When to See an Osteopath for Your Knee Pain

Causes of Knee Pain

Osteopaths treat a wide range of conditions and presentations. Knee pain is one of the most common complaints seen by Osteopaths. Our knee joint is made up of bones, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, meniscus, muscles and bursa. If you experience knee pain this can be caused by injury or irritation of any of these structures.

Our knees are important to maintaining an active lifestyle and if you are experiencing knee pain this may consequently affect your overall health and wellbeing and stop you from doing what you love.

Your knee pain can present very differently to the next person and can range in severity. It is very common if you experience knee pain simple tasks as prolonged sitting and climbing stairs will aggravate your pain. Your Osteopath will determine the cause of your knee pain and help to correct any mechanical dysfunctions of the knee and surrounding areas for example the ankle and hip. In some instances further investigation may be required and your osteopath will be able to refer you to the relevant specialist to ensure you get the best care for you and your presentation.

Some common conditions of the knee include:

  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome: this occurs when the patella or the knee cap doesn’t track smoothly with knee flexion and extension, this causes aggravation to the surrounding soft tissue structure of the knee.
  • Knee Osteoarthritis: this becomes more common as we age. This is when our cartilage, ligaments and bone start to degenerate which can cause rigidity of the joint. These symptoms can develop overtime.
  • Meniscus injuries: our meniscus is the cartilage that cushions our knee joint, it sits between our thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia). With forceful twisting of the knee this structure has the ability to tear.
  • Ligament injuries: ligaments are a soft tissue structure that connects our bones together. The knee joint has many different ligaments including our cruciate ligaments and collateral ligaments to create stability of the joint. Injury to these can cause pain and instability of the knee joint.
  • Tendon injuries: we can injure our tendons from overuse and increased strain to the muscles this can cause inflammation and/or irritation of the tendon causing pain.

Knee Pain in Young People

A common knee condition in children is a condition called osgood-schlatter syndrome. This is a condition that causes pain and swelling just below the patella or more commonly referred to as the kneecap, where the patella tendon attaches. Osgood-Schlatter disease affects children going through a growth spurt and who are very active especially those who play high impact sports that involve running and jumping.

Osteopaths can help address the joint and muscle imbalances that occur at the knee with this condition to help reduce pain and improve functionality.

Knee pain in Adults

Knee pain in adults is a common presentation seen by Osteopaths which can have a number of different causes. A very common cause of knee pain in adults is osteoarthritis which causes degeneration of the cartilage and joint surface of the knee which causes stiffness at the joint. Osteopathic treatment can help improve the quality of movement and decrease the muscle tension around the area to help provide symptomatic relief. Your Osteopath will also educate and prescribe strengthening based exercises to help manage your knee pain and prevent further injury.

Osteopathic Examination for Knee Pain

Your Osteopath will take you through a thorough case history to best understand your knee pain to help determine what has caused your symptoms. Your Osteopath will take you through a thorough examination to assess for any injury of the knee and the overall function, mobility and strength. All of this will help your osteopath diagnose the cause of your pain and any muscular imbalance that may be present contributing to your symptoms, to come up with an individualized treatment plan to get you back to what you love doing.

Osteopaths take a whole body approach to assessment and treatment. They will address any other compensations that may be occuring at the foot and ankles, hips, pelvis and lower back that may be contributing to your knee pain.

Osteopathic treatment for knee pain

As Osteopaths we use a range of gentle hands on techniques to help relieve tension, improve function and joint mobility and most importantly reduce the pain and discomfort that is occuring at your knees. Some of the techniques your Osteopath may use includes:

  • Soft tissue massage
  • Stretching
  • Joint mobilisation and manipulation
  • Taping for support
  • Shockwave therapy

Managing Knee Pain

Your Osteopath is able to help a lot when it comes to knee pain through hands on manual therapy education and exercise prescription. In conjunction with Osteopathic treatment your osteopath may also recommend other ways to help manage your knee pain. Some of the ways your osteopath can help manage your knee pain are:

  • Increase range of motion:
  • Release soft tissue restrictions
  • Strengthening of the surrounding muscles
  • Strapping/taping/bracing
  • Reduce inflammation

Make an Appointment

Our Osteopath at Pillar Health wants to get you back to doing what you love as quickly as possible. Your treatment is likely to include a combination of hands on treatment as well as at home exercise, postural advice,  taping, or ergonomic advice. You do not need a referral to make an appointment with your Osteopath.

You can make an appointment at Pillar Health by calling the clinic on (03) 8899 6277 or online via our website.