What are the symptoms?
- Pain around the knee
- Occasionally swelling, clicking, giving way or locking
What are the causes of knee pain?
- Trauma – if you have twisted, landed awkwardly or impacted the knee.
- Gradual onset as a result of poor moving habits or a sudden change in training loads.
How to avoid/prevent knee pain?
- Stay active. We should all be aiming for 30min cardiovascular exercise x 5 days per week as a minimum.
- Stay strong. Introduce some strengthening into your routine. For example, squats and lunges.
- Gradually increase training loads.
- Gradually wean into new shoes.
- Sleep well. Being sleep deprived and/or stressed can also leave us vulnerable to experiencing pain.
How do you know if you have a torn meniscus in the knee?
Our knee joint has an extra portion of fibrocartilage to aid our joint’s shock absorption and joint function. This cartilage is called our ‘meniscus’. It is semi-lunar shaped and we have two – one on the inside of the knee (medial) and the other on the outside (lateral). As we age these can become more brittle and mildly tear. These tears are usually unremarkable and have no symptoms.
However, occasionally, we can experience a traumatic meniscal tear. These usually occur with a landing, twisting injury and result in joint swelling. This requires an assessment from a physiotherapist who will assist you to manage your pain and swelling acutely, before strengthening your knee thoroughly to prevent any secondary issues. Meniscal tears usually do very well with conservative (physiotherapy) management and rarely require surgery. Read more
What are the symptoms of arthritis in the knee?
Osteoarthritis is the medical term to describe some age-related adaptations within a joint. Symptoms are pain, swelling, stiffness after inactivity and sometimes warmth. Osteoarthritis is not always painful and can be managed very effectively conservatively with the use of a specifically designed exercise program and load management plan. Osteoarthritis can be present in different areas of the knee and your physiotherapist can discuss this with you. Read more
What is Patellofemoral Pain?
Patellofemoral pain describes pain relating to your knee cap. A common and often very painful condition that requires a thorough assessment from a physiotherapist to investigate all possible contributing factors. This condition usually does very well with a comprehensive exercise plan to address all the contributing issues. Read more here
What is Ligament injury of the knee?
We have 4 main ligaments of the knee – the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL), the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) and the Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL). Ligament injuries can occur with trauma to the knee – a sudden awkward landing, a hard turn or deceleration, a twist or buckle. They will result in local pain and often swelling. They can be graded 1-3 and depending on their severity you will be guided regarding their likely timeframe for recovery. Again, they usually do very well with physiotherapy input and will require guided strengthening plan. The ACL will sometimes be surgically reconstructed if fully ruptured (torn). However, research is currently growing in support of management without surgery and reporting very positive outcomes if the patient strengthens fully. Read more
How do you treat knee pain?
- A thorough knee physiotherapy assessment is required in order to determine the cause. This will include a thorough discussion with your physiotherapist, they will watch how you move and perform a few clinical tests.
- You will be then be talked through your management plan.
- This will often include advice to manage any acute pain and swelling. Possibly some taping strategies to help during this stage. Followed by a thorough strengthening exercise program targeting your entire kinetic chain – foot to trunk as these muscle groups can all influence your knee.
- This and a functional or general exercise plan will be progressed over a period of weeks to months.
- You should communicate regularly with your physiotherapist to ensure you are continuing to progress in the right direction.
- At any stage a second opinion or further investigations can be organised if you are not improving as anticipated.
What is better for knee pain, heat or cold?
- Usually cold, as if there is any swelling ICE can help to reduce inflammation.
- However, neither are strictly right or wrong, so if you are finding one is helping with your pain please feel free to continue its use.
Is walking good for knee pain?
- Yes, general activity is good for knee pain and our general health. Walking is good but remember to increase your level of activity gradually and to include other exercises such as strengthening to assist.
Do you need knee physiotherapy?
The easiest way to find out is simply contacting us to find out. Our number is 9252 5770. We are always happy to help.