Chiropractic Care For Knee Pain in Ottawa
Knee pain is a very common musculoskeletal problem in all types of people. Over the past few weeks at Britannia Chiropractic Clinic we have seen numerous patients with complaints of knee pain due to the longer summer days and being more active. There are many causes and types of knee dysfunction, the majority of which improve with Chiropractic care and management.
The knee is a complex structure that involves 3 bones, 3 compartments, 2 menisci, 4 ligaments, cartilage, and many muscles and tendons. Balanced and coordinated motion of all of these structures allows the knee to move optimally and pain free. Pain, popping and less than optimal function of the knee can occur when any one of these components is not working properly. This can happen from injury, overly tight muscles, joint degeneration and even from foot, ankle or hip problems that shift the way the knee is being used.
Causes and Symptoms
One of the more common causes of knee pain is sports activity. In cycling, running, or any activity that requires repetitive motion, some of the muscles are worked more than others, which can lead to muscular imbalances and general wear and tear. Each stride you take when running can place up to 550% more force on your knee than just standing!!! So whether you are running, playing squash or tennis, walking, dancing, or hiking, all that force can wear on the structures of your knee.
Old injuries, either minor or major, can commonly cause scar tissue, which can change the way you use your knee, potentially leading to pain and arthritis (degeneration).
Another common cause of knee pain is arthritis, essentially degeneration and narrowing of the joint space, which can cause swelling, stiffness and pain. Foot, ankle and hip pain can also alter the way you use your lower leg and this can lead to knee dysfunction and pain. Increased body weight also causes more pressure on the joints, which on a daily, repetitive basis can lead to pain. Each extra pound of weight on the body adds 4 pounds of stress through the knee.
Common symptoms and indicators that you may need to see a chiropractor for knee pain include the following:
- Feeling the knee might buckle
With each stride, pedal, squat or push the alignment of your knee joint and the muscles around it are vitally important for proper pain-free function. Each repetition of these activities reinforces the good body mechanics or the poor pain causing mechanics.
Sport training that repetitively stresses the same muscles, like running, cycling and dancing, over time can cause those muscles to shorten and tighten if they are not properly cared for.
Improper footwear can shift the angle of your foot and lower leg, changing the angle your knee glides. This can put unusual torque and stress on your knee leading to friction on the joint itself and tightness and inefficient use of the muscles around the knee like the IT band, quads, and hamstrings.
While many medical doctors will listen to your symptoms and provide medications that may temporarily relieve pain., the Chiropractic approach for knee pain includes a thorough examination of the muscles, ligaments, joints, posture and gait, as well as discussing past injuries and lifestyle habits that may be contributing to your condition.
Most knee conditions respond well to conservative treatment like chiropractic and do not require surgery. Chiropractic care for knee pain relief generally includes several techniques, each chosen to relieve specific causes of knee pain. At Britannia Chiropractic Clinic our approach for knee pain incorporates:
- Chiropractic adjustments: Gentle, controlled, and directed adjustments delivered to your knee and spinal joints and tissues to restore optimal movement and function.
- Myofascial Release (MFR): Knee pain can be associated with overly tight and over worked muscles in the legs, hip and low back. MFR works with the muscles and the soft tissues between the muscles to relax them and optimize their function. Similar to massage, MFR is a more focused and deep treatment of the soft tissues to relieve pain and restore movement.
- Structural Orthotic Prescription – this allows the foot to be placed and move in a normal position, thereby relieving pressure and stress not only to the foot, but ultimately the knee and pelvis
- Rehabilitation: Teaching you methods to help prevent your knee pain in the future! Rehabilitation incorporates stretches, exercises and foam rolling, which can be performed in the comfort of your own home or at your work place.
1) Dr. Ross E. Andersen, Carlos J. Crespo, Susan J. Bartlett, Joan M. Bathon, Kevin R. Fontaine. (Sep. 2003). Relationship between Body Weight Gain and Significant Knee, Hip, and Back Pain in Older Canadians. Obesity Research. Volume 11, issue 10 Pages 1159-1162. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2003.159/full
2) Henry Pollard, BSc, Grad Dip Chiro, Grad Dip AppSc, MSportSc, PhD, Graham Ward, BSc, BE (Sc) MSc (hons) Mass, PhD, Wayne Hoskins, B Chiro Sc, and Katie Hardy, BAppSci (Ex&SpSci) (2008). The effect of a manual therapy knee protocol on osteoarthritic knee pain: a randomised controlled trial. The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association. Volume 52(4). Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2597887/
3) Ackerman IN, Osborne RH (Dec. 2012). Obesity and increased burden of hip and knee joint disease in Australia: results from a national survey. Dec 20;13:254. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-13-254. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23253742
4) Jeffrey N. Katz, M.D, et.al. Surgery versus Physical Therapy for a Meniscal Tear and Osteoarthritis. (March 2013). The New England Journal of Medicine. March 19. Retrieved from: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1301408?query=featured_home#t=articleTop
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