Posture Adjustments for Knee Pain Relief

May 8, 2009


San Jose Chiropractor: Ten Most Frequently Asked Questions

In addition to spinal complaints, knee pain and disability is one of the most frequent dysfunctions of the musculoskeletal system. Problems with the knee can be separated into several categories including unsatisfactory of the knee and impaired foot mechanics that compensate for foot pain, general overuse of the knee joint,  problems due to arthritic changes in the joint, and traumatic injury from events such as sports and falls.

Non-trauma knee problems: Insufficient mechanics of the knee joint and the related stress on the soft tissues of the knee are, by far, the most widespread cause of non-traumatic pain. The patella or knee-cap is generally the area affected because frequently the patella does not move sufficiently on the femur during bending of the knee causing undue stress on the tendons, cartilage and ligaments. This particular condition is normally called chondromalacia patella (CMP) or Patella Femoral Syndrome (Knee Cap Pain). This condition is due to imbalances in the quadriceps muscles of the thigh that join to and move the patella. Lower back ailments, particularly in the sacroiliac joints, are one of the primary reasons for imbalances in the muscles associated with knee movement, and resultant knee problems. Pain and dysfunction can also be caused by imbalances in the muscle groups that join to the knee. For example, the muscles on the inside of the thigh, when strained and tight, can produce pain on the medial or inside of the knee.   Mechanical knee pain is also caused by gait deviations such as pronation.

The associated pain from overuse is most often experienced during activity, particularly stair climbing, running, jumping, and following getting up from prolonged sitting. Some women are likely to be predisposed to painful overuse conditions for anatomical reasons, although such problems are many times caused by wearing high heels on a regular basis.

The main treatment for mechanical or overuse injuries to the knee is to re-establish proper balance of the muscles, restore proper movement to the patella and other joints of the knee, and to correct any subluxations of the sacroiliac joints and bones of the foot.  In some cases, a brace is used to assist with the alignment of the patella or to support the joint. Chiropractors, such as your San Jose chiropractor, are completely trained to render knowledgeable analysis and management of these ailments.

Knee problems due to trauma: Traumatic injuries frequently happen during activities that involve running and jumping, particularly. Sprains occur when tissue is torn as the result of the knee being pulled or contorted beyond the facility of the ligaments that hold the joint together. Strains to muscles that give motion to the knee can occur when the muscles are torn during injury. As with a sprain, a muscle strain can range from a minor injury that necessitates little attention to a severe injury needing surgery. The knee also is comprised of two special “cartilages” – the menisci – between the tibia and the femur that allow fluid motion and cushioning. These cartilages can also be torn during trauma, and often necessitate surgical repair, or even removal if damaged severely.

Traumatic knee injuries can create intense pain and swelling and require urgent examination and care. Almost always an experienced chiropractor, such as your San Jose Chiropractor, can take excellent care of these conditions, however there are some injuries that require the craft of an orthopedic surgeon. Nevertheless, it is very important to stabilize the injured joint as soon as possible and to put ice on the injured area, if possible, until the injury can be examined.

If poor mechanics, overuse problems, or traumatic injuries are not eliminated at an early stage, the tissues of the knee joint, expressly the cartilage, will begin to wear out over the course of time. Consequently the bones will rub on one another, and changes such as bone spurs can eventuate. This painful condition, known as degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis, commonly progresses with age. General treatment may involve medications such as NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Fortunately, there are natural anti-inflammatory supplements that are highly effectual such as rosemary, glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, bioflavinoids, curcumin. Conservative treatment, such as chiropractic, can be extremely helpful in relieving the pain. Your San Jose chiropractor is very knowledgeable about anti-inflammatory supplements. In addition, sufferers can often assist themselves by keeping their weight down, doing exercises (especially in the pool), and wearing cushioned shoes or insoles.

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