Rehabilitation for Kneecap (Patella) Problems

Whatever your goals, your healthcare provider may advise that you see a physical therapist (PT). They can help you reach your goals with a 3-stage rehab program. This program can get you back to your normal activities. It's done by helping your knee heal and by exercising your knee and its supporting muscles.

Physical therapist working with man's knee.

Stage 1

Starting to heal

You’ll work with your PT or healthcare provider to reduce pain and swelling. Then you can start to increase your knee’s range of motion.

Stage 2

Improving your knee's function

You’ll start flexibility and strengthening exercises. These help build up the muscles around your knee. To help improve exercises that may cause pain, your PT may teach you how to tape the affected knee. Or you may need shoe inserts.

Stage 3

Practicing everyday moves

You’ll get your knee and leg ready for everyday activities. You’ll work to relearn movements and improve your knee's function. To help you get back to a favorite activity, your PT may retrain how your knee or hip moves. This is known as coordination training. It helps to ease knee pain and build muscle.

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