Common symptoms of the knee may include: pain, decreased mobility or stiffness. The type of pain and symptoms may be described as burning, dull, sharp or throbbing. These symptoms may range in intensity from mild to severe. Frequently, symptoms perceived in the knee are actually referred from a problem in the hip region. Here is a selection of common injuries that have been diagnosed at this clinic.
Strain or ‘over-use’ injury is a common term to describe tissues that have been stressed beyond their functional capacity. The muscles, tendons or ligaments attaching into the knee, may be strained or sprained due to their excessive use or deconditioning of the knee muscles, resulting in a muscle strain, tendonitis or ligament sprain. The damaged tissue will take time to heal, but the healing process will happen much sooner, and further similar injuries will be minimized, if the under-lying ‘cause’ of the injury is highlighted and addressed. Symptoms of acute pain and stiffness may be felt in the knee and into the thigh or lower leg, depending which tissues are damaged.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome comes from the words ‘myo’ which means muscle, and ‘fascia’ which is the connective tissue that covers all muscles and organs of the body. You will have no doubt heard of a ‘knot’ in a muscle and most probably experienced some ‘tension’ in a muscle or group of muscles. Myofascial pain, often referred to as ‘trigger points’, are points of hyper-tension (knot) within a band of tense muscle fibres. These trigger points can be either ‘active’ or ‘latent’. Active trigger points may refer pain to areas of the body, far from the trigger point.
Active trigger points in the muscles of the thigh or lower leg may refer into the knee region, depending on where the trigger points are located. When these active trigger points are further stressed by excessive use, sustained contraction, cold / hot weather, then they may refer symptoms to their predictable site. Latent trigger points do not refer symptoms but do cause local pain. These latent trigger points will evolve into active trigger points if left untreated and if the original stress continues. A diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation is required to de-activate these trigger points which will alleviate the knee symptoms.
Patella mis-tracking is term used to describe pain generated from the under-side of the patella (knee cap), that has become inflamed due to the altered bio-mechanics (mis-tracking) of the patella. If there is an imbalance to the muscles acting on the knee, then the patella will not track straight ‘up and down’ as it should, but acquire an altered path to track ie. tracking off centre. Like a tyre that has its tracking problems, the tyre will wear down to one side. If this condition is left untreated, the rate of degeneration is accelerated and may result in severe osteoarthritis of the knee in later years.
Osteoarthritis of the knee joint is a common finding in the elderly population. ‘Wear and tear’ to this joint will erode the hyaline cartilage from the surface of the femur and tibia and, after time, begin to erode the bone from the knee joint. This degenerative disease will be greatly accelerated if the bio-mechanics of the knee are altered from optimum function. A muscle imbalance of the thigh and lower leg muscles may cause the knee joint to work in a less than perfect position. The degenerated knee cartilage and bone may not be replaced, but the accelerated rate of degeneration could be reduced, if the under-lying ‘cause’ of the poor function is highlighted and addressed.
It is absolutely paramount to your good health that the underlying causes of your knee symptoms are found and correct diagnosis is made. Dr Doherty will use his wealth of experience to achieve this and to make the appropriate management plan for you.
Please phone 0161 482 0786, to
make your consultation and examination appointment or to make further enquiries.
The Family Chiropractic Clinic, 15 Station Road, Cheadle Hulme, Stockport. SK8 5AF.
Chiropractor serving the people of Cheadle, Stockport, Manchester, Trafford and Tameside.