The knee is a complex synovial hinge joint and is made up of the thigh bone, the shin bones and the kneecap. Cartilage in the joint prevents the bones from rubbing together and acts as a shock absorber. The knee is supported by strong ligaments on either side of the joint and within the joint itself which create stability during activity. The main muscles that control movement at the knee are the quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles and the iliotibial band. It is important that these muscles are both strong and flexible in order to provide proper function at the knee joint.
There are many causes of knee pain but it is mostly through overuse or trauma that problems occur. Common conditions causing knee pain and dysfunction include osteoarthritis, chondromalacia patella, patella tendinopathy, meniscal injuries, ligament injuries and runner’s knee.
People with knee problems often present with symptoms such as pain, tenderness, swelling, stiffness, weakness of muscles, a clicking or grinding sensation, or a locking sensation. Symptoms often get worse during certain activities such as running, jumping, walking up or down hill, climbing stairs, and standing from a sitting position. Knee pain can be very distracting and debilitating but our physiotherapists here at Estuary Clinic are able to help.
Physiotherapists are highly skilled in the assessment and management of knee pain. A detailed assessment of your knee will identify the factors causing your knee pain and from this your Physiotherapist will then create an individualised treatment plan to get you on the road to recovery. Your Physiotherapist may identify problem areas in parts of your body other than your knee, for example biomechanical problems in the feet can cause knee conditions as can dysfunction of the hip. Management of all identified problematic areas will be incorporated into your treatment plan.
Your treatment plan will likely include an exercise program to target the specific problem areas as Physiotherapists are highly skilled in exercise prescription. Your exercise program may include stretching, strengthening, balance and postural exercises. Other treatments that may be used include soft tissue work, mobilisations, electrotherapy, heat and cold therapy, kinesiology taping, strapping, advice and education. Physiotherapists can also provide rehabilitation programs following surgery to the knee joint.
Depending on your condition your pain should improve within just a few Physiotherapy sessions. However, continued support is available to prevent further injury and for those of you who need to improve your sport performance or daily activities. Exercise has been shown to be beneficial in the prevention of knee pain. Your Physiotherapist can help design your exercise program that is specific and relevant to your needs.
Other services that are available at Estuary Clinic to help in the management of your knee pain include: