With an increasingly active society, the number of knee complaints is on the rise. Knee pain is a common musculoskeletal complaint that brings people in to see us and can make common movements difficult and painful.
The main function of the knee is to straighten, bend, absorb shock and bear your bodies weight, however it can also twist and rotate. In order to undertake all these actions whilst still providing support to the body, the knee relies on bones, tendons, cartilage and ligaments, which are all susceptible to injury.
A knee that is healthy has a great range of motion and is strong and pain free. If you do start to experience any sort of knee pain don’t ignore it as it can cause more issues in the long run. It is extremely important to identify what the cause of your knee pain is. A young person who plays sport may assume that their ACL is the problem, and an older person may assume that arthritis is the issue however, there are many causes of knee pain and properly identifying this from the onset is imperative to recovery.
Traumatic VS Non Traumatic
If you can pin point an event taking place that causes your knee pain, it is considered traumatic. For example, planting the foot incorrectly and having your knee buckle beneath you or swiftly changing directions when running. If the pain has built up over time through repetitive movements or motions, for example everyday squatting or running, it is considered to be a non-traumatic injury.
A common cause of knee pain is inflammation. After a strain or tear, or when cartilage wears and causes bone to rub on bone, the tissues in your knee can become inflamed. By decreasing and controlling inflammation you can dramatically decrease knee pain in general.
Controlling Inflammation with R.I.C.E
REST – Allows the knee to have a break from the activity, which is causing it aggravation.
ICE – Icing for 10-15 minutes at a time restricts blood flow to the area and reduces inflammation.
COMPRESSION – Wrapping or taping the knee with a tight bandage applies pressure to the area and restricts the blood flow reducing pain.
ELEVATE – Elevating your leg above the level of the heart allows blood to circulate back to your heart and remove excess blood flow from your knee.
Want to know how you can stay active through injury – CLICK HERE
How Physiotherapy can Help!
As Qualified Health Professionals in anatomy and biomechanics, a Physiotherapist can help alleviate knee pain, get you knee back to being fully functional and ideally prevent the injury from recurring. As different parts of the knee cause different types of pain and discomfort, by discussing your symptoms and analysing the movement of your knee, they will identify the source of your knee pain and educate you in what to do in order to be pain free and return to sports or activities in a safe way.
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