Knee pain is a common problem for people to have, and as such is common in the greater Pittsburgh and Fox Chapel areas. It can really alter your life and make simple tasks much harder. While the knee is not the most complex joint in our bodies it is one that does a lot of work. Sports, running, walking, and even just standing can put a lot of stress on the knee joint. Usually this stress is not a problem, but when it becomes a problem it can be a big problem. For some people knee pain develops gradually and it can be hard to determine exactly what causes the pain, while others may develop knee pain due to a traumatic injury. Regardless of what initially caused the knee pain ignoring it and not getting the proper treatment for the knee pain in the greater Pittsburgh & Fox Chapel areas can make the pain continue to get worse. In this article we will briefly cover the most common causes of knee pain and the different knee injuries that occur.
A bursa is a fluid filled sac that is located around joints to help reduce the amount of friction that is created between the bones and the soft tissue that is located around the bones. Since joints move so often this friction could cause wear and tear on the bones or the soft tissue, but the bursa is there to prevent that from happening. Bursitis occurs when this fluid filled sac becomes inflamed. This can happen for any number of reasons such as from a direct trauma to the area or excessive friction on the bursa itself. When the bursa becomes inflamed it will be tender and there will be localized swelling present. Bursitis of the knee can cause the knee to balloon up and look very swollen. Bursitis can occur both above and below the knee cap. It can make moving the knee and putting pressure on the knee, such as when kneeling, very painful. Depending on the type of bursitis that is present it can be treated effectively with conservative treatment and management such as what we provide at Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation.
The IT band is the long fibrous tendon of the Tensor Fasciae Latae, which is a muscle in the hip. The IT band runs down the outside of the leg and inserts into the outside of the tibia. This band of fascia can rub against the outside of the femur in the knee and can become painful. IT band pain occurs on the outside of the knee and often occurs with flexion and extension of the knee joint. Running is a common cause of IT band syndrome. IT band syndrome can be effectively treated with conservative treatments such as post-isometric relaxation as well as other techniques to stretch and loosen the tissue.
The meniscus are the cartilaginous discs between the femur and the tibia that cushion the knee. These discs allow for the knee to move with limited amounts of friction which prevents degeneration. Certain mechanisms of injury can cause tears in the meniscus. These tears can be very painful and cause the knee to lock up. The pain from an acutely torn meniscus will often be severe and sharp in nature. When one experiences a severe meniscus tear it often requires surgery to properly heal.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that is completely natural. This condition can develop in any joint of the body. Usually osteoarthritis does not result in pain. Sometimes, however it does. Osteoarthritis of the knees is pretty common because of how much the knees are used throughout our daily activities. Since osteoarthritis is commonly found in the knees, it is understandable that it is common to have pain in the knee due to osteoarthritis. Pain that comes from osteoarthritis is often achy in nature and located around the joint. The pain does not respond much to touch, but heat can help the pain immensely. Conservative treatment can be effective in treating osteoarthritis. Usually osteoarthritis responds well to general exercises, which can be prescribed at Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation.
Patellar tendinitis is when the tendon that attaches to the knee cap gets irritated and inflamed. This is an overuse injury that is often due to running, jumping or sprinting. In fact it is sometimes called jumpers knee. Pain will generally be felt around the patellar tendon and with resisted extension of the knee. The pain can range in quality from sharp to dull and achy. Often times the pain will be worse either right after participating in a sporting activity that involves running or jumping. Alternatively the pain might come about the next day. Patellar tendinitis is effectively treated with conservative treatments and usually does not require any invasive treatments such as surgery.
There are multiple different sprains that can happen to the knee. Sprains are when a ligament is partially or completely torn. The more common sprains of the knee are ACL and MCL sprains, however occasionally the PCL or LCL will be sprained. The ACL is the ligament in the knee that helps to prevent forward translation of the tibia. What this means is it prevents the tibia from being displaced in front of the femur. The MCL is the ligament of the knee most responsible for preventing inward collapse of the knee. With either ACL or MCL sprains one is likely to experience instability of the knee. Sprains usually occur as an acute singular event. These events can be traumatic in nature such as a football tackle, however they do not have to be traumatic. One may hear a popping and experience excruciating pain during a sprain. When one experiences a sprain they will often have intense swelling of the knee that takes place soon after the injury. Mild to moderate sprains are effectively treated with conservative treatment and if one is an athlete they will be able to return to full competition after the injury heals. Complete tears however, often require surgery if one wants to get back into full competition.
Strains are partial or complete tears of muscles or tendons. There are a handful of muscles that insert at or nearby the knee. Therefore a strain that affects the knee can happen for a variety of reasons. A strain usually happens in acute singular event and there is often noticeable pain right after the event takes place. This even could be traumatic in nature, but it does not have to be. Strains are often very tender and there may be bruising on or around the muscle that is injured. Pain from a strain is often sharp in nature. Strains that are only a partial tear are effectively treated with conservative treatment. Full tears however, may require surgery or other interventions.
STOP LIVING WITH KNEE PAIN
Conservative treatment options such as what we provide to the greater Pittsburgh and Fox Chapel area communities at Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation is usually effective for dealing with knee pain. In some circumstances further intervention maybe necessary. Our doctor is able to determine when further care is needed and direct you to the appropriate specialist who can best help. If you have knee pain and would like to see if we can help you please call 412-517-8124!
- Funiciello, M. (2012, April 27). What Is a Bursa? Retrieved from Arthritis-health: https://www.arthritis-health.com/types/bursitis/what-bursa
- Souza, T. A. (2016). Differential Diagnosis and Management for the Chiropractor. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning.