The knees are among the hardest-working parts of the human body, allowing us to translate strength into motion, and – simply put – to bend our legs.
Knees contain numerous working parts, including the thigh bone or femur, the kneecap (patella) and tendon (patellar tendon), the shin bone (tibia), cartilage, and ligaments.
We take our knees for granted when all those moving parts are working in harmony. When we feel pain, it’s a sign one of more of those parts are amiss. The good news is knee pain chiropractic treatment has been proven effective for pain associated with several types of knee conditions.
What are the Symptoms of Knee Pain?
The particular location and severity of knee pain can differ greatly from patient to patient, and can also fluctuate in each particular patient. Physical activity, for example, might increase the severity of knee pain, or conversely, sitting for long periods of time might worsen the pain.
Symptoms to watch for include swelling and stiffness, redness and warmth to the touch, popping or crunching noises when moving, inability to straighten the knee, and weakness or instability in the knee.
What Causes Knee Pain?
Because of the complexity of the knee, we can feel pain for numerous reasons, including injuries, arthritis, and mechanical issues.
Knee injuries can be caused by sports, particularly contact sports such as football, other types of physical activity that requires bending or twisting, falls, motor vehicle accidents, and simple overuse.
A typical knee injury is an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear, which is common in sports, such as basketball, that require a sudden change in direction. Other types can include
- fractures of the kneecap, torn meniscus (which is the rubbery protective cartilage between the shin bone and thigh bone)
- bursitis (which is inflammation of the small sacs of fluid that cushion the knee)
- patellar tendinitis (which is inflammation of the tendon under the kneecap).
Mechanical problems that can cause knee pain are
- iliotibial band syndrome, which is when the band of tissue that runs down the side of the thigh becomes tight and rubs against the femur
- a loose body such as a piece of bone or cartilage that is floating in the knee joint
- foot or hip pain that causes us to walk differently, putting undue pressure on the knee.
What are the Risk Factors for Knee Pain?
You’re more likely to experience knee pain or suffer a knee injury if
- you’re overweight
- you lack muscle strength and flexibility
- you participate in certain sports that have a high rate of knee injuries, such as football, basketball, soccer, and downhill skiing
- you have had a previous knee injury or you’re older, and your joints are beginning to deteriorate.
How Can I Treat Knee Pain?
Knee pain chiropractic treatment will include a full examination to determine the cause of the pain. Because proper knee function depends on a properly aligned spine, your chiropractor will do gentle, spinal manipulations.
Treatment will also include a program of strength and stretching exercises to increase function and mobility.