Knee pain is among the most common type of joint pain experienced by Americans of all ages. It can affect anyone - not just runners, skiers, or other athletes. There are many causes of knee pain with varying degrees of severity. Knee pain is one of the top causes of joint disability affecting people in the United States. Women tend to have more knee problems than men because they have a greater “Q” angle, the measurement between the outer pelvis and the knee cap. This angle increases during puberty as the pelvis widens and causes stress on the medial (inside) of the knee in women and girls, especially athletes.
Arthritis is inflammation of the knee joint. The most common type is osteoarthritis, which consists of narrowing of the joint space due to wear and tear of the cartilage and/or meniscus, and often includes bone spurs. Other less common types of arthritis are rheumatoid and psoriatic.
Arthritis may affect one or both knee joints. The pain caused by arthritis may be constant or intermittent, and it usually worsens over time. Many people find that certain types of activities worsen their knee pain, especially running and walking up and downstairs.
The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of tough, rubbery cartilage that acts as a shock absorber in your knee. It can be torn if you suddenly twist your knee while bearing weight on it. These tears and cracks can be extremely painful and can dramatically limit the motion of the kne
Tendons are thick fibrous cords that attach muscles to bones. Tendonitis refers to inflammation, pain, or swelling of the tendons and is usually caused by injury or increased physical activity. Tendonitis of the knees may occur suddenly, or start slowly and worsen over time.
The bursa is the fluid-filled sacs that are found under a tendon, cushioning the tendon to protect it from injury. The bursa protects the joint from pain associated with movement and counters the friction that is found with most weight-bearing activities such as walking, running, or riding a bike. Bursitis is a condition where the bursa of the knees become inflamed. With inflammation comes swelling, heat, and pain as the bursa swell and put pressure on the surrounding structures.
A ligament is a tough strip of leather-like tissue that holds one bone to another. There are four ligaments stabilizing the knee joint. Ligament injuries are unfortunately common among athletes and active people. These ligaments become torn or stretched, often causing extreme pain and instability of the knee.
Typically, care for knee problems consists of specific adjustments to the spine and pelvis to balance those areas. This removes the stress from altered mechanics and posture, allowing the knees to function symmetrically, with even distribution of the weight of the body. We often address the alignment of the knee joint itself with specific adjustments, either by hand or using the Activator. Cold Laser is a valuable adjunct to reduce inflammation, pain, and swelling and to accelerate the body’s natural healing process. To aid in a speedier recovery, we often recommend home care activities, consisting of ice packs, specific strengthening exercises, and natural anti-inflammatory enzymes.
Many people also benefit from custom or over-the-counter orthotics in their shoes. This can eliminate a great deal of the stress on the knees. We refer to Dr. Dennis Robinson, our Podiatrist, for all foot care needs, including orthotics.