Knee pain is something many of us experience throughout our lives, whether it be when we’re young and growing, fit and playing sport or elderly and feeling stiff. There are many structures in our knees that can be damaged to cause pain, but often there’s no obvious cause for our pain. So where and why does my knee pain happen?
Below are just a few of the common causes of knee pain.
- Sporting athletes spraining, tearing or rupturing ligaments through traumatic contact or an awkward landing. The commonly injured ligaments of the knee are the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), MCL (medial collateral ligament ) and LCL (lateral collateral ligament.
- The meniscus. Again another common sporting injury usually damaged with a strong twisting force
- The patella. This can be an acute pain through something like a dislocation, but more commonly it can be a slow build-up of chronic tenderness and irritation through the front of the knee. Often caused by overload or biomechanical strains
- Fat pad. A small and highly innervated cushioning systems of the knee, when impinged can cause acute pain and other times no pain at all.
- Muscle pain. The knee is surrounded by powerful muscles, if one or more of those muscles is injured or grumpy its often the knee that feels the brunt of it.
- Arthritis. In an aging population this is one of the most common causes of pain, sometimes it can be debilitating and for some people it can be just morning stiffness, there’s fantastic evidence of implementing exercise to help with function and pain, and now there’s new evidence of EMS shockwave for managing pain.
If you’ve had an acute knee injury it is imperative to get it assessed before undertaking any exercise again. At Sports and Spinal Albury we will assess the mobility and stability of the knee to try and obtain a diagnosis, if needed further imaging may be required to confirm. However if you’ve been battling some chronic knee pain or arthritic pain that’s bothering you, stopping you from running or getting out in the garden, we’ve put together some simple exercises for you to try at home! If you have feelings of instability or aren’t confident then please come and see one of our osteopaths for assessment and guidance.
Exercise number 1
A great exercise to build strength and confidence, knowing that you aren’t going to fall over and a platform to push off from at the bottom helps avoid the most difficult part of a squat.
How do I do it?
⦁ Stand with a chair or table behind you, feet shoulder width apart
⦁ Trying to keep your knees behind your toes (if possible)
⦁ Gently lower your bottom towards the chair behind you
⦁ Having something there to fall back on will enable you to be confident to squat further knowing you won’t fall over
⦁ Try and touch the chair momentarily and then push back up to a standing position
⦁ Note – try and keep a straight back, keeping your eyes looking forward
⦁ This exercise can be progressed doing it with one leg, or having a lower platform behind you
⦁ This exercise can be made easier by having a higher platform behind you, or starting on the chair and focusing on the squat upwards
Exercise number 2
Knee pain can be caused from our quads being excessively tight, especially common in sports people, casual runners and gym goers. This is a very effective stretch that allows us to keep a good posture through our trunk, in addition this helps strengthen our opposite leg putting through some load and control. To find a position that you’re comfortable with the object behind you can be any number of heights, chairs, beds, stools anything that will be stable and reliable.
How do I do it?
⦁ Have a chair or low table behind that can comfortably rest your ankle on behind you
⦁ Balancing on your other leg gently lower your body down in a squat type motion
⦁ Try and keep stable through your hips and keep your back as straight as you’re able
⦁ As seen in the video your heel will come up to your pelvis creating a strong stretch through your quads
Exercise number 3
A fantastic exercise that can help lower back, hip and knee pain. Many people in our population have poor hip stability which causes extra load to go through our knees and ankles. By strengthening through our glutes this can improve our biomechanics to help decrease knee pain and improve lower limb function.
How do I do it?
⦁ Laying down on your back, head resting on a pillow
⦁ Bend your knees up to roughly 45 degrees
⦁ Try and spread the weight evenly across both feet
⦁ Contract your glutes and use them to drive your hips towards the ceiling
⦁ Try not to extend your back, just lift your hips to be in line with your torso
⦁ Try to use your glute muscles as much as possible, if you feel it in your quads and not in your glutes at all we may need some technique tweaking
⦁ Try lifting your toes from the ground and push through your heels for a change
As with any musculoskeletal pain it is beneficial to get it looked at by one of our amazing osteopaths, we can assess the cause of pain and help you find ways to manage your pain and help prevent any future flare ups.