Knee pain can happen to almost anyone from eight to eighty years old. It is so common because we all use our knees everyday. At first glance, all knee pain may appear to be the same. However, there are actually many different causes of knee pain. All these different causes of knee pain result in slightly different kinds of pain that can require very different types of treatment.
Athletic knee injuries are common in sports like basketball, football, and running. These injuries are usually traumatic, and occur after the foot is planted on the ground and the knee twisted too far. This results in tears of the ligaments that support the knee. After the injury, the knee is typically swollen, painful, and possibly bruised. Further examination and testing, like x-rays or an MRI, will determine exactly how much damage has been done to the ligaments of the knee. If there have been complete tears of the ligaments, surgery may be required to repair the knee. If the ligament damage is less severe, conservative treatment consisting of icing, bracing, and rehabilitation can be used to repair the knee.
Another common type of knee pain is caused by inflammation of the cartilage behind the kneecap. This condition is called chondromalacia patella. Inflammation behind the cartilage results in a deep, dull, ache behind the kneecap. This pain is worse when using the stairs, and after long periods of sitting with the knees bent, such as sitting at your desk all day or sitting in a movie theater. Chondromalacia patella is most common in people aged 20-45 years old. To eliminate the pain of chondromalacia patella, the inflammation behind the kneecap must be removed. Icing the knee, topical muscle creams, and anti-inflammatories can reduce the pain, but only for a short time period. Therapeutic ultrasound is one of the fastest ways to eliminate the inflammation behind the kneecap. Your Doctor of Chiropractic can accurately diagnose and treat chondromalacia patella using therapeutic ultrasound and gentle chiropractic adjustments to the knee.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common causes of knee pain. Osteoarthritis is also known as wear-and-tear arthritis because it is caused by the wearing down of the cartilage in a joint. This wearing down of the cartilage is caused by improper joint function and motion. Think of it as having a tire out of alignment on your car, and causing you to wear a bald spot on the tire. If your joint is not moving properly, it will wear out the cartilage in one spot which leads to osteoarthritis.
What would cause the knee not to function properly? A previous injury to the knee can cause knee instability and muscle imbalances that can lead to osteoarthritis. A foot problem can cause abnormalities in gait, the way you walk. If the way you walk changes, certainly the way the knee is being used will change too. Also, lower back problems, especially problems at the sacroiliac joint where the pelvis and hip connect to the spine, can cause muscle imbalances in the muscles associated with knee movement.
To effectively treat knee osteoarthritis, the cause of improper joint motion must be identified and corrected. Therefore, an examination of the foot and low back are needed to determine if problems in those regions are causing your knee problems. Also, therapeutic ultrasound to the knee and gentle knee adjustments can be helpful in easing the pain of osteoarthritis. Finally, supplements such as glucosamine and chondrotin sulfate can be used to help reduce pain and rebuild the cartilage. Your Doctor of Chiropractic can perform a thorough consultation and examination to determine the best treatment options for your knee osteoarthritis.
To determine if chiropractic care could help you eliminate your knee pain, or to speak with a chiropractor in the Edwardsville, IL area, call Dr. Emily Brueggeman at 618-692-0000 . Ask for a free Invitation to Health that includes a consultation and screening to determine if yours is a chiropractic case.