Definition: Knee pain can be a stiffness felt inside the joint, or pain on the inside or outside of the knee joint. Knee pain can be brought on by exercise such as running or downhill skiing, and the joint may suffer increased stiffness in the morning or after rest. Knee pain is a common complaint and can affect any age.
Causes: The knee is one of the most commonly injured joints, due to its function as an active weight-bearing joint and its complexity of design. Common injuries of the knee include:
ACL Injury (Anterior Cruciate Ligament). This ligament connects the front of the femur (thigh bone), to the front of the tibia (shin bone). This injury is common in sports such as downhill skiing and basketball, as it is linked to sudden changes of direction. It is characterized by immediate pain usually felt deep within the knee, and is sometimes characterized by a popping sensation at the point of trauma. There is usually swelling of the knee with heat (inflammation). Pain is worsened by bending the knee or by putting weight on it.
Torn Meniscus. This is more of a twisting injury, a shearing force of rotation while weight-bearing, and is a tear of the cartilage between your femur and tibia. It is common in sports requiring reaction movements. There can be a popping sensation at point of injury, and is associated with warmth and swelling of the knee. The knee may also lock, or feel unstable.
Knee Bursitis. The bursae are fluid-filled sacs on the outside of the knee, providing padding for the tendons and ligaments to glide smoothly over the joint. Some injuries can cause these bursae to become inflamed.
Patellar Tendonitis(Jumper’s Knee). This tendon attaches the quadriceps muscle at the front of the leg to the tibia (shin bone). Activities like tennis, running, cycling, and skiing can cause inflammation of this tendon. The pain is localized to the tendon insertion at the front of the knee.
Arthritis (Osteo). Osteoarthritis is the most common arthritis of the knee, and is a degeneration of the cartilage in the knee. Risk factors for osteoarthritis include age, mechanical problems, and overweight. Symptoms include stiffness especially in the morning, loss of range of motion of the knee, and pain with weight bearing exercise.
Arthritis (Rheumatoid). Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that can affect any joint in the body. Those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis can experience symptoms that are severe, as well as periods of remission. Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by derangement of the joints with swelling and pain.
Knee Replacement Surgery. Physiotherapy within the first six weeks of a knee replacement is very important for recovery. Physiotherapy improves the motion of the knee and allows for a natural transition back to knee movement in daily activities. Patients who are diligent with following their physiotherapy exercises tend to recover much faster.
Treatment: The above lists only a few of the many conditions possible in the knee. It is important to be evaluated by a physician or sports medicine doctor before commencing any kind of therapy. Physiotherapy is the therapy of choice for joint injuries. You will be given a thorough assessment, treatment and rehabilitation exercises in our private gym. At conclusion of therapy your knee will have regained strength and function, allowing you to return to your daily activities.
For more information, or to book an appointment call 604-524-4446.