Common Knee Complaints
We all know how important it is to be active, and the benefits there are to your joints and general wellbeing, unfortunately injuries can occur and commonly these involve the knees.
The most common knee injuries involve the ligaments, cartilage or meniscus, tendons or joint surfaces. Old injuries that were never rehabilitated can also return from time to time or result in a constant background annoyance.
Often referred to as ‘wear and tear’ it is a common cause of knee pain affecting mostly those over the age of 50. The cartilage wears away and can cause swelling and aching in the affected part of the knee. There is often stiffness when the joint hasn’t been moved for a while.
Twisting injuries can cause the knee cartilage to tear. The edges of these tears can get stuck in the joint and cause it to lock, this sometimes requires surgery to resolve the problem. Minor tears can heal on their own, but a thorough physiotherapist assessment is required to assess how bad the injury is.
If surgery is required the Rebound cartilage brace is effective at protecting the healing cartilage during weight bearing activity.
Bursa are fluid filled sacs that help protect joints from friction when in use. Overuse, impact injuries or constant pressure can cause the bursa to become inflamed, this leads to discomfort.
A common condition at the knee is prepatella bursitis or “housemaid’s knee”.
Normally through trauma the kneecap slides sideways out of the groove it usually sits in, extremely painful, this normally requires significant pain relief to relocate. Physiotherapy is an essential part of the recovery to help prevent this occurring again.
IT (iliotibial) band syndrome
The iliotibial (IT) band is a piece of tough tissue that runs from your hip down to the outer part of your knee. When you overdo activity, it can become inflamed over time. That causes pain on the outer side of the knee. It’s common among runners when going downhill
As we go through adolescence our bones grow rapidly and this can result in a significant pull on where the tendons attach. In Osgood-Schlatters the quadriceps muscle pulls away at the tibia where it attaches and a bony lump develops, this can be quite painful, especially during a growth spurt, physiotherapy and regular stretching can help keep you active and playing sport during this time.
Repetitive strain on tendons can cause inflammation (tendonitis). At the knee the patella tendon can become inflamed and sore especially with jumping activities, often referred to as “jumpers knee”.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome
When the knee cap is not aligned properly in its groove this can lead to pain, most commonly on the outside of the knee cap. Imbalances in the leg muscles, tension in the iliotibial band and knee alignment issues can all contribute to this condition. Physiotherapy can help address most of these problems, resulting in a reduction in the knee pain and return to activity.
Knee ligament injuries
Knee ligament can be injured through a variety of mechanisms. Often a sharp change in direction or impact, such as a rugby tackle. It often occurs quickly and depending on the severity can immediately put a stop to your activity.
We hold a free physio open evening drop in clinic on the last Tuesday of every month 7-9pm if you’d like to come in for a free 15 minute consultation before proceeding with any treatment necessary. Just call the practice to book a slot.