WHAT’S IN YOUR KNEE?
Your knee is a complex structure and is one of the most stressed joints in the body. It is classed as a ‘hinge’ joint and is responsible for weight-bearing and movement. It contains multiple structures including bones, menisci, ligaments, and tendons. The knee is designed to perform a number of functions, including:
· supporting the body in an upright position
· help to lower and raise the body
· provide stability
· act as a shock absorber
· allow twisting of the leg
· helps propel the body forward while walking
The knee joint is formed at the articulation of the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone), as well as the patella (knee cap). There are multiple ligaments in and around the knee to support the structure and hold the bones in place while still allowing movement through the joint. These ligaments include the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments (which can be found within the knee, between the femur and tibia, stopping these bones from sliding forwards and backwards on each other) as well as the medial and lateral collateral ligaments (which can be found on the medial/inside and lateral/outside aspects of the knee, preventing the femur from sliding to either side). You also have two discs sitting within your knee called ‘menisci’ that act as shock absorbers.
Common Injuries to the knee include:
- Sprains and Strains: these most commonly include damage to the anterior cruciate ligament and the medial collateral ligament. These injuries most often occur in sports where the knee is likely to experience sudden twisting motions or awkward, jarring positions, such as soccer, football, or netball. A pop or snap may be heard, followed by swelling and tenderness of the joint with pain on movement.
- Meniscal Tears: A meniscal tear generally happens during sports where the knee twists, pivots, or an individual is tackled but can also occur due to wear and tear from aging, where the meniscus is weakened, causing it to tear with a simple awkward turn during normal day to day activities. Symptoms of a tear are usually pain, stiffness, swelling, locking, and decreased range of motion.
- Fractures: A fracture is most often caused by trauma, such as falls, motor vehicle accidents, and sports-related contact. The most common bone broken around the knee is the patella (kneecap).
How can chiropractic help?
The chiropractic approach of assessing and treating the knee includes the evaluation of the other joints and muscles relating to the knee.
This is because pain can be referred from other structures in the low back, pelvis and hip into the knee, in certain conditions. Also, if other joints in the lower limb are not working correctly they can put increased stress on the knee joint, resulting in injury over time. Therefore to resolve the knee pain chiropractors may also treat other areas, to maximise long-term improvement.
If you have any issues with knee pain, or queries regarding how we may be able to help, please give the clinic a call and have a chat with one of our lovely chiropractors.