Knee Pain - CORE Chiropractic

Finally Get Knee Pain Relief With Knee Decompression & PEMF Therapy 

Knee pain can be caused by an injury or disease process. Knee injuries can occur from a sudden contact or force, or can become damaged over time from overuse or repetitive loads. The ligaments of the knee do their best to avoid the knee from moving too much in a certain direction. When an overpressure in a certain direction occurs, it can stretch and tear the ligaments or cause tears in the meniscus. 

A repetitive load on the knee, such as running and jumping can create "wear and tear" damage. Runner’s knee and jumper’s knee, as you can imagine, are common knee injuries in athletes that perform these activities for an extended period of time. Often, knee conditions are secondary to abnormal pressure stemming from an imbalance in the hips or having a shorter leg on one side.

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Which Bones Make Up The Knee Joint?

The knee joint is the largest joint in the body that is composed of four main things: the bones, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons.  It is considered a hinge joint because it can bend and straighten.

  • The three bones that make up the knee are the femur (thighbone), tibia (shin), and patella (kneecap). 
  • The four ligaments are the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL). The ligaments are very strong bands of tissue that connect bones to bones. They are used to keep the bones tight and stable. 
  • The two types of cartilage are the meniscus and articular cartilage. The meniscus is a rubbery disk that sits in between the femur and tibia and acts as shock absorbers. The articular cartilage is attached to the end of the bone and allows for the bone to glide fluidly through the joint.
  • The main tendons are the patellar tendon and the quadriceps tendon. The tendons are the connection from muscle to bone.

Diagnosing Knee Pain

Specific knee conditions are diagnosed with first knowing the mechanism of injury whether it was something traumatic or pain over time. The location of the pain along and the presence of swelling and discoloration can help figure out what has happened. Popping or grinding sounds or sensations may also help to narrow down the condition. X-ray can help see if there is any degeneration of the bone. In more severe cases, an MRI is needed to access the severity of the damage to a tendon or the meniscus.

Common Types of Knee Pain Causes & What They Feel Like

  • The most common disease process is knee osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease of the knee. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), knee degeneration or knee osteoarthritis is the most common cause of disability in adults. Osteoarthritis occurs when there is loss of the articular cartilage. It's most commonly found in older adults but will not exclude a younger person depending on the activity level and/or previous injuries. Onset of pain usually gets worse with activity and often presents with stiffness and swelling. 
  • A knee sprain occurs when there is an overstretch or tear of one or more of the four ligaments.  The severity of the tear is graded from 1-3. The higher the number, the more severe the sprain with grade 3 being a complete tear. A common knee sprain will present with pain, stiffness, swelling. A higher grade of sprain can display discoloration and a feeling like it will give out and be considered unstable.
  • Meniscus injuries occur when there is a twisting or hyperextension injury.  When the meniscus is torn, it can present as pain, swelling, stiffness, a catching feeling, and can also feel like the knee is giving out. 
  • Jumper’s knee is a common term that refers to patellar tendonitis. This refers to inflammation of the tendon that connects the kneecap to the lower leg. It is caused by repetitive stress such as jumping. It presents as pain or tenderness under the kneecap and pain when bending or straightening the leg.  
  • Runner’s knee is also known in medical terms as patellofemoral pain syndrome and/or chondromalacia patella. Both conditions are caused by constant bending of the knee. These repetitive movements can also include activities such as biking, jumping, skiing, etc. Pain presents in front or underneath the kneecap during whatever overuse knee activity. Pain going downhill or down stairs is also common.

What Causes Knee Pain?

Trauma - A direct blow to the knee or a sudden twist can cause damage to ligaments, tendons, or the bone. The knee is vulnerable to force in all directions.

Overuse activities - Examples of overuse injuries can occur with kneeling, bending, lifting/carrying heavy loads, and being overweight.

Repetitive motions - The most common overuse injuries are usually sports related. The consistent bending and extending motions done in marathons and sports such as soccer or football create stress in the structures resulting in small tears and other damage.

Unbalanced pelvis - An unbalanced pelvis will occur due bad postures such as crossing the legs, sleeping with legs in awkward positions, falls to the low back, or anatomical/functional short legs. 

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How Can We Help Knee Pain?

Chiropractic care can help knee pain through many different treatments and therapies that can help mobilize, stabilize, reduce inflammation, and increase joint space. Excluding complete tears of the ligaments or tendons, chiropractic care offers a safe and non-invasive way to decrease pain and help to stabilize an injured knee joint. Treatments used here at CORE include:

Chiropractic Adjustments - Chiropractic adjustments to the knee will mobilize a stiff knee joint directly. Manipulations to an unbalanced pelvis will help to distribute your weight evenly. This unlevel weight distribution contributes to abnormal wearing of the knee joint. 

Knee Decompression Therapy - Knee decompression is a treatment used to help reduce pain, increase function, and promote healing. This treatment mechanically separates the thigh bone and the shinbone taking pressure off structures such as the meniscus. 

PEMF Therapy - Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy can help to reduce pain and inflammation, while also accelerate tissue healing and strengthen bone.

Other therapies included in treatment of knee pain include a stretching/strengthening exercise protocol, kinesiotaping to help stabilize the joint, cryotherapy to reduce inflammation, and electrical stimulation and a TENS unit to help reduce pain.

Don't continue to suffer with chronic knee pain. Get help and get back to the daily activities you love!

Let CORE Chiropractic help you get back on track with personalized chiropractic care, stretching & exercise recommendations, knee decompression, PEMF therapy and a custom treatment plan. Call today for your consultation, or schedule an appointment online.

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