Knee Pain

Knee Pain and Knee Arthritis

Knee Pain and Knee Arthritis

The knee contains some incredibly complex anatomy and because of it’s important role in our everyday movement, it is subject to unique stresses and strains.

Sporting injuries are very common causes of knee pain but developmental problems, degeneration (arthritis) and infection can also cause knee pain.

Some common knee problems include:

  • meniscal tears
  • patellar maltracking
  • lateral or medial collateral ligament sprains
  • Osgood Schlatters
  • fat pad inflammation or impingement
  • anterior or posterior cruciate ligament injury

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Some kind of knee pain plagues about 18% of the adult population at any one time, and can often accompanied by hip pain. Symptoms of knee pain include difficulty moving the knee in a normal range of motion, swelling and stiffness, tenderness around the knee or a feeling that your knee may collapse.  In more serious cases there can be deformed joints because the joint surfaces have been so damaged.

Knee Pain Causes

As with other joints, arthritis knee pain is caused by the degeneration of the cartilage that cushions the joints but can also cause other things besides and in addition to knee pain. Damage to this cartilage can lead to fluid accumulating behind the knee in a cyst, referred to as a Baker cyst, causing pain at the back of knee.  This kind of damage is common in sports injuries that cause knee pain.  However, the most common cause of knee pain in casual athletes is Iliotibial band syndrome.

Infections rarely cause knee pain but can be a factor.  If you have knee pain check to see if you have a fever or the knee is hot to the touch; infections can result from wounds in the knee area- even a scrape.  I will liaise with your medical team to ensure you get the most appropriate immediate treatment.  Tumors can also cause knee pain but they are rare in that area of the body.  The ligament on the inside of the knee could be calcified (Pellegrini-Stieda syndrome), usually after an injury – but this requires an MRI for diagnosis.  Knee pain and peripheral hip pain can also be caused by bursitis, injuries to ligaments, torn muscles, tendinitis, nerve disease or fractures you may not realize have occurred.  A proper evaluation of your pain is important before embarking upon treatment.

Knee pain can be caused by many things but arthritis is certainly a common cause.

How can I help my knee pain?

There are several things that you can do to avoid or alleviate knee pain and arthritis of the knee in particular.  If you are overweight, losing weight will help.  Certain ‘common’ exercises can be unnecessarily hard on the knees – ask for help in deciding on what kind of exercise to undertake. And eating properly will give your body the nutrients it needs to maintain healthy cartilage that can protect your joints.

Luckily, there are many options open to us when treating knee pain and the hip pain that sometimes accompanies it.  Osteopathy and exercise together, along with a healthy anti-inflammatory diet can be extremely beneficial and is founded upon strong evidence as a solid approach to treating knee arthritis pain.  Medication your doctor may provide can relieve pain and reduce inflammation but early treatment with osteopathy is ideal as it can help avoid or minimize your exposure to medication side effects, and will encourage you to move better.  This is not only good for your health – but great for your knees!

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