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Natural Ways to Manage Knee Pain

Running knee painThe knee is a vulnerable joint that handles the stress from everyday activities as well as high impact sporting activities. Knee injuries are usually a mix of age-related wear and tear and sport or athletic injuries.

One in three Americans will experience knee pain at some point in their lives and it is the second most common cause of chronic pain. Typically, knee pain affects women more than men as women have a wider pelvis, weaker leg muscles, and hormones that decrease ligament strength and increase knee laxity. The lifestyle factors that contribute to knee pain are increased weight, age, over use of the joint, gender, and lifestyle choices. Obesity increases the risk for knee problems considerably. For every pound, you’re overweight, your knee must absorb an extra four pounds.

Chiropractic care is an effective solution to treat knee pain naturally, effectively, and without side effects or long term consequences. Chiropractic adjustments to the knee joint can help improve range of motion, decrease inflammation, and accelerate the healing process. Correcting posture can significantly improve knee pain by balancing pelvis rotation, making sure the knee is biomechanically moving properly and the foot has the correct range of motion and support.

It’s important to identify the cause of knee pain in order to treat and manage it appropriately and efficiently. The faster the issue is addressed the more likely it won’t turn into a chronic issue and lead to more severe long-term problems.

How We Treat Knee Pain at Buchar Family Chiropractic

A Comprehensive Consultation and Exam

We do a detailed history to unearth when the issue started, previous injuries, and any activities or habits that may contribute to the knee issue. We’ll also be conducting a detailed functional orthopedic exam and any necessary neurological exams. Depending on the origin of the pain, we may also do a more in-depth analysis of the biomechanical function in the joint looking at gait, dropped arch, pelvic rotation, and discrepancies in leg length.

Our main focus will be getting to the root cause of the problem to prevent it from becoming a more severe issue.

X-Rays: If needed, we will take a set of digital x-rays to assess the structures of the knee. Through x-rays we can determine if degeneration is present in the knee or meniscus. We will also verify if the knee alignment is at the correct angle for proper biomechanics of the knee. The results will help determine if further MRI or CT imaging is warranted to get more detail on your condition.

Identifying the Root Cause of Your Subluxation

Subluxation is a key component we will focus on during your exam. A subluxation is any type of rotation or misalignment of a joint. The knee is a hinge joint, made up of the femur, tibia, fibula, and patella all connected with tendons and ligaments.

When the joint becomes strained, hypermobile, or weak, we look at correcting the knee position through chiropractic adjustments. This will increase range of motion and decrease inflammation in the joint. It is imperative to keep the joints moving to keep arthritis from accelerating. Lack of motion will encourage arthritis to set in.

Massage Therapy and Soft Tissue Work

Massage therapy and soft tissue work is an effective adjunct to treating knee issues. It will loosen tight muscles and stretch the muscles above and below the knee to reduce the strain put on the knee. Soft tissue work can also be used to decrease trigger points and diminish adhesions that have been built up by muscle issues.

Custom Therapeutic Exercise Plan

We will design a custom therapeutic exercise program to stretch muscle groups that are too tight, strengthen muscle groups that are too weak, and make sure that muscles are firing in the correct pattern – working together rather than fighting against each other.

Acupuncture

In our office, we also use acupuncture as a pain relief solution. Acupuncture increases blood flow to a specific area to increase healing and decrease inflammation. In addition to treatment for a regular injury, acupuncture is an effective strategy to promote healing after surgery.

Nutrition Supplementation

Based on your lifestyle habits we may recommend nutritional supplements or adjustments to your diet. An anti-inflammatory diet, or alkaline diet, increases the body’s ability to heal faster and decreases recovery time. Certain supplements can decrease inflammation, promote cartilage growth, and increase bone density.

Common Causes of Knee Pain

ACL Injury: One of four ligaments that connect the femur to the tibia is the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL. (The others are the posterior cruciate ligament, the media cruciate ligament, and the lateral cruciate ligament.) An injury to the ACL is the most common, especially among those who play sports from sudden changes in direction. A tear, indicated by a popping sensation, will cause a feeling of instability and make it very painful to bear weight.

Depending on the severity of the injury conservative treatments range from physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage, acupuncture, and strengthening exercises.

More severe tears may require surgery.

Torn Meniscus: The meniscus is tough, rubbery cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between the femur, tibia, and fibula. The pain, swelling, and stiffness of a torn meniscus are caused by a forceful twist or rotation of the knee.

Patellar Tendonitis: Patellar tendonitis or “jumper’s knee” is very common with runners, skiers, cyclists, and those involved in jumping sports. Tiny tears to the tendons cause irritation and inflammation in the front of the knee or slightly underneath the kneecap.

Arthritis: Arthritis, osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis is the most common type of wear and tear on the knee and results in stiffness, pain, and loss of mobility. Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder, may also be a debilitating issue that erodes the joint. Gout is a form of arthritis characterized by severe pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. It is the result of a buildup of uric acid that has crystallized and is deposited on the knee.

Iliotibial Band Disruption: The IT band is a tough band of tissue that extends from the outside of the hip to the knee. When it starts to rub against the femur it can become very tight and tender resulting in adhesions and inflammation along that side of the leg. Distance runners and cyclists are very susceptible to this and other hip flexor issues.

Runner’s Knee: This overuse injury is very common causing pain in the front of the knee or behind the kneecap due to repetitive high-level stress placed on the joint. Pain results from inflamed tissue, rarely is it a fracture or torn tendon, and may be associated with creaking and cracking noises as well as joint stiffness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is visiting a chiropractor good for knee pain?

Because the knee is a hinge joint, the pelvis and foot are critical to assessing the cause of knee pain. Pelvic imbalances or biomechanical issues are generally the root cause of knee pain. A chiropractor will focus on these foundational musculoskeletal issues. Using a chiropractic adjustment we can ensure the bones are in proper alignment and mobility of the joint is not inhibited.

When should you see a chiropractor for knee pain?

With any issue, we want to see you as soon as possible so that a simple issue doesn’t become a complicated, chronic issue. Consult a chiropractor as soon as possible with any type of injury, stiffness, pain, or trouble healing within a 24 to 48 hour period.

How do I know if my knee pain is serious?

Anything that lingers longer than 24-48 hours, or that’s getting worse, or impairing your physical and recreation activities should be considered serious.

What does arthritis in the knee feel like?

Initially, it will feel like stiffness, tightness, and soreness. As it progresses it will lead to more severe pain and the muscles may start to become tight as you begin compensating for the knee pain. Creaking and cracking are also associated with arthritis in the knee.

Is it better to use heat or ice on the knee?

If it’s an acute injury, 24-48 hours, use ice right away at 20-minute increments. After that, I recommend heat early on and in the middle of the day as you keep the joint moving. Once inflammation builds up I begin to recommend ice at the end of the day to manage the inflammation, even after the first 24-72 hours.

Dealing With Knee Pain? Call Us

Whether you’ve been dealing with knee pain for days, weeks or years, we’re here for you. Contact our team today to learn more about your options and book an initial visit. We look forward to welcoming you into our care.

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Knee Pain Relief Aurora IL | (630) 820-1330