Common Sources of Knee Pain
Knee Pain is very common and treatable. Whether you’ve had an injury or your pain slowly increased over the last few years, there’s hope. We can provide relief for these common knee conditions and often even reverse the damage that’s been done if you give us enough time:
Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis where bone grows and thickens in response to mechanical stress. This is also the easiest to prevent since the mechanical stresses can be removed by restoring your entire musculoskeletal system.
In the healthy knee you can see a nice layer of cartilage between the two bones. You’ll also notice how the bone thickens a lot in the arthritic knee and the cartilage is almost completely gone. Bone spurs are seen along the sides from the front view. This arthritic knee shown above would be considered a bone on bone knee and would typically require a knee replacement when it is this bad and the person hurts too much. Understanding the arthritic process is simple. Joints that are twisted degenerate and grow more bone to compensate. The joint space in between the bones decreases and the joint is eventually destroyed. Catching this process before it has gone too far is the key. At Aberle Chiropractic, we have the technology to take the twist out of the knee so you can get relief and so the joint can heal.
IlioTibial Band Syndrome
Iliotibial band syndrome is another common source of knee pain on the outside of the knee. The iliotibial band is a long band of thin but strong connective tissue that connects the pelvis to the knee. When it gets tight and restricted it causes abnormal motion and torquing on the knee joint and can be a significant source of pain. Typically people complain of pain on the outside of the knee. This can be treated directly to soften up the tissues or treated by aligning the whole body and allowing the iliotibial band to loosen up on its own.
On a personal note, I used to have extremely tight iliotibial bands no both legs. There was no way I could run because the pain in my left knee got bad enough where I realized running was causing me more harm than good. As my posture and overall alignment has improved, my iliotibial bands are now soft and healthy. No tightness and no knee pains.
Knee Pain From Tendonitis
Tendonitis is inflammation of the tendons in the knee. You can have Patellar Tenodinitis which directly involves the quadriceps muscle and tendon as it connects into the tibia as the tendon tracks over the patella. Or you can have other tendon issues like the medial or lateral collateral ligaments. This is often due to overuse in a person that has poor mechanics of the knee.
Knee Pain From Bursitis
Bursa sacs are fluid filled cushions between tissues that glide against each other. Their purpose is to reduce friction and protect the tendons, ligaments and muscles that are gliding over them. Pain from Bursa sacs are often found in certain professions like carpet layers and people who are on their knees a lot. When these sacs get inflamed, they can be painful.
Knee Pain From Meniscal Tears
Meniscal tears are a source of knee pain. A meniscus is a crescent-shaped fibrocartilaginous structure that builds up the joint around the edges. It deepens the socket of a joint and makes it more stable. When these structures develop small tears, they can be a source of pain.
Knee Pain From Torn ACL
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is sometimes damaged with direct knee trauma. Surgery can repair an ACL, but others choose to live without it. When they’re torn, they can cause extreme pain and afterwards the knee feels less stable.
Patellar Tracking Problems
In a normal knee the patella slides up and down easily with no sideways forces being applied to it. However, when the knee gets twisted due to the entire body being twisted, the patella will develop tracking problems. Instead of just going up and down, it now has a strong pull to the inside or outside. It usually tracks to the outside. Exercises are usually prescribed for this problem, but the muscles are not the problem here. Instead the whole body needs to have improved alignment to take the twist out of the knees and restore normal patellar tracking.