Knee Pain - Finding the cause and building strong knees

Knee pain is a common complaint at Kelowna Manual Therapy Centre. This article deals with knee pain that gradually increases, rather than knee pain that is caused by an acute injury.  Treating knee pain must involve taking a thorough history as well as physical examination.  A Thorough history-taking and physical examination will help determine whether the knee pain is the primary problem or the ‘victim’. In other words, a manual therapist will look for the root of the problem.  The knee pain can be the source of the problem, or caused by problems in the lower back, pelvis, hip and/or foot and ankle.

Commonly, non-acute knee pain is brought about by about by stresses transferred from other areas.  For example, tightness and weakness around the hip can cause a lack of control and an increased angulation of the knee with bending.  This is termed “Valgus collapse”.  This is one of the most common causes of knee pain seen with ‘overuse’ injuries.

IMG 4555

PIC: Poor knee control as a result of hip muscle tightness and/or weakness

Another example is tightness in the calf muscles or stiffness in the ankle joint will put an increase in stress on the knee by causing an increase in twisting forces on the knee.  Excessive pronation can also contribute to increased knee stress.

Manual Physical Therapy treatment will use a combination of manipulation, mobilization, IMS dry needling, soft tissue work, stretching and strengthening to help restore normal mechanics.  Orthotics can be used if it is determined that increased foot pronation is contributing to the knee pain.  A specific therapeutic exercise program will be taught to reinforce correct movement patterns.

The therapeutic rehabilitation program will follow one or more of the following principles: