Chronic Knee Pain Physiotherapy

Chronic Knee Pain Is Growing In Popularity!

Chronic Knee Pain Chronic knee pain is the long-term pain in one or both knees. Chronic knee pain is one of the common problems that can occur in the later ages. Chronic knee pain is most often caused by a past injury with pain ranging from dull and annoying to sharp and debilitating.

Chronic knee pain is defined as pain in the knee lasting longer than 3 months. Knee pain, particularly chronic knee pain is less common in children due to reduced incidence of degenerative joint disease. The chronic knee pain is different from the temporary pain.

One of the most common reasons for chronic knee pain is chondromalacia and is also known as chondromalacia or patellofemoral pain syndrome.

Coping with Chronic Knee Pain

Knee injuries are so common partly because of how complex the joint is. The knee is the joint where the thighbone, shinbone, and kneecap (patella) connect. In addition to these bones, the knee includes cartilage, ligaments, menisci and tendons. Cartilage is a slippery substance on the ends of the bones in the knee. It lets the bones rub smoothly over one another as the leg bends and straightens.

Ligaments are the connective tissues that hold the bones of the knee together and give the knee its stability. The menisci are the cushions between the femur and tibia that also act as shock absorbers. There is one along the outer aspect called the lateral meniscus and one along the inner aspect called the medial meniscus.

Tendons are the connective tissues that attach the muscles in the leg to the bones they control. When all these pieces work together, the knee works as it is supposed to. It protects the bones from impact and allows people to move around freely. When the components of the knee are not working properly, people are likely to experience pain, inflammation, and many of the other symptoms of chronic knee pain. See more here.

The symptoms that are highly suggestive of chronic knee pain are knee pain, knee swelling, knee stiffness or tightness, and knee weakness, although you may still have chronic knee pain without those symptoms.

Knee pain

Symptoms
The location and severity of knee pain may vary, depending on the cause of the problem. Signs and symptoms that sometimes accompany knee pain include:

  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Redness and warmth to the touch
  • Weakness or instability
  • Popping or crunching noises
  • Inability to fully straighten the knee

Causes
Knee pain can be caused by injuries, mechanical problems, types of arthritis and other problems.

Injuries
A knee injury can affect any of the ligaments, tendons or fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that surround your knee joint as well as the bones, cartilage and ligaments that form the joint itself. Some of the more common knee injuries include:

  • ACL injury. An ACL injury is the tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) — one of four ligaments that connect your shinbone to your thighbone. An ACL injury is particularly common in people who play basketball, soccer or other sports that require sudden changes in direction.
  • Fractures. The bones of the knee, including the kneecap (patella), can be broken during motor vehicle collisions or falls. People whose bones have been weakened by osteoporosis can sometimes sustain a knee fracture simply by stepping wrong. Read more here.

Having chronic knee pain can seriously interfere with your life, making it difficult to do the simplest everyday things such as walking up and down stairs, grocery shopping or even just walking across the room.

Treating Chronic Knee Pain

How is knee pain treated?
When it comes to treatment, specialists start with conservative measures, including anti-inflammatory medication, rest and physical therapy. Sometimes that is enough to significantly improve the situation. If conservative measures don’t work, an MRI is usually needed to see joint surface cartilage and ligaments that help hold the knee together. Patients who have large cartilage defects in their knees – similar to craters in the joint’s surface – need advanced treatment.

Partial or total knee replacements are options that provide long-term relief in relatively older patients. For younger patients, surgeons can now transplant patients’ own cartilage back into the defect. Before a cartilage transplant can occur, surgeons perform a minor surgery so they can take a cartilage biopsy. The biopsy – the size of two small Tic-Tac candies – is from a zone in the knee that does not bear weight.

Surgeons then send the biopsy to a lab, where it is cultured and eventually grows into 12 million of the patient’s own baby cartilage cells. With these new cells, surgeons open the knee again to clean out the damaged cartilage and replace it with the new. A membrane is sewn around the damaged area to keep the baby cells in place. The cells continue to grow and in about three months, will replace the damaged area. Read full article here.

Chronic Knee Pain Can Be Quite Debilitating

Chronic knee pain is most often caused by a past injury with pain ranging from dull and annoying to sharp and debilitating. Chronic knee pain is damage or deterioration of the cartilage underneath the kneecap. Chronic knee pain is a pain or strong sensitivity that has lasted more than six months. Those suffering from chronic knee pain are familiar with the everyday struggles they have to face.

Chronic knee pain is most commonly the result of arthritis in the joint or a chronic condition from an old injury. If chronic knee pain is keeping you from enjoying life to the fullest, call us here: (619) 831-8777. The primary goals in the treatment of chronic knee pain are the prevention of pain and the improvement of function.

Related Articles:
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Author: Allison Yardley

Allison has 6 years in practice as a Chiropractor's Assistant and is a licensed Massage Therapist who writes for numerous blogs online. Feel free to comment or ask questions regarding any of Alley's blog posts.