Calgary Healthy Knee Program | Calgary Core Physiotherapy

Healthy Knee Program

At Calgary Core Physiotherapy, we love helping patients with their knee injuries.  Whether it is an acute knee injury, knee pain that you have been struggling with for years, or following knee surgery, our physiotherapists have years of extensive experience working with knees.  The Calgary Core Physio Healthy Knee Program involves attentive, efficient, and individualized care for your knee problem.

The comprehensive program includes:

  • A thorough assessment of your knee by an experienced physiotherapist that focuses on achieving a diagnosis of your problem, as well as contributing factors to help realize the big picture.
  • Movement evaluation, how your muscles are working or not working, what your other joints look like and figuring out the “core” issues of your pain and injury.
  • Appropriate referral for diagnostic imaging, such as an x-ray or MRI, if required
  • Based on years of clinical experience and the most current research, a treatment plan to improve pain and function
  • Prompt and effective treatment by team members at the clinic with the focus of getting you better, faster
  • Working closely with your family physician and other health care providers and, if necessary, “quarterbacking” your treatment plan
  • Communication with coaches, personal trainers or other providers to review and manage optimal activity level and exercises for your knee.

Calgary Core Physiotherapy | Healthy Knee Program | Runner KneeSome of the conditions treated in the Calgary Core Physio Healthy Knee Program

Iliotibial Band (Friction) Syndrome or ITBS

The iliotibial band (ITB) is a large fibrous band of fascia and connective tissue that runs from the pelvis (ililum) to the shin bone (tibia).  The ITB is important for the stability of the knee and leg. The bottom end of the ITB moves forward and backward as the knee bends and straightens. A painful condition can sometimes occur due to repetitive rubbing and resultant friction at the side of the knee. This pattern is the primary source of pain and injury to the outside of the knee.

Knee Pain graphicPatellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome is a painful condition involving the front aspect of the knee. It involves pain or irritation behind the kneecap (patella) due to excessive compression where the kneecap contacts the thigh bone.  This may occur due to poor tracking of the kneecap or muscular imbalances around the kneecap.  Risk factors include muscle weaknesses, tight knee structures, over-training, and previous injuries to the hip, knee or ankle. Pain is normally worse after activity, going up or down stairs and after keeping the knee bent for prolonged periods, such as with sitting.

Meniscal Tears

The meniscus is the spongy, cartilage material in the knee joint that protects the knee by helping absorb shock and providing extra stability to the knee.  There is an inside meniscus (medial) and an outside meniscus (lateral). The meniscus can be torn by a twisting mechanism or excessive bending of the knee.  It also can slowly degenerate over time. In more severe cases of a torn meniscus, the knee joint can “lock,” in which it is unable to bend or straighten.

Knee Ligament Sprains

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the medial collateral ligament (MCL) are the most common ligament injuries in the knee. Both ligaments can be injured on their own or in combination with the other.  These ligaments become sprained with a traumatic injury, usually involving a twist and a force towards the inside of the knee.  A ligament sprain is graded from 1 to 3, in which a grade 1 sprain involves just a few of the ligament fibers torn, and a grade 3 sprain involves the whole ligament being torn and unstable.

Knee Osteoarthritis or OA

Knee Osteoarthritis is inflammation and a “wearing down” of the knee joint, in which the cartilage that lines the knee joint becomes thinner, the joint space between the thigh (femur) and shin (tibia) reduces, and extra bone called osteophytes may form within the joint.  Previous trauma to the knee, increasing age, or being overweight can predispose someone to osteoarthritis in the knee.

Happy KneeWhat is involved in the Calgary Core Physio Healthy Knee Program assessment?

One of our experienced physiotherapists will talk with you about the history of your knee, whether it was injured just yesterday or years ago.  Any X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI results that you may have brought with you will be evaluated.  The physiotherapist will then do a battery of tests to confirm a suspected diagnosis.  These tests would include an observation of how you walk or run, squat control, moving the knee joint and patellofemoral joint, stressing all of the knee’s ligaments and menisci,  and testing of the muscle system to evaluate muscle imbalances.

What does a treatment plan look like in the Calgary Core Physio Healthy Knee Program?

The first goal for managing and treating knee injuries would be to decrease any pain, swelling, or inflammation in the structure(s) that are involved.  Initial treatments might include Class IV laser therapy, acupuncture, or other physical modalities.

Another goal of the program would be to reduce any excessive compression or stress on the knee joint.   Based on our detailed biomechanical assessment, we would use techniques to: address any joint restrictions in the hip, knee or ankle; improve upon muscle “tightness” or weakness; and promote correction of poor movement patterns.  These techniques might include Gunn Intramuscular stimulation (IMS), soft tissue techniques and other hands-on techniques.

Based upon current research, your program will include specific exercises to address deficits in strength and stability above and below the knee, and progress your exercise or training program as you continue to improve and get back to healthy living.

For the majority of patients in the Calgary Core Physio Healthy Knee Program, with improvement in their pain and function, we advise when or if you are ready to return to your various sports and activities.


If you are suffering Knee Pain in Calgary, call us for more information on our “Calgary Healthy Knee Program.” Please feel free to give our clinic a call at (403) 455-4010 or email us at info@calgarycorephysio.ca if you have questions about this exciting new program.