Injuries - Knee Pain
The knee, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), is one of the most easily injured joints in the human body. AAOS says that almost 11 million people visit doctors every year because of knee problems. More than half of those, about 6 million, are visits to orthopaedic surgeons who do more work on knees than any other part of the body. The Knee (2011). Retrieved June 3, 2011, from www.health-news-and-information.com/4civista/libv/r08.shtml.
The knee is a large, vulnerable joint, and it's also the most commonly injured joint in sports injuries. While there are certain amounts of stress which will inevitably cause an overt traumatic injury (for example, a 300 pound football player careening into the outside of ones knee), many knee injuries and dysfunctions can be prevented by understanding the most common muscular/myofascial imbalances that predispose us to injury. The common knee injuries described below are frequently related to other imbalances of the hip (anteriorally rotated pelvis or pelvic unleveling), knee, leg (shin splints, anterior or lateral compartment syndrome) and foot (pronation, plantar fasciitis). If you are injured already, the therapists at our medical massage therapy clinic can provide expert treatment for your knee injuries, and we can also explain how to avoid them in the future!
The most common knee injuries/knee dysfunctions fall within these categories:
"The Terrible Triad" refers to the anterior cruciate ligament, the medial collateral ligament, and the medial meniscus. Most often, this type of injury occurs when body weight is loaded into the foot and a significant lateral force is delivered to the knee. You can often see this type of injury occurring in contact sports like football, soccer, or basketball.
"Runner's Knee" or patellofemoral syndrome describes a condition where the backside of the patella, or the kneecap, does not slide correctly on the femur, or the thigh bone. This misalignment can cause considerable pain or discomfort with activities, and eventually inflammatory and arthritic symptomology can develop. Muscular imbalances in the lateral knee stabilizers, including the iliotibial band, can cause a lateral deviation of patellar tracking and result in much pain and dysfunction. Chondromalacia is often confused with patellofemoral syndrome, but actually does not have to include a medial or lateral tracking disorder. Chondromalacia occurs when the cartilage on the back surface of the patella becomes extremely irritated or even degraded. This condition often occurs in young adults, when muscular growth and conditioning may be overtaken by bone growth. Clinical treatment of athletic conditions/injuries like "runner's knee" and ITB (Iliotibial Band) Syndrome are holistic and effective preventative and intervening approaches.
"ACL Injuries" are injuries sustained by the anterior cruciate ligament. It is estimated that between 100,000 and 200,000 people in the US suffer from a torn or ruptured and ACL every year. Female athletes are believed to be particularly vulnerable to this injury. ACL is designed to stabilize the knee joint; literally, it holds the femur and tibia together. The most common scenario involving injury to the ACL, involves one leg being firmly planted on the ground and the rest of the body suddenly stops. So, the knee becomes suddenly hyperextended, which places the tibia too far forward relative to the femur, thus severely stretching or tearing the ACL. Significant ACL tears require arthroscopic surgery and ACL repair.
"Meniscus Injuries" The knee has two pieces of "c" shaped cartilages that act like cushions between the femur and tibia. The meniscus on the inside of the knee is the medial meniscus, the meniscus on the outside of the knee is the lateral meniscus. Meniscal injuries occur from ordinary wear and tear, and also sports or traumatic injuries. In the latter case, the meniscus can be torn when the individual quickly twists or rotates the femur while the foot is still planted firmly on the ground. By recognizing and helping you to correct muscular imbalances between the hip flexors and hip extensors, the hip abductors and adductors, our holistic clinical therapy specialists can vastly increase the strength and stabilizing influences of the knee.
"Knee pain led me to consult Zana. I was uncomfortable walking, and I spend a lot of time walking...The result is that I'm pain-free! Thanks for the deep massage and instructions to maintain healing...Jane Montegue"
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