Avenue Clinic

Avenue Clinic

General Knee Pain

Although there are many more serious conditions that can occur at the knee joint, if you are suffering from achy knees during or post exercise and don’t recall any specific injury,  you may be suffering from ‘Runners Knee’.  As the name suggests,  this is a common ailment amongst runners but can effect anyone who does activities involving lots of bending at the knee like walking, cycling and jumping for example.

This condition can be caused by a number of fairly common scenarios:
  • Overuse – Repeated overuse of the knees can cause a repetitive strain injury on the tendons that attach the muscles to the bone around the knee.
  • Body Misalignment – If other parts of your body are restricted or tense, they may not be functioning properly causing you to weight bear on one leg more than the other. This increased stress on one leg can cause joint pain.  This can be particularly common if you’ve injured the other leg or your back causing you to hold yourself differently for an extended period of time.
  • Foot problems – Knee pain can be the result of ‘Flat Feet’. Sometimes, due to imbalances in our body or poor footwear, this can effect the structure of the arches in our feet over time. As our arches change shape, so does the alignment of the bones that make up the knee joint which can cause discomfort which will increase with over use such as playing regular sport.
  • Thigh muscle imbalance – Muscles that join around the side of the knee joint can have a direct effect on the knee cap. For example,  if the tight band down the outside of your thigh is increasingly tight from regular activity and lack of stretching, your knee cap can get pulled to the outside resulting in ‘mal-tracking’ of the knee cap (patella) during movement. This can be further increased if your inside thigh muscles are weak, perhaps due to any down time from a previous injury or operation.  Smaller intrinsic muscles behind the knee can also become increasingly tight causing pain which can feel much more serious!
A more technical term for this type of condition is sometimes used – Patella Femoral Pain Syndrome
.
Symptoms: 
– Pain in and around the knee cap
– Pain behind the knee
– Tender points down the outside thigh close to the knee
– Pain on bending the knee – walking, squatting, kneeling, running, or even sitting.
– Popping or grinding sensation in the knee
– Increased pain during and post exercise which eases off with rest
– General tightness in the legs

Management: 

– The good news is that minor cases of runners knee can settle down on their own so first and foremost – REST!!! Take a break from the activity you have been participating in and try to stretch out your leg muscles during this time. If you are doing regular activity, you should be taking the time to warm up properly and stretch to help avoid injury.

– ICE the knee.  This will help with any inflammation in or around the joint and give some pain relief. REMEMBER to use a thin towel to avoid direct contact to the skin and possible cold burn. 15 min on followed by letting the joint warm up naturally again is a good starting point, then repeat.

– If the discomfort persists, see an Osteopath.  They will be able to assess your knee to make sure nothing more serious is happening which may need referral to a doctor but also look at the features described above to best see how we can correct the issue. Usually a mixture of manual therapy integrated with some self help exercises to help relax or strengthen areas of the body is enough to successfully treat this type of issue. 

– Acupuncture is also very successful in helping to relieve any discomfort and associated muscle tension in a painful joint.  Infact, often the two treatments work very well hand in hand and your therapist will be able to provide the right type of treatment program suitable for you

Contact us at the clinic on 728798 if you would like to talk with someone about treatment or to book an appointment with us
Ian
Refs:
http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/taking-the-pain-out-of-runners-knee-201106072801
http://www.webmd.boots.com/fitness-exercise/guide/runners-knee
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003187.htm
http://runtobefit.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/runners-knee-how-to-deal-with-it-and-recover-quickly/
http://www.everydayhealth.com/knee-pain/runners-knee.aspx

"Thank you so much for my Reflexology treatments and particularly yesterday. I walked home quickly and have had no Tinnitus since. After your Reflexology it feels as if I am walking on air."

Mrs B (for Sarah Thackeray )

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