If you suffer from knee pain, you’re in good company as one-third of Americans report experiencing some knee pain throughout their lifetime while over 100 million are afflicted with it chronically. Knee pain can be caused by injury, medical conditions, or mechanical issues and while their causes are vastly different, chiropractic care can provide relief and correction for many issues.
One of the many causes for knee pain is an inflammation of either the patellar tendon that results in pain below the knee cap or the quadriceps (quads) tendon that causes discomfort on top of the knee cap or patella. This may be a symptom of poor mechanical tracking of the patella or tightness of the quadriceps. Chiropractic care can help to improve the tracking of the patella in the patellar groove through adjustment. We can also help with muscle tonicity and function through manual therapies such as the Graston Technique, cupping, or Hypervolt massage device as well as therapeutic exercise that can correct the walking and running mechanics through various single leg exercises.
Another cause is bursitis which is inflammation in one or more of the 5 bursa, or fluid-filled sacks, around the knee. Each of the bursa are located around the knee; one below the quadriceps tendon (suprapatellar bursa), one below the patellar tendon (deep infrapatellar bursa), one on top of the knee cap (subcutaneous prepatellar bursa), one on top of the patellar tendon (subcutaneous infrapatellar bursa), and one behind the knee (semimembranosus bursa). There is also a bonus bursa called the pes anserinus bursa that is located one inch below the join on the inside of the knee. With bursitis, we can
help with manual therapy to loosen the muscles that cause the additional compression on the bursa. We will also likely make a referral as bursitis is typically treated by having the fluid drained by an MD.
IT Band Syndrome is pain that occurs on the outside of the knee that is very common with active individuals and athletes. We can help our patients with this type of knee pain through relieving the tonicity of the tensor fasciae latae (TFL) with manual therapy like the Graston Technique, Trigger Point therapy, and Hypervold massage. Chiropractic care can also include strengthening the gluteus medius which, when weakened, can cause the TFL, and sometimes piriformis, to compensate and become overly tight.
The last form of knee pain is related to pain on either side of the knee, deep in the knee joint, or throughout the whole knee that we can be attributed to a ligament or meniscus sprain. For serious sprains or tears, such as occurs often in the ACL, MCL, LCL, and PCL, that cause both pain and lack of stability in the knee, we will refer our patients for an MRI to see the extent of the injury. If after examination we find that the sprain is not requiring surgery, we implement care plan through chiropractic adjustment to make sure the join is tracking correctly, manual therapy of the surrounding muscles to create tensile balance around that joint, and also therapeutic exercises to ensure both stability of the joint and a reduction of pain through the healing process.
While knee pain comes in many forms and stems from many causes, chiropractic care can help to develop a treatment plan to move forward to health and maintenance.