Do your knees ache or feel stiff when you wake or sit too long? Do you have an old or new injury? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone − around one in three people experience knee pain. Yet, while knee pain is common, many treatments can be unhelpful. With this in mind, what is the chiropractic perspective?
Knee pain can result from a variety of conditions and factors. Ligament tears, torn cartilage, arthritis, or faulty mechanics may each be a cause. Problems in other parts of your body can alter how it functions and also trigger discomfort. In addition, your knee is complex; it can be difficult to find the exact source of soreness.
The knee consists of the tibia (shin bone) and femur (thigh bone), plus the fibula and the patella (kneecap). Cartilage sits between the femur and the tibia to absorb shock, and the cruciate ligaments connect these bones. They stabilise and stop excess forward and backward movement.
There are smaller ligaments that help to hold the knee together. The hamstrings and quadriceps deliver movement.
Each of these parts, and more, need to work together for the knee to function well.
If your feet, ankles, hips, pelvis and low back function incorrectly, your knee can be affected. For example, many chiropractors find that a low back problem can manifest as knee discomfort.
Think about it this way: if the knee is like the floor of your home, movement of the foundations or the walls can cause it to crack. Likewise, joints below or above the knee can contribute to its dysfunction and discomfort.
How might chiropractic care be beneficial?
Chiropractors diagnose and help to restore and heal faulty biomechanics. Whether in the lower limbs — at the knees, hips, ankles, and feet — or within the spine and pelvis, we help ‘take the pressure off’ to allow your body to recover. As your joints regain healthy function, your knee may recover too.
These steps may help you to find relief from sore knees at home:
Maintain a healthy weight
Extra kilos equal extra strain on your joints, especially your knees.
Seek advice on the best exercise
Seek the best advice for you and choose wisely. Lower impact activities are usually better than high impact options.
Keep supply and strong
The hamstrings and quadriceps support your knees, so appropriate strengthening and stretching exercises may help.