Knee Pain

Knee pain is a common complaint among people of all ages and activity levels. It can be caused by a variety of factors, such as injury, overuse, and arthritis. Knee pain can significantly affect your ability to perform everyday activities, such as walking and climbing stairs. Fortunately, physiotherapy can help in the treatment and prevention of knee pain.

Common types of knee pain

There are several types of knee pain, each with its own causes and symptoms. Here are some of the most common types of knee pain:

  1. Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS): PFPS refers to pain at the front of the knee, which may be noticed with activities such as walking, running, climbing stairs, squatting or jumping. Pain may be the result of overuse, incorrect technique, footwear, muscle weakness or tightness or a change in activity levels. Pain can be resolved and may include a combination of specific exercises, taping or bracing, soft-tissue release and/or activity modification.

Types of Knee Pain... continued

  1. Patella Tendinopathy: Also known as ‘Runners’ or ‘Jumpers’ knee. This results in pain in the patella tendon, which is just below the knee cap. This may be due to a sudden change in exercise (increase or decrease), overuse, or may be a gradual build up over time due to a number of contributing factors. The rehabilitation protocol for tendon issues is quite specific, and best to get onto early on, as they may be slower to heal once significant changes have taken place inside of the tendon cellular structure.
  2. Ligament Injury: There are 4 ligaments that are part of the knee joint, the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL), Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) and the Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL). These injuries are common in sport, particularly in sudden twisting movements or hyperextension or forced flexion and can result in instability in the knee. Management varies depending on the extent of injury and can range from a conservative rehabilitation program to surgical management.
  1. Meniscus tear: There are 2 meniscii in the knee – the medial and lateral meniscus. This soft structure acts as a shock absorber and helps provide stability to the knee. A tear in the meniscus can cause pain and discomfort, and may even cause a limitation in range of movement, as well as catching or locking. Your physiotherapist will be able to determine if there is a tear, and it’s level of severity. Management may be either a conservative rehabilitation program, or in some cases, require surgery.
  2. Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that can affect the knee joint. It is characterised by the breakdown of cartilage in the joint, which can cause pain, stiffness, and limited mobility. The first line of treatment for OA is a specific strength program and weight management.

In summary

Your physiotherapist will be able to assess and diagnose the cause of knee pain. If pain is limiting you at the gym, running, in sport or just day-to-day activities, then let us help you to set out a plan for how you can keep active and gradually return to the activities you love.

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