When most people hear the word “chiropractor”, they immediately think of the back pain. But, did you know that chiropractors are trained to treat so much more than that? For instance, we treat ear infections, we aid with overcoming infertility, and we treat a whole host of other ailments – knee pain being one of them. In fact, there are specific chiropractic manipulation techniques that can be performed to increase movement, reduce pain, and improve function of the knee and surrounding joints (you learn something new every day, right?).
With that in mind, it’s important to note that there are a LOT of different ailments that can affect the knee joint. So, let’s take a few minutes to review some of the most common knee afflictions.
Arthritis – Arthritis not only causes problems with the knee joint itself, but also with the associated muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis found in the knee, and is due to a degradation of cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis causes joint inflammation and can destroy the cartilage within the joint.
Ligaments – The knee joint houses a LOT of ligaments, including the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), MCL (medial cruciate ligament), and LCL (lateral cruiate ligament). Any of these ligaments can be strained, sprained, or torn (either partially or completely), and can create intense pain.
Tendons – The knee also has a lot of tendons (it’s a complicated joint!), and pain stemming from a tendon can be due to a multitude of injuries, such as tendonitis or a torn tendon. Often times, tendon problems are caused by long-term overuse, which is common in sports training.
Osgood-Schlatter Disease – Osgood-Schlatter is caused by repetitive stress/tension being placed on the upper tibia (one of your lower leg bones). The patellar tendon (and, often times, the soft tissues surrounding it) can become inflamed at the spot where the tendon attaches to the tibia. Adolescent boys and girls – especially those going through growth spurts – are prone to this affliction, especially if they participate in activities that involve lots of running and jumping.
Illiotibial Band Syndrome – This occurs when a tendon becomes inflamed and rubs over the outer portion of the knee bones. It’s seen quite frequently in athletes and can cause pain that extends up the thigh and towards the hip.
Knee pain can also be caused by cartilage injuries, injuries to the meniscus membranes within the joint, referred pain, and more – all of which can severely limit day-to-day activities and quality of life. However, it’s important to note that there are treatments that can help.
When our patients come to us with knee pain, a thorough evaluation and examination follows. But, it’s not just your knee(s) that we’ll look at – we’ll also check out other areas such as your hips, ankles, spine, and gait. All of these areas need to be healthy and in proper working order for our knees to function at maximum (pain-free) capacity and the same is true in reverse – our knees need to be “healthy and happy” so that everything else works as intended, as well.
So, if knee pain is something that you’ve been struggling with, please don’t hesitate to give Fletcher Chiropractic in Lincoln, Nebraska a call.