Knee pain is a common, but potentially debilitating, condition that afflicts about 25 percent of Americans. If left untreated, it may get worse, detract from one’s quality of life, or even impede one’s mobility. Finding, and treating, the cause of this discomfort is essential in living an active and fulfilling life free of painkillers and doctor appointments.
While many conditions can cause knee pain, there are a few that are more common than others. Here is a look at 3 of the conditions that most often cause this type of pain, and how physiotherapy can help.
While athletes are most prone to injuries affecting their legs, individuals of all ages and walks of life can hurt themselves. There are many types of injuries that can occur, including any of the following:
- ACL tears
- Ligament and cartilage tears
These types of problems are usually the result of some sort of trauma to the knee. For example, a football tackle against the knee may lead to a meniscus tear, while a vehicle collision may lead to a fracture or dislocation and a fall may lead to a sprain.
These issues most often occur when an individual experiences a sudden impact, twisting, or other force against their knee. More rarely, an underlying issue such as osteoarthritis may lead to dysfunction or fracture simply by bearing weight on the knee.
In addition to outright trauma to the knee, pain can come from some sort of dysfunction with the inner workings of the knee. Certain injuries can lead to these types of mechanical problems. For example, a fall, sporting injury, or car accident can all lead to a knee dislocation. At other times, degeneration of the structures of the knee over time (e.g. By aging) can create mechanical problems. Examples of these types of pain-causing problems are as follows:
- Tight iliotibial band
- Altered gait, leading to too much pressure on certain areas of the knee
- Pieces of bone or cartilage in the knee cavity
Arthritis can be a serious impediment to the proper functioning of the knee. There are several types of arthritis, all of which can wear down the structures of the knee and lead to pain. The most common is osteoarthritis, a condition that occurs when the cartilage in the knee joint breaks down, causing the bones on the knee joint to rub together.
Osteoarthritis can be caused by simple wear and tear. However, it can also be caused by undue stress on the joint caused by any of the following:
- Joint Injuries
- Repetitive movements, such as from playing sports
- Bone deformities
Other issues, such as diabetes, or genetics, can also contribute to osteoarthritis.
Treatments For Knee Pain
While knee pain can be debilitating, there is hope. Regardless of the cause of your suffering, chances are that physiotherapy can help address the cause, and get rid of the pain. Here is a look at some of the ways in which the right treatment can support your healing.
Manual therapy can consist of a number of approaches that involve manipulating the joints and soft tissues in the knee in order to improve range of motion, pain reduction, and healing. At Dr. Roy, we use instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization.
Chiropractic care is a manual therapy-based approach to treating physical dysfunction. This approach focuses on manipulating the spine, and other areas of the body, to achieve optimal alignment. By doing so, chiropractic care can relieve pain and tension in the knee (or other targeted area of the body).
Functional Movement Therapy
Functional movement therapy focuses on correcting habits of movement that are contributing to pain or contributing to instability in the body. When applied to the knee, this approach evaluates the patient’s movements that impact the knee, identifies areas that need improvement, and introduces exercises that correct these issues. The result is stronger muscles around the knee, greater stability, and ideally a reduction in pain.
Shockwave therapy, also known as electro wave therapy, directs high-speed pulses of energy at the areas that require treatment and healing. When it comes to knee pain, this treatment focuses on the areas of the knee that are causing discomfort or creating dysfunction. By traveling faster than the speed of sound, these pulses create shockwaves that stimulate the body’s healing processes. Often used to treat osteoarthritis, this approach can alleviate pain and other symptoms of the condition to bring relief.
If you are suffering from knee pain, let Dr. Roy help. Our approach focuses on eliminating the cause of the pain so you can get on with your life and activities. With many approaches to address knee pain, we are equipped to support your healing in the ways that you most need. Contact us today to learn more!