Knee pain is a common condition that effects many people of all ages. From sporting injuries to osteoarthritis, there are many factors and conditions that effect knee pain and function, and understanding the drivers of your pain will help determine the best treatment approach. Some knee conditions include:
- Knee osteoarthritis: this common condition affects the cartilage in the knee joint. It can cause pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.
- Meniscus injury: The meniscus is a piece of cartilage in the knee that cushions and stabilizes the joint. Irritation or tears in the meniscus can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty with movement.
- Ligament injuries: The knee has several ligaments that connect the bones and provide stability to the joint. A sprain or tear in one of these ligaments can cause pain and instability in the knee. The ACL (or anterior cruciate ligament) is a ligament commonly known to injure in sport that involve sudden stops and change in direction. However there is also a posterior cruciate ligament, and medial and lateral collateral ligaments that can also be injured and effect joint stability.
- Patellar tendinopathy: This condition occurs when there is inflammation of the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shin bone. It can cause pain and tenderness in the front of the knee.
- Patellofemoral pain syndrome: This is a condition where the kneecap does not track or movement properly over the thigh bone, causing pain and discomfort.
- Osgood-Schlatter disease: This is a condition that affects adolescents, where the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shin bone becomes inflamed and painful.
- Bursitis: This is an inflammation of the bursae, which are small sacs filled with fluid that cushion the knee joint. Bursitis can cause pain and tenderness in the knee.
How can physiotherapy help?
Physiotherapy involves assessing all the potential contributing factors for your knee pain and can include;
- Strategies and treatment to reduce pain and inflammation
- Muscle retraining and motor contol
- Strengthening exercise program
- Manual therapy
- Activity modifications
- Education and advice