Knee pain – what you need to know
Knee pain is a common complaint that we treat at Relieve Clinic. Problems with the knee can affect people of all ages and can be the result of an injury (old or current), a medical condition, or general wear and tear. Knee issues may be debilitating, since we use this flexible joint for most lower body movements, such as walking, using the stairs, and getting up from a chair.
Knee pain can respond very well to hands-on treatment, but it may sometimes be advised to see your GP if your pain persists or significantly worsens. This NHS knee pain reference guide is a good source of information for improving knee pain, and offers advice what might be causing your pain
At Relieve Clinic in Leeds, we offer osteopathy and can help treat your knee pain with a range of osteopathic treatments. We can also help you manage your condition through lifestyle and exercise advice. Let’s take a more detailed look the causes and symptoms of knee pain, and how our osteopathic treatment can help.
Knee pain can be caused by a variety of injuries, mechanical problems or medical conditions.
The knee is a complex structure comprising the knee joint (femur, tibia, fibula), the kneecap (patella), and muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage (such as the meniscus).
People that play highly volatile or impact sports have a higher risk of a ruptured ligament or torn meniscus within the knee. Knee pain can also be caused by a foot injury or medical conditions, such as, gout, arthritis and infection.
As you can see, knee pain can arise from a variety of different causes. Here’s an overview of some of the most common causes of knee pain:
- Muscle strain
- Ligament sprains
- Meniscus tears
- Hips, feet or ankle issues
The following factors can increase your chances of having knee pain:
- Being overweight: Excess weight increases the stress on your knee joints and puts you at risk of osteoarthritis by accelerating the breakdown of joint cartilage.
- Tight or weak muscles: A lack of muscle flexibility or strength offers reduced support around the knee joint.
- High impact sports: Skiing, football, basketball, running are examples of sports that increase the risk of knee injuries.
- Previous injury: If you’ve injured your knee there’s a higher chance it will happen again.
Symptoms of knee pain can vary, depending on the structures involved and the severity of the problem. For instance, with a meniscus tear the whole knee can be swollen and painful on weight-bearing, while a muscle strain may give knee pain on active movement. Joint pain might also vary: from a minor ache to chronic pain.
Here are some common symptoms of knee pain:
- Swelling and stiffness
- Redness and warmth to the touch
- Weakness or instability
- Popping or grinding noises
- Inability to fully straighten or bend the knee
- Locking of the knee
- Difficulty walking or bearing weight on the knee
- Difficulty walking up or down steps
- Favouring the opposite knee and foot
Often, minor knee pain can heal itself within a few days. Self-help treatments include: protecting and resting the knee for a day or two, ice, compression, elevation (PRICE), anti-inflammatory painkillers or a knee brace for support while walking.
If knee pain persists or worsens, it’s best to seek medical evaluation to avoid further damage to cartilage, bones, or ligaments.
Your GP can provide a diagnosis by inspecting the knee, checking your range of movement and evaluating the structures in your knee. They can order an X-ray, CT scan, ultrasound or MRI to further inspect for damage.
Osteopathy is known to be an effective treatment for reducing knee pain and strengthening the muscles around the knee to make it more stable. Your osteopath will review your medical history and symptoms, as well as undertake a physical examination to determine the root cause of your knee pain and the best course of action.
Osteopathy treatment for knee pain relies on a combination of hands-on techniques to:
- Decrease inflammation
- Improve joint mobility
- Stretch and strengthen muscles
- Facilitate healing
- Improve your biomechanics
Your osteopath can also give you stretches and exercises to do between appointments. These are designed to increase the strength and flexibility of your knee when working, at home or playing sports.
The team at Relieve Clinic are fully trained to recognise if your condition should require medical intervention, and in such cases, we’ll refer you to your GP.
You can’t always prevent knee pain but there are things you can do reduce the risk of it happening. These approaches include:
- Stretching your muscles before and after exercise
- Introducing low-impact exercises like swimming to your training
- Slowly increasing your distance when running
- Getting shoe inserts to support foot or gait problems
- Maintaining a healthy weight
At Relieve Clinic, our osteopathy treatments can ease the symptoms of knee pain, so you can get back to doing what you want to do.
We perform a thorough assessment to determine the source and severity of your knee pain, and to map out an osteopathic treatment plan that is best for your lifestyle and symptoms. Each patient’s treatment plan is tailored to their unique situation. We may recommend a variety of osteopathic treatment techniques, to assist in the prevention and management of your knee pain.
Visit our Pricing page for the treatment types we offer.