Knee pain affects approximately 25% of adults at some point in time, but why we have pain, and the solution can differ widely. For those who get knee pain without a specific injury, a common diagnosis they receive is Osteoarthritis, however, this diagnosis often gets overused.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a term for degenerative changes in our joints. This can happen in any joint, not just our knees. It is a normal part of aging, but if it progresses to a certain level, it can be a source of pain for a person. OA is often overdiagnosed because a positive finding on a radiograph (x-ray) and joint pain are often enough for healthcare providers to consider it the culprit. In reality, it is not often the cause, which is why it is important that your healthcare provider digs deeper.
Potential Causes of Knee Pain:
- Muscle Imbalance in Hips and Leg
- Chronic Muscle Tightness in the Hip and Leg
- Decrease in Hip, Knee, or Ankle Mobility
- Referral from the Low Back
- Abnormal Walking Patterns
How Physiotherapy Can Help Knee Pain
Through an assessment, a Physiotherapist will identify any factors that are contributing to your knee pain. This could include screening your low back, assessing muscle strength/flexibility, checking your joint mobility, and observing movement patterns. If a mechanical source of your knee pain is identified, a treatment plan will be developed to target the root cause of your pain.
If it is confirmed OA is the problem, Physiotherapy can still help reduce and manage your pain, but the OA cannot be changed. Severe cases may require surgical intervention (e.g. Knee Replacement).
Common Treatments for Knee Pain Provided:
- Manual Therapy
- Strengthening Programs
- Flexibility Programs
- Gait Re-Training
- Dry Needling (Gunn IMS)
We need our knees for almost everything we do. Things like sitting, walking, and going up/down stairs are taken for granted when our knees are feeling good. Often when we get pain, we wait too long before addressing the problem, which makes things worse in the long run and worst case, results in permanent damage. If you have knee pain, see a Physiotherapist early to help you get back to normal and do the things that are important to you!
We’ve been serving individuals and families in South Edmonton for over 20 years. Contact us here to book an appointment regarding knee pain management. Learn more about our various services by following the links below.
- Page C, Hinman RS, Bennell KL. Physiotherapy management of knee osteoarthritis. International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases. 2011; 14:145-151.
- Oliveira VC, Henschke N. Multimodal physiotherapy is effective for anterior knee pain relief. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2013;47:245-246.
- Jinks C, Jordan K, Croft P. Measuring the population impact of knee pain and disability with the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) Pain. 2002;100:55–64.