Chiropractic and Knee Pain “Help! I have pain in my knees and I have been told there is nothing I can do apart from taking painkillers and rest.”
Knee pain is an increasing problem in society and as a result we see more and more patients with knee problems in our practises.
Chiropractic treatment is very effective for many of the problems that cause knee pain and although a condition such as osteoarthritis is not curable, the symptoms can be reduced and the progression of the problem can be helped thanks to our unique approach to treatment. Please read on to find out how!
- If knee pain is limiting your day-to-day or sporting activities,
- You have been given painkillers and been told to rest with no long-term improvement, or
- You have been told you have arthritis and there is nothing that can be done?
Then chiropractic treatment may well be the answer.
The Knee Joint
The knee is a complex joint that relies heavily on ligaments and muscles for stability.The knee is a major weight bearing joint and is composed of:
- the tibio-femoral joint (between the thigh and lower leg)
- the patello-femoral joint (between the knee cap and the thigh),
- muscles and ligaments, which gives active and passive stability to the knee.
- two ring shaped cartilage discs in the knee, called the menisci (one meniscus)
Examination of the Knee Joint
When pain is perceived as coming from the knee, all the anatomical components need to be examined and in addition to the knee joint, the low back, pelvis, hip, ankle and foot need to be examined due to the direct influence they have on the knee, and vice versa.
As chiropractors we take a comprehensive medical history and perform a thorough physical and biomechanical examination in order to make an accurate diagnosis – without an accurate diagnosis, the treatment will not be successful.
Our approach of assessing and treating the knee includes the evaluation of the other joints and muscles relating to the knee. This is for several reasons:
•Firstly, pain can be referred from other structures in the low back, pelvis and hip into the knee, in certain conditions.
•Secondly, if other joints in the lower limb are not working correctly they can put increased stress on the knee joint, resulting in injury over time. Therefore to resolve the knee pain chiropractors may also treat other areas, to maximise long-term improvement.
Chiropractic treatment of knee pain
We have outlined the process of our treatment below to give you an idea of our approach. We would normally modify the treatment to suit each patient and their specific conditions. So the type of treatment that is most appropriate for one person is not necessarily right for another.
Stage 1: Reduce joint inflammation and reduce pain.
- Avoidance of aggravating factors, use of a support, sports tape
- Ice to reduce inflammation, muscle spasm and pain
- Soft tissue healing: laser, ultrasound and interferential therapy
Stage 2: Normalise joint function
- Specific chiropractic manipulation and mobilisation techniques to areas of restricted movement in the knee and surrounding joints, to increase movement, improve the function and reduce pain
- Deep soft tissue massage, trigger-point therapy and cross-friction.
Stage 3: Rehabilitation exercise program
- When appropriate we introduce exercises to improve strength, endurance and stability. We also work on improving your balance and your sense of joint position (proprioception). This will help you to return to normal and also prevent new injuries.
Read more about common causes of knee pain seen in chiropractic practice and read in more detail about specific conditions.