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Posted on 03-03-2015
The knee is a powerful joint. It has two big bones that make up part of the knee joint - the tibia and femur. It also has big powerful muscle-tendons crossing it to move the joint. With this being mentioned therefore, the joint is susceptible to injury. Knee pain can stem from running or walking to sitting at work or remaining dormant during long trips.
The knee joint consists of the femur, tibia, fibula, and patella bones. The tendons of the quadricep, hamstring, and adductor (groin) muscles cross the knee. Smaller muscles also cross the knee. The knee consists of strong ligaments such as the ACL, as well as the PCL, MCL, LCL, and capsules of the knee. Each knee also has two menisci which function as shock absorbers. The sciatic nerve runs along the back of the knee.
The knee which is a stable joint is between two mobile joints the ankle and the hip. The knee is a more stable joint compared to the ankle and the hip. When there is a loss of mobility of the ankle or hip the knee will have to take up the lost movement forcing it to be more mobile and susceptible to injury. Changing the mechanics places a greater strain on the knee leading to inflammation. The repetitive motion of improper mechanics increases the development of scar tissue/adhesions in the soft tissue.
Along with the development of the adhesions, the body is making new patterns. Certain muscles will have to be more active (compensate) while others will have to be dormant. These imbalances (malalignment) lead to further injuries as well as injuries along the kinetic chain.
Many knee conditions are function of inflammation with adhesions and improper muscle recruitment such as quadricep/hamstring/patellar/popliteus tendonitis, Pes anserine bursitis, Patellofemoral pain syndrome, Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome, Patellar tracking disorders, and nerve entrapments.
Treatments for knee pain in our office consist of manipulation, ART, Graston technique, acupuncture, ice, heat, taping, and corrective exercises. These are effective treatments with surprisingly quick results.
The goal of treatment is to decrease the inflammation and release the adhesions - improving flexibility. Once this is accomplished we want to establish proper patterns - improving balance and stability through proper muscle engagement. Corrective exercises help to establish this proper balance (length-tension) and pattern. Simple home stretches and corrective exercises can help the recovery once the adhesions have been released.
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