In this article, we’ll go over the various problems that can result in knee pain so you can distinguish between them and decide what to do next.
What are the most common reasons for knee pain?
Knee discomfort is typically brought on by ageing, injury, or repeated stress on the knee from activities like bending, squatting, and lifting, as well as general wear and tear. It can also be caused by medical conditions such as degenerative tissue disorders and inflammatory diseases.
Knee injuries from sports and exercise
Athletes are particularly prone to knee problems, especially those who play sports that involve jumping and running. Some of the sports that have a reputation for being tough on the knees include basketball, tennis, rugby, golf, running, and soccer.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) exercises like F45 that involve aggravating movements like lunging and squatting are notorious for being tough on the knees and have exploded in popularity in recent years.
That’s not to say that the exercises themselves are inherently bad for the knees. Exercise is beneficial in lubricating the joints and improving mobility, as well as strengthening supporting muscles to reduce the risk of sudden spasms and injuries.
The probability of serious injury is significantly increased when the muscles are not properly warmed up, so don’t neglect your pre-workout stretches!
Common types of knee injuries from sports include:
- ACL injury
- Ligament tears
- Knee bursitis
- Patellar tendinitis
- Torn meniscus
- Pes anserine bursitis
Medical conditions that cause knee pain
This is the most common type of arthritis, not to be confused with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by degeneration of knee cartilage from wear and tear.
Also known as RA, Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto-inflammatory disease that happens when the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues.
Gout is a disorder that causes uric acid crystals to build up in the joints, resulting in inflammation and pain in the knees.
Obese people are four to five times more likely to get arthritis in their knees. Just a few kilos can put significant additional pressure on your knee joints and increases your risk of developing osteoarthritis. This is because the structures of the anterior knee experience additional forces of up to five times our body weight.
How can I relieve my knee pain?
When to see a doctor
If your knee pain is accompanied by symptoms such as significant swelling, redness, tenderness and warmth around the joint, or fever, it’s important to consult a doctor.
In severe cases such as suspected fractures or dislocation, you should always seek immediate medical attention.
Should I use ice or heat for my knee pain?
Within the first 72 hours of the onset of pain, don’t use heat on your injury to avoid exacerbating inflammation and swelling.
For mild to moderate knee pain, you can try managing it at home using the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) method.
Listen to your body and avoid any activities that worsen your knee pain.
Applying a cold compress to the area decreases blood flow and reduces inflammation and swelling. This is most useful in the first 24 hours after the onset of your pain.
Wrapping the knee with an elastic bandage can limit swelling and give the knee more stability. It should never be too tight and cut off blood circulation or cause pain.
Keeping the knee raised above the heart allows any accumulated fluid to leave the legs and drain back to the body. An easy way to do this is to lie down flat and prop your legs up with pillows.
Knee Pain Physiotherapy
If your pain is causing you difficulty in your daily activities and symptoms persist for more than a few days, consider physiotherapy treatment to boost your recovery.
Physiotherapists specialise in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions that affect mobility and function. In many cases, physiotherapy can be the best option to speed up healing and rehabilitation while alleviating pain and stiffness. Delaying treatment might result in your knee pain becoming worse or even developing into a chronic condition.
You do not need a doctor’s referral to book an appointment with a physiotherapist.
Types of Physiotherapy treatments for knee pain
WINBACK TECAR Therapy
This is a French non-invasive technology that utilises WINBACK energy, a high-frequency current that can stimulate our body’s natural repair mechanisms, promoting cellular exchange. It is used to treat deep tissues and heal injuries without causing pain.
Individualised Exercise Prescription (Strengthening/Prevention)
Your Physiotherapist will prescribe suitable strengthening exercises targeting the causes of your knee pain which are customised for your individual condition and pain level. These exercises can be performed in between your Physiotherapy appointments to maintain strength and relieve pain.
Manual therapy involves the kneading and manipulation of muscles to promote flexibility and mobility of connective tissues. There are a variety of styles of manual therapy, which include massages, myofascial release, and stretching.
The term “dry needling” refers to the use of stainless steel needles that don’t inject fluid into the body. The needles are placed in trigger points on your body for a short period of time to release any knotted muscles and relieve spasms and pain.
These specialised treadmills take the pressure off the lower body and allow users to walk or run at a percentage of their usual body weight. This is especially helpful for post-surgery patients and runners with knee injuries who experience significant pain when trying to carry out weight-bearing activities.
At Ready Fit Physiotherapy, we do our best to maximise results for our patients. While traditional physiotherapy treatments are undoubtedly effective, we utilise the latest non-invasive technologies and state-of-the-art equipment to further accelerate the recovery process