Did you know that your chiropractor can treat more than just back pain? Chiropractors are specialists in treating the spine but they also have training and experience in treating other joints and areas of the body. If you have suffered a knee injury or are experiencing knee pain, chiropractic care may be able to you help heal and manage – or even eliminate – pain from knee problems.
What Causes Knee Pain?
Sometimes the injury is obvious: you’re running with the ball, headed toward the end zone and – WHAM – you get tackled from behind as the lower half of your leg twists away from the upper half… SNAP! You’ve seriously injured your knee. But many of knee injuries are far subtler than that.
Other than a sudden injury, the most common cause of knee pain is that over time the cartilage in the knee has degraded. This causes arthritis: inflammation and stiffening of the joint.
Some physicians may tell you that there are really only two “solutions” to arthritis: taking anti-inflammatories and, in the worst of cases, surgery. But if you could get pain relief and increased movement without medications and without surgery, wouldn’t that be better? That’s what chiropractic offers people who have suffered knee injuries or who have knee pain: non-invasive, natural techniques to promote healing.
Knee Pain & Body Weight
One of the most difficult things for your knees to handle is excess body weight. For every pound you are overweight, your knees bear four times that weight. That means if the ideal weight for your height is 150 pounds and you weight 200 pounds – 50 pounds over weight – your knees are experiencing 200 extra pounds of pressure with each step. But the reverse of this is good news: if you are overweight and suffering from knee pain, even taking off just 5 pounds can have a big impact on the health of your knees.
How Can Chiropractic Help Knee Pain and Knee Injuries?
When you see a chiropractor for knee pain, first your doctor will do a comprehensive evaluation. Don’t be surprised if your chiropractor wants to look at more than just your knee! Our bodies are integrated machines – the hip bone is connected to the thigh bone – and so on. So if something is “off” in another area of your body, it could be causing your knee pain.
For instance, if your spine is out of alignment, it may be causing you to lean slightly to one side or rotate your hips slightly as you walk or stand. This alone could cause your knee to also have to adjust unnaturally and, over time, cause pain in your knee. Other conditions that could cause knee pain are tight muscles, unevenly developed muscles in your legs, hip joint issues, and plenty of other situations that a chiropractor will look for.
Once your chiropractor has completed their assessment, he or she will help you devise a treatment plan. If your doctor has determined that another condition in your body is contributing to your knee pain, your treatment plan will involved rectifying that problem which, in turn, will alleviate your knee pain. Meanwhile, your doctor will set forward a plan to help manage your knee pain and heal any damage that your knee may have sustained. If the problem is in your knee alone, your chiropractor will determine the right path for your rehabilitation.
Whether the root problem is in your knee or elsewhere, your treatment and pain management plan may involve any or all of the following:
• Chiropractic adjustment to the knee joint
• Applying ice to reduce inflammation
• Soft tissue massage to reduce inflammation and increase blood flow to the area. This will also increase range of motion.
• Ultrasound treatments
• When practical, gentle stretching and strengthening exercises
If you are suffering from knee pain or have had a recent knee injury, we encourage you to make an appointment to see one of our board certified chiropractors.
What Kind of Movements Are Affected By Knee Pain?
• Walking up stairs
• Walking down stairs
• Sitting down
• Standing up
• Getting out of bed
• Hobbies like playing sports or even gardening
In other words – just about everything we do can be affected by knee pain and that’s a bigger problem than just a pain in your need. Decreased activity levels can lead to weight gain and loss of muscles strength and coordination. This can affect your overall physical health and make you more susceptible to injury in general. Not being able to full participate in life and being in chronic pain can also lead to depression and anxiety. So take care of your knees!