include exercises to strengthen the muscles that support your knee, such as the quadriceps and hamstrings. Think of it like building a strong foundation for your knee to rely on.
In addition to exercise, movement therapists may also use other techniques, such as manual therapy and taping, to help alleviate pain and improve mobility. Think of it like fine-tuning your knee to perform at its best.
Movement therapy is an effective way to rehabilitate meniscus injuries. By using tools like the SFMA and exercise programs like DNS, movement therapists can help identify the underlying causes of the injury and develop an individualized treatment plan to address them. This can lead to a reduction in pain and improved function and mobility. So, you'll be back on the court in no time, playing with your buddies and dominating the game!