What to Wear to Physical Therapy for Knee

By Last Updated: May 11th, 20234.5 min readViews: 1006

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Physical therapy is an essential part of recovering from a knee injury, surgery, or pain. One of the most important aspects of attending physical therapy sessions is dressing appropriately. Wearing the right clothing and accessories will not only make your sessions more comfortable but also allow your therapist to effectively treat your knee. In this article, we will discuss what to wear to physical therapy for your knee, focusing on clothing, footwear, and accessories, as well as special considerations for men and women.

Key Takeway: The easiest thing to wear to your physical therapy appointment is loose workout clothes and shorts. If you’re not comfortable in shorts you can loose pants that can be rolled up to your mid-thigh.

What do you wear to physical therapy for your legs?

When attending physical therapy for leg-related conditions, it is recommended to wear stretchy, breathable athletic clothing that allows you to move freely.

Loose-fitting tank tops, t-shirts, athletic shorts, and workout pants with a loose or elastic waistband are good options. For knee conditions, wearing shorts is important as they allow the therapist to see and palpate the knees, thighs, and lower legs more easily.

It is also suggested to wear proper footwear such as supportive athletic sneakers or tennis shoes. Avoid wearing restrictive or stiff fabrics, tight clothing such as leggings, dress shoes, open-toed shoes, or boots

Do you have to wear shorts to PT for knee surgery?

For knee surgery, it is recommended to wear shorts to physical therapy appointments and bring shorts with you to your surgery appointment.

Shorts allow the therapist to see and palpate the knees, thighs, and lower legs. Tight-fitting pants that do not allow for full movement should be avoided. Loose-fitting athletic shorts or pants with an elastic waistband are ideal.

After knee replacement surgery, most people prefer to wear shorts or a dress that comes right above the incision on the knee. Pants can be irritating to the skin after knee surgery. It is also important to wear warm socks with good grips on the bottom.



When choosing a top to wear to physical therapy, it’s essential to prioritize comfort and ease of movement.

Opt for loose-fitting, breathable shirts or T-shirts made of moisture-wicking materials like cotton or synthetic fabrics. Avoid tight or restrictive clothing that could limit your range of motion or cause discomfort during exercises.


The ideal bottoms for physical therapy sessions are those that provide unrestricted movement and allow your therapist easy access to your knee.

Choose shorts, leggings, or loose-fitting sweatpants made from comfortable, stretchy materials. It’s important to avoid wearing jeans, skirts, or tight-fitting pants, as they can restrict movement and make it difficult for your therapist to work on your knee.



Proper footwear is crucial for providing support and stability during physical therapy exercises. Wear comfortable, supportive athletic shoes with non-slip soles.

If you have special orthotic needs or need extra support, talk to your therapist about what shoes would be best for you. Avoid wearing sandals, flip-flops, or high heels, as they don’t provide the necessary support and can increase the risk of injury.


Socks play an essential role in maintaining comfort and hygiene during physical therapy sessions.

Choose moisture-wicking socks that provide cushioning and support for your feet. If you have concerns about slipping during exercises, consider non-slip socks with grips on the bottom for added traction.


Knee braces

If you have been prescribed a knee brace or support, be sure to wear it during your physical therapy sessions. The brace can provide additional stability and support, helping to facilitate the healing process. Your therapist can also help you adjust the brace as needed to ensure proper fit and function.


Compression garments, such as sleeves or wraps, can help reduce swelling and improve circulation in the affected knee. Before you wear compression garments, talk to your therapist to make sure they are right for your condition and therapy plan.

Special considerations


For women going to physical therapy for knee problems, it’s important to think about other things, like wearing a supportive sports bra to make exercises more comfortable.

If you prefer to wear leggings or yoga pants, ensure they are not too tight and allow your therapist access to your knee. You may also want to consider wearing shorts or loose pants over your leggings for ease of access on cold days outside.


Men should also choose their clothes for physical therapy sessions with comfort and ease of movement in mind.

Choose athletic shorts or sweatpants with a loose fit, making sure they are not too tight or restricting. If you prefer to wear compression shorts or tights, wear a pair of shorts over them to maintain modesty and allow your therapist access to your knee.

Conclusion on what to wear to physical therapy for knee injuries

For knee problems, it’s important to know what to wear to physical therapy so that the treatment is comfortable and effective. Wear clothes that don’t get in the way of your movement, like loose tops and bottoms, supportive athletic shoes, and socks that wick away moisture.

Accessories like knee braces and compression garments can provide additional support when needed. Don’t forget to think about the differences between men and women and make sure you’re dressed right for your therapy sessions. By following these guidelines, you’ll be well-prepared for your physical therapy journey toward a healthier knee.

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