Expert Conservative Treatment of Knee Pain
Knees are multifaceted, weight-bearing joints that supply your body with flexibility, foundation, and a broad range of movement. Because of the knee’s intricacy and the amount of usage it gets during a lifetime, it is vulnerable to injury and is very commonly injured in athletes, children, and seniors.
Although most knee injuries are due to repetitive overuse, challenges with alignment, sports or physical activities, and lack of proper warm up and stretching before exercise, they may also stem from traumatic injuries such as auto accidents, slips and falls, or a direct strike to the knee. Depending on the class and severity of joint trauma, knee pain can be slight or can pave the way to severe discomfort and possible disability.
Core Concepts Approach to Managing Knee Pain
You should consult with the doctors at Core Concepts if you have:
- Persistent pain, discomfort or swelling of the knee at night
- Knee swelling for more than three days
- Crunching or grinding sensation upon weight bearing
- Difficulty standing without knee pain
- Loss of range of motion of the knee
Most Common Knee Injuries
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) has numerous functions in the knee. It controls the movements of the lower leg so it does not move forward on the upper leg, it prevents the knee joint from over extending, it assists in stabilizing the knee joint during lateral (side-to-side) movements, and it helps control the amount of sheer motion of the lower leg at the knee joint. A sudden forceful twist or abnormal pressure on the ACL can tear it, causing the knee joint to give out and not being able to support the weight of the body. Injuries to the ACL most commonly happen in sports that involve sudden changes in running direction, such as football, basketball, soccer, rugby and volleyball. To avoid seriously damaging the protective cartilage in the knee, an accurate and timely diagnosis of an injured ACL is paramount. Unless an injured ACL is accurately diagnosed and treated, the cushioning cartilage in the knee could be seriously damaged. Without this protective cartilage, the femur and tibia would rub against each other, leading to further damage and creating an arthritic environment. Core Concepts’ goals for managing ACL injuries are to reduce pain and swelling, enhance range of motion and strength, and restore full function of the joint.
Signs and symptoms of an ACL injury
- Hearing or feeling a loud “snap” at the moment of injury
- Sudden instability of the knee (knee feels weak and gives out on you) after jumping or suddenly changing direction or receiving a direct strike to the side of the knee
- Severe pain on the outside and behind the knee
- Moderate swelling within the first couple hours of the injury (may be a sign of bleeding inside the joint)
- Limited range of motion of the knee
Patella tendinitis (often referred to as “jumper’s knee”) is a repetitive overuse condition affecting the tendon connecting the tibia (shin bone) to the patella (knee cap). Patella tendinitis commonly takes place when you apply continuous stress on the patellar tendon, which happens when you put repeated stress on your patellar tendon, often when you suddenly increase the intensity and frequency of your workouts.
Although patella tendinitis most often occurs in athletes who frequently jump or continually run and even sprint (basketball, volleyball, soccer) almost anyone can suffer from this condition. Patella tendinitis often occurs simultaneously with bursitis, which may cause pain and discomfort during movement when pressure is applied.
Signs and symptoms of patella tendinitis
- Sharp pain and discomfort during activity changing to dull ache while resting
- Progressing pain with intensity of activity
- Pain while climbing and going down stairs
- Constant ache that makes it hard to sleep
Core Concepts’ therapeutic goals for managing Patella Tendinitis center on decreasing the strain on your patellar tendon and progressively strengthening the tendon.
Illiotibial band syndrome (it band syndrome)
If your knee pain is on the outer part of the knee (away from your midline) you could be feeling a symptom of IT Band syndrome. ITB syndrome exists when the ligament that runs from the outer portion of the Illium (pelvic bone) down the side of your leg, to the outside of your upper shin bone (tibia) (iliotibial band) becomes so taut that it rubs alongside the outer portion of the femur. Distance runners are particularly vulnerable to ITB syndrome, which normally causes a stabbing, burning pain in the knee that often manifests 15 to 20 minutes into a run.
Risk factors for developing it band syndrome
- Biomechanical disadvantages such as a short leg or weak hip abductors
- Increasing the intensity or frequency of running too quickly
- Wearing shoes with improper traction
- Extreme uphill or downhill running