Knee Pain | 6 Common Causes & Treatment Options

Is your knee pain causing you to miss out on the activities you love?

When you have knee pain, even the simplest tasks, such as walking around the grocery store or going for a bike ride can lead to a feeling of instability and discomfort.  There are many causes of knee pain ranging from surgery and arthritis to the simple wear and tear from daily activities.  Depending on the exact cause of your knee pain, a physiotherapist or chiropractor can prescribe an individualized treatment plan for you.


What Causes Knee Pain?

Is the pain around your knee cap or behind or to the sides of the knee?  Do you experience knee pain more when you are at rest or when you are exercising?  Your specific symptoms of knee pain and the timing or your knee pain when you perform certain activities provides a good clue as to the cause of your knee pain. Here are 6 common causes of knee pain with their associated symptoms.


  1. Patella Tracking Issues:

    Your kneecap, or patella, is the bone covering your knee, providing strength and structure as you bend and move your knee joint. If you have pain around your kneecap that gets worse with exercise or repetitive movements involving bending and straightening your knee, you may have patella tracking issues. Patella tracking issues can be caused by several factors, including: having weak thigh muscles, performing repeated twisting motions, or a traumatic blow to the knee.  A clicking sensation when you bend and extend your knee is another symptom of a patellar tracking issue.


  1. ACL Damage

    Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) damage affects the ligament connecting your thigh bone to your shin bone. Ligaments are fibrous connective tissues that connect two bones to hold together a joint.  Of all the knee ligaments, the ACL is the most frequently injured.  If your knee pain began after repetitive movements, such as from athletic activity or exercise, you may have ACL damage.  Most ACL injuries are the result of a quick pivoting maneuver performed while playing a sport such as soccer, football or basketball. ACL symptoms include knee swelling, a reduced range of motion, and sudden pain followed by a feeling of knee instability, especially when changing direction quickly during walking or running.


  1. Damaged or Sprained Knee Ligaments

    Sprains and damage to knee ligaments are usually caused by overstretching, overusing, or twisting your knee during exercise. For this reason, highly active individuals are at a higher risk for developing a torn knee ligament. Your knee ligaments are connective tissue that connects bone to bone, helping you to move your knee joint effectively. Depending on the ligament damaged you may experience instability, immobilization, a reduced range of motion, swelling, tenderness, or pain.

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  1. Meniscal Injuries

    Your meniscus is a piece of thin cartilage that separates your thigh bone from your shin bone, providing a cushion as you move your knee. Activity as simple as getting up very suddenly from a squatting position could lead to a teared meniscus, though other causes include sports (such as football, basketball, tennis, and soccer), and activities that involve putting pressure on or rotating your knee joint. If you have difficulty straightening and your knees feel unstable or give way when standing up, you may be suffering from a tear to your meniscus. During the initial injury of your meniscus, you may hear a popping sound and your knee may lock in place.


  1. Tendinitis

    Knee tendonitis, otherwise called patellar tendinitis, involves an inflation of one of tendons around your knee area. A tendon is a flexible band of tissue that attaches a muscle to bone. Knee tendonitis. A common symptom is mild or severe pain behind or to the sides of the knee. For people with knee tendinitis, kneeling or standing from a squatting position can be especially painful.  Often referred to as “jumper’s knee”, knee tendinitis is often caused by sports involving jumping such as volleyball or basketball.  However, it isn’t just athletes who may experience knee tendonitis.  Several other causes of knee tendinitis include having tight leg muscles, uneven leg muscles, obesity, shoes without enough padding, or rigorous physical activity.


  1. Trigger Point Referral Pain

    Trigger points are defined as sensitive areas of the body that can cause pain or symptoms in another area. If muscles around your thigh or knee experience decreased circulation or have a buildup of toxins, the nerves surrounding your knee could become more sensitive, causing mild to severe pain. In the case of muscle pain caused by a trigger point, the muscle fibre causing the pain has formed into a knot, causing reduced blood flow in the trigger point area.  If you have developed pain in your knee due to a trigger point, your knee pain will likely be worse with rest and better with exercise.  Other symptoms of trigger point pain in the knee include pain when extending the knee joint, a feeling of tightness along your thigh muscle, having a deep ache at the front or inside the knee, and having increased pain when at rest.


No matter the culprit behind your knee pain, physiotherapy and/ or chiropractic therapy could be your quickest path to recovery.


Which treatment is best for Knee Pain?

Depending on the root cause of your knee pain, your knee injury diagnosis, and your current physical health, your physiotherapist or chiropractor will tailor their approach to you.  For example, someone over the age of 50 who has diabetes will have a very different treatment plan from a young athlete recovering from a sports injury.  Your personalized treatment plan may include knee mobilization techniques, massage, taping, wearing a knee brace, stretches and strengthening exercises.


Treatment Plans Unique to You

No matter whether your visit our Edmonton clinic regularly or want to come in for a limited time following a sports injury for treatment of your knee pain, we can help.  Our physiotherapists and chiropractors at the Glenora Chiropractic and Physiotherapy Clinic will design a treatment plan specific to your needs, age, condition, and lifestyle.


Want to learn more about how the Glenora Chiropractic and Physiotherapy Clinic can help you achieve full-body harmony?  Call today to book your appointment.

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