Knee Pain Chiropractor in Sioux Falls
There are many different causes of knee pain, ranging in severity from general wear and tear to season ending sports injuries. It is estimated that nearly 25% of the general population suffers from pain in one or both knees each year. For some it may feel like a pain in the back of the knee, for others it may feel like a pain the front of the knee around the kneecap, and for others it will feel like a pain deep within in the knee joint or on the sides of the knee. Just as there are different areas around the knee that can be painful, there are also different activities that may aggravate knee pain, such as walking, standing, running, jumping, or even sitting. The goods news is there is an answer to knee pain. With the right diagnosis, treatment and plan, knee pain can be treated and resolved.
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There are many different diagnoses for knee pain, and most are just a little bit different from each other. However, for each diagnosis we can determine a cause, and once we know the cause of someone’s knee pain, we can develop the best plan of treatment. Here is a list of common causes for knee pain and the symptoms often associated with them:
1) General wear and tear: Common knee pain diagnoses associated with general wear and tear of the knee joint are arthritis, osteoarthritis, chondromalacia, tendonitis, bursitis, and other inflammatory types of pain. Often the causes of these types of pain boil down to faulty biomechanics and tracking within the knee joint. Simply put, when the knee joint does not function properly due to muscular imbalance or joint malposition, it becomes damaged over time and eventually the body launches an inflammatory response to combat the damage. The good news is, these types of knee pain are the easiest to treat because there is usually one or two underlying biomechanical issues that, once fixed, diminish inflammation and relieve the pain in the knee.
2) Exercise/Activity: Sports, exercise and other physical activity puts added stress and strain on the knee joints. Runner’s knee, jumper’s knee, Osgood-Schlatter disease, IT band syndrome, patellofemoral pain syndrome, meniscal tears, and muscle strains are all common causes of knee pain in athletes and workout warriors. Like general wear and tear causes, knee pain associated with exercise/activity is due to repetitive biomechanical stresses put on the knee during activity. However, in many cases, the pain experienced in the knee is more intense and can linger long after stopping activity. However, with proper care, which often involves muscular reeducation, pain during activity can be significantly diminished or even relieved without the need for surgical intervention.
3) Trauma: There are many different types of trauma that can happen to the knee. The most common types that people think of are ACL tears, knee dislocations, meniscal tears, and fractures. Many of these causes of knee pain require immediate medical examination (x-rays and MRIs) and may require surgery. Traumatic knee injuries generally take months to fully heal and require focused rehabilitative treatment plans for the knee to regain full function. But, with the right care, many traumatic knee injury sufferers have found relief and are able to continue to enjoy the activities they love.
Just as there are many different types and causes of knee pain, there are many different treatment options for knee pain. And depending on the cause of the pain, different types of treatment are recommended. For traumatic injuries resulting in fractures, ligament tears or dislocations, surgical consultation and rehabilitation are standard. For other less serious injuries, conservative care is recommended first with surgical intervention seen as a last resort if symptoms worsen or don’t improve. At Kinesio Care Center, our Doctors of Chiropractic implement many different therapies in order to reduce knee pain and each one has a specific purpose.
1) Joint Mobilization/Manual Manipulation – Providing a specific chiropractic adjustment to the joints of the knee can improve the tracking of the tibiofemoral and/or patellofemoral joint and reduce or eliminate pain causing irritation within the joint.
2) Manual Therapy/Graston Technique – Removing adhesions, scar tissue and tension from the muscles surrounding the knee allow for more range of motion and better neuromuscular coordination, which will leave the knee feeling looser, stronger and more balanced.
3) EMS – Electrical muscle stimulation is great for short term pain reduction and lymph stimulation to remove inflammation around the knee joint.
4) Ultrasound – Sound waves from therapeutic ultrasound produce heat deep within the muscles surrounding the knee, promoting blood flow and healing to damaged tissue.
5) RockTape – RockTape, as with most kinesio tapes, reinforce the knee joint during the rehabilitative phase of care by aiding muscles during contraction and providing neurological cuing for proper joint movement.
6) Therapeutic Exercise – Therapeutic Exercises, specific to the cause of knee pain, combat old pain-causing knee movements by educating and reinforcing new, healthy biomechanical knee movements through individualized exercises.
7) Therapeutic Activity – Where therapeutic exercises teach and reinforce general movements of the knee, therapeutic activity is specific to certain activities that aggravate knee pain such as running, walking, standing up from a seated position, standing posture, etc.
Depending on which treatment option is utilized full healing and recovery for knee conditions can take anywhere from 3 weeks to a year. More serious procedures, like ACL reconstructive surgery or knee replacement surgery, will cause patients to immobilize their knee for 3 to 6 weeks after surgery so that muscles and tendons can regrow and anchor strongly to the surround bone. Once the cast or brace is removed, it may take another 3 to 6 weeks to fully regain normal motions such as standing, walking, or driving. This is because while the knee joint is immobilized, muscular atrophy causes a weaking of the muscles due to lack of activity and therefore the knee and possibly hip and ankle joints feel weak. Therapeutic Exercise and Activity following surgery is aimed at improving muscular strength and coordination during everyday tasks. After regaining normal knee function following the first 3 to 6 weeks of therapy, the next step is regaining higher intensity activities such as running, playing sports, and exercise. Depending on the demands of the activity or sport, the last phase of rehabilitation can take up to an additional 9 months following major knee surgery.
By going with a conservative approach to care, patients suffering from knee pain experience a faster reduction in knee pain, less use of medications, and resume once-painful activities more quickly. Depending on the severity and longevity of their symptoms, patients who choose conservative care for knee pain notice improvement anywhere from 3 to 8 weeks. Not only that, but many are able to fully resume full physical activity within that time frame or shortly after. For those suffering with chronic knee pain from general wear and tear, exercise/activity, or minor injuries that don’t require surgery, conservative care is recommended for its effectiveness at reducing or eliminating many types of knee pain. If you are suffering from knee pain, get on the road to being pain free and contact the Doctors of Chiropractic at Kinesio Care Center to schedule an initial consult today.