Knee injuries are common, especially for athletes and active individuals. However, knee pain can have a wide variety of symptoms and etiologies. Some conditions you may be familiar with, such as tendonitis, bursitis, ACL/MCL/PCL tear or rupture, tennis leg, osteoarthritis, patellar dislocation, Osgood-Schlatter, IT Band syndrome, and patellofemoral syndrome just to name a few. In almost all conditions there will be either an immediate or gradual onset of pain with some swelling and loss of range of motion.
With a meniscus injury it may be difficult to go up and down stairs and fully extend the leg. A ligament injury will have a feeling of instability along with swelling and pain; most common in young females athletes, especially soccer players as well as male football players.
Bursitis and tendonitis will have pain during and especially after activity that feels better with rest. Osgood-Schlatter is common in young male athletes and will present with gradually progressing knee pain and a hump forming just below the kneecap. Tennis leg will be worse with running and jumping with increased pain after exercise.
IT Band Syndrome aka “runner’s knee” presents with a stinging sensation just above the knee joint (on the outside of the knee or along the entire length of the iliotibial band) to swelling or thickening of the tissue at the point where the band moves over the femur.
Patellofemoral syndrome is similar to a meniscus injury with pain in the knee after sitting for an extended period of time, clicking, pain when applying pressure and inability to bend the knee all the way. Osteoarthritis will be worse in the morning and with bad weather, the pain will come on over time and is usually the result of past injuries to the area.
Depending on the mechanism of injury and the onset of the symptoms the cause of the knee pain will vary and only a full examination can find the cause of the symptoms. Some of these conditions will resolve on their own and some will require advanced intervention to resolve the issue.
The only way to truly know what is causing the knee pain is to go through a detailed history, focused orthopedic, neurological and chiropractic examination, x-ray and any additional special tests that may be deemed necessary to determine the CAUSE of the symptoms.
Our goal is to tell you what is wrong, why it is wrong and how we will go about fixing it, however, if for some reason it is out of our scope of practice we will surely refer you to the specialist that can best help you resolve the issue. It comes down to whether you want the opportunity to heal faster, prevent future injury and perform at a higher level with proper care, or just hope it will go away without treatment.
In our office we utilize a wide variety of chiropractic adjusting techniques to address all spinal conditions, extremity adjusting techniques, Active Release Technique and NMR for soft tissue injury, exercise therapy to rehabilitate the tissues and restore neuromuscular balance, cold laser therapy to decrease inflammation and pain while accelerating the healing process at the cellular level as well as nutritional advice to improve the body’s ability to heal faster and with greater strength.