Knee pain is a common musculoskeletal condition and more commonly affects the elderly in the form of knee arthritis. Arthritis or wear and tear of the knee joint significantly impacts functional abilities and level of activity participation. Another common reason for knee pain are ligament and tendon injuries from a fall or sport related injuries.
The knee joint is a simple joint that bends in one direction namely flexion and extension. The knee joint holds the majority weight of the body and is an important stabilizing joint that transmits forces from the feet and through the hips. The knee joint is composed of many important ligaments that stabilize the joint internally and externally as well as a meniscus that provides the cushion between the two bones.
What Can Cause Pain in Knee?
Knee injuries are most commonly musculoskeletal injuries. Trauma such as in contact sports can injure the supporting ligaments. Other common causes for knee pain are arthritis from meniscus wear and tear related to age. However, one other major cause for knee pain is strain and sprains in the muscles of the leg that have attachments to the bones in and around the knee namely The Adductors, Hamstrings, Quadriceps and Gastroc muscle groups.
Common Types of Knee Injuries
Knee injury has more than one type with more than one causes. Below are the most common types of knee injuries.
Bursa are fluid filled sacs around the knee joint. Sudden trauma or repetitive sustained pressure on the knee can irritate a bursal sac resulting in inflammation and pain.
Patella also known as the kneecap, is held in place by the tendon from the quadriceps muscle. This tendon can commonly become irritated if there are repetitive improper forces on the patellar tendon.
Arthritis refers to “wear and tear” of the meniscus that shrinks in size over time and can cause joint space narrowing at the knee. Arthritis affects a large number of the population, however, daily routine exercise and hydrotherapy can be very effective for prevention and symptom relief from arthritis of the knee.
Meniscus is the cushion that sits between the two bones and helps prevent the bones from rubbing against each other. Most common injury to meniscus is a meniscus tear. Depending on location and severity, meniscus can either heal on its own or need surgical repair.
Symptoms of Knee Pain
The most common sings of knee pain include the following ones:
- Swelling and redness of the knee joint
- Inability to fully straighten the knee
- Knee stiffness
- Popping and crunching noises
- Knee weakness “feeling of giving out”
How Can Chiropractic Care Help Reduce My Knee Pain?
Chiropractors have extensive training in diagnosing and assessing various types of knee pain. If the injury is musculoskeletal in nature, treatments such as Active Release Technique, Kinesiology taping and exercise prescriptions are very effective at treating the condition.
If ligament or meniscus tears are suspected, imaging referrals will be made to investigate the condition further. However, it is important to seek care as soon as possible as many prehab exercises can facilitate the healing of the injury and is by far superior over a “wait and see” approach.
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