Knees are constantly moving throughout the day; not just while walking and running, but when bending, kneeling, standing and sitting. In order to accomplish these tasks, they must be able to twist, bend, straighten and rotate, while bearing the entire weight of the body. Is it any wonder that knees are easily injured?
The knee is the largest joint in the body, made up of the femur – or lower end of the thigh bone, and rotates on the upper end of the tibia – or shin bone, and the patellae – or knee cap, which slides in a groove on the end of the femur. To help stabilize the joint, large ligaments attach to the femur and tibia.
Most people pay very little attention to their knees… until one day, a sudden jerk to the knee is felt and PAIN! Initially, one may walk with a limp, notice swelling and tenderness around the knee or the joint may lock entirely, making it painful to bend. A grinding or popping sound may be heard when the knee joint moves.
Knee pain is an extremely common complaint, with a multitude of causes. People suffering with knee pain that stems from an automobile or sports injury, may seek medical attention. However, knee pain can occur by knee ligament injuries resulting from a quick twist or blow to the knee joint. In addition, pain may occur when there is stretching or tearing of the ACL or anterior cruciate ligament, the MCL or medial collateral ligament, the LCL or lateral collateral ligament or the PCL or posterior cruciate ligament. Damage to the LCL or PCL is less common than damage to the other ligaments. Other causes of knee joint pain include: bursitis, arthritis, dislocated knee cap, patellar tendonitis, cartilage injuries, meniscal tear, Osgood-Schlatter Disease – which is a condition seen in adolescents due to irritation of the growth plate, or to vigorous exercise. Finding the cause, is the first step to successful treatment.
By using specific diagnostic tests and evaluations, doctors can determine the cause of knee pain. This includes analyzing the patient’s health history, reviewing x-rays and MRI findings, along with a thorough physical therapy examination. While the pain may appear to be originating from the knee, it is important to look at other anatomical components to determine if additional rehabilitation is needed. These areas include the ankle, foot, quadricep and hamstring muscles, leg, pelvis, hip and lower back. Finding the source of pain, is the only way to truly eliminate it and have a full and healthy recovery.
When treating knee pain, physical therapy is often key to a successful recovery. By using exercises for quadriceps, hamstrings and calves – as well as low impact cardiovascular exercises, strength and muscle endurance can be increased, while regaining mobility. This helps patients return to their pre-injury level of activity. Other treatment options include strengthening weak muscles around the hips, utilizing heat and/or ice to reduce muscle spasms and inflammation and stretching the muscles surrounding the joint. While the knee is healing, custom orthotics may be recommended to provide additional support. In addition, correcting any balance problems can help prevent a new injury.
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Call New Jersey’s own Alternative Integrated Medical Services today at 732-254-5553 and receive a FREE Initial Consultation. Our goal is to provide the most advanced and compassionate pain relief. Our Team of Experts and friendly staff at your local East Brunswick, NJ AIMS Clinic, will help you reduce or eliminate pain and improve function. As our patient, we will teach you how to regain your health with our revolutionary new treatment program.