Your knees may be amazingly complex and sturdy, but they are prone to injuries at the same time. You walk, run, jog, jump, climb, hike, dance, play sports and do all sorts of activities using your knees. It is no wonder that many injuries of the knees are the result of overuse. It is hard to imagine how you can go about with your normal work and home activities, let alone enjoy life, when your knees get injured and render you less or totally immobile.
Common Knee Injuries and Their Causes
The following are the most common injuries or causes of injuries of the knees people get treatment from healthcare professionals for:
- Arthritis – It often affects the knee joint, but can also impinge on the muscles, ligaments and tendons. Examples are:
- Osteoarthritis – This is the most common type of arthritis that affects the knee. The degradation of the joint’s cartilage causes this condition.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – Causes inflammation of the joints and can lead to the destruction of the cartilage around the joints. Deformity, obesity and repetitive stress injuries, usually from sports, are the often the culprits. The symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness or locked joints.
- Iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome – This is an overuse type of injury of the ITB that results to inflammation. It is occurs more commonly when the knee is subjected to repeated inward motion, e.g., running on banked track in a single direction or over pronation.
- Patella femoral pain syndrome – Also called runner’s knee, it is sharp pain in the knee as a result of the knee cap being irritated. There are a few possible causes to this irritation on the area of the thigh bone:
- Increased angle between the lower leg and thigh
- Muscles of the lower leg not in good shape
- Over pronation
- The mismatch in the shape of the knee cap back and the groove where it sits in
- Ligament injuries – These are the spraining of the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments that cause great pain. Hockey and football players often encounter these types of injuries that are characterized by the sideways buckling of the knees.
- Meniscus injuries – Tearing of the meniscus can be caused by sudden rotation or twist of the upper leg or repetitive knee rotation while carrying weight.
- Tendonitis or ruptured/torn tendon – These are injuries of the tendon often caused by overuse. Inflammation is the natural result when tendons are stretched from overuse.
- Referred pain – Sources of referred pain can be:
- Facet joints in the low back
- Hip joins
- Sacroiliac joints
- Muscles around the knees
- Nerve compression in the pelvis, low back and thigh or
- Biomechanical dysfunction of joints in the hips, pelvis or feet
Chiropractic Treatment for Knee Injuries
It is advisable to visit your chiropractor for examination and treatment if:
- Knee pain is constraining your daily or sporting activities
- Your knee pain is restricting your motion
- You have been diagnosed with arthritis and no solution for its relief can be offered
- You have been prescribed painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs and told to rest but do not experience long term improvement.
Even when you report that pain is coming from your knee, the chiropractor will do an examination of all anatomical components that may be associated with the perceived pain. Together with the knee joints, the pelvis, low back, foot and ankle will be checked to determine their influence on the knee pain, and the other way around.
Typical chiropractic treatment may include:
- Use of support
- Ice therapy for the reduction of inflammation, pain and muscle spasm
- Interferential therapy and ultrasound for soft tissue healing
- Chiropractic manipulation in the knees and surrounding joints where there is restricted movement
- When necessary for rehabilitation, exercise for the improvement of the patient’s strength, stability and endurance and the prevention of new injuries occurring.
Chiropractic treatment can help you be back on your feet (and knees) again even when other healthcare specialists are unable to offer total relief and elimination of your knee injuries.