If you are experiencing pain in or around your knee, you’re not alone. Approximately 100,000 Americans suffer from chronic pain, with knee pain being the second most common type. Knee pain affects every aspect of your life, and sitting, standing, sleeping, and walking can become a chore. No matter the cause of the pain, it’s important to determine why you are enduring it and what can be done to treat it. Chiropractic care for knee pain can help you alleviate the discomfort and provide you with a better range of motion.
Below, we dive deeper into some of the most common causes of knee pain and detail some of the ways that chiropractic care can treat and resolve knee pain.
Common Causes of Knee Pain
There are a variety of reasons that pain can present in one or both of your knees. From a slight sprain to an ACL injury, the causes and symptoms can vary; however, if left undiagnosed and untreated, chronic knee pain may eventually lead to needing knee replacement surgery.
Below, we detail some of the most common causes of knee pain:
- Prior injury: Whether it’s a sprain, a dislocation of the knee, or an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), lateral collateral ligament (LCL), or posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury, if it has not been treated properly, you can experience a wide range of pain.
- Repetitive stress: Ongoing wear and tear on the knee can cause repetitive motion injuries. Workplace environments that require constant walking, lunging, squatting, or other repetitive motions can place stress on the knee, and if your knees or spine are out of alignment, repetitive stress can cause further damage later on.
- Arthritis: Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and posttraumatic arthritis can all cause knee pain. Pain typically develops gradually over time, but a sudden onset of discomfort and shooting pain is also possible.
- Poor posture: Poor posture is the number one cause of most joint pain. Maintaining proper posture is critical to the alignment of the joints in the body, from your spine to your shoulders, hips, knees, and even your feet.
- Misaligned knee: When you have a knee misalignment or a patellar tracking issue, your kneecap pushes to one side when you bend your knee. You may feel pain in the front of the knee, especially when you squat, jump, kneel, or use stairs, and you may sense popping, grinding, or catching in your kneecap when you bend or straighten your leg.
- Thorax position: The thorax, or your trunk, serves as an attachment point for many muscles of the body and is approximately 60% of your body. If the thorax shifts to the left or right, excess weight will be placed on the lower back and knees on that side. This will speed up wear and tear, leading to a higher likelihood of knee pain, arthritis, and eventual replacement.
- Pelvic position: The pelvis is key to securing your spine’s position and making it possible for you to walk, run, and lift objects. When you have a misaligned pelvis such as an anterior pelvic tilt, you can experience muscle pain and stiffness radiating down the front of your thighs to your knees. A pelvic rotation or twist can present as iliotibial tract (IT) band problems and can create pain in the medial and lateral portions of the knee.
- Weight: Carrying excess weight can add stress to your joints, particularly the knees. The more weight you bear on your knees—especially if your skeletal structure is misaligned—the more pain you can endure while causing further progression of arthritis damage or deterioration.
- Aging: Since your knees absorb a large amount of pressure with every step, regular wear and tear takes a toll over time. Muscles and ligaments surrounding the knees get weaker, and your knee’s shock absorbers (menisci) start to deteriorate. While you can’t prevent aging, there are steps you can take to make sure your bones and joints age healthily.
- Bone asymmetry (pelvis or leg): Three out of every 100 children have a short leg. In adult life, 44% of the asymptomatic population and 75% of the symptomatic population have a leg length inequality (short leg) or pelvis asymmetry. To compensate, your body will usually rotate forward on the side of the short leg, twist both of the knees, shift the thorax position, and flatten the foot on the long leg side—all of these increase pressure on your knee. This increased pressure can cause several other issues in addition to pain.
- Poor footwear: Having the right shoes on your feet allows your feet to be in proper alignment and your gait to be as cushioned but as natural as possible. If your footwear is causing you to compensate on one side or the other, it can lead to an unnatural gait and unnecessary wear and tear on your knees.
- Spinal misalignment: If your spine is misaligned, you may experience disc compressions, bulging discs, and poor posture, and your body may begin to overcompensate for the area that is out of its normal position. This overcompensation often occurs in the knees and surrounding joints. When your spine is aligned, your body can function at its best.
Regardless of the cause of your pain, if it’s not assessed and addressed, serious, irreparable harm could result. Chiropractic care for knee pain can help you determine the cause, treat the symptoms, and work to correct the structural issues that are contributing to your pain and discomfort.
Chiropractic Care for Knee Pain
The knee plays a vital role in your daily activities and supports the weight of your upper body while bending and straightening numerous times throughout the day. Daily wear and tear on the knee progresses deterioration, especially if there is an untreated injury or if there is spinal misalignment. Ignoring the pain or symptoms can lead to a lack of mobility and irreparable damage. However, chiropractic care can help.
Chiropractic care for knee pain can include:
- Adjustments to improve range of motion.
- Muscle work to address possible scar tissue from prior injuries or surgeries.
- Adjustments to ensure the knee joints are in proper alignment.
- Treatment plans that include physical and massage therapies to strengthen the muscles around the knee.
- Soft tissue work and corrective exercises for mild to moderate meniscus tears.
- Extremity adjustment (can be performed on shoulders, fingers, wrists, shoulders, and more) or manipulation of the knee to help restore proper function and movement.
- Postural and spinal alignment care to balance the weight of the body over the knees.
The Chiropractic BioPhysics® Difference
Chiropractors specializing in Chiropractic BioPhysics® (CBP) evaluate the entire body from a structural standpoint. Spinal misalignments can cause several issues, with chronic knee pain being one of them. While pain relief is a goal of chiropractic care, CBP providers look at your overall health and assess, from a structural and biomechanical standpoint, where the root of your pain originates and what can be done to alleviate pain in the short- and long-term.
The experienced team at PostureWorks will create a customized treatment plan consisting of three phases—initial care, corrective care, and maintenance care—based on your individual needs. We work to relieve pain and correct any underlying issues by providing postural exercises, neuro-muscular reeducation, and spinal alignment traction to get you back to your optimal spinal and postural health.
At PostureWorks, getting your spine back to its natural curvature is what we specialize in. We believe in and practice the highly-advanced, evidence-based Chiropractic BioPhysics® technique. Our biometric spinal analysis allows us to determine the root source of your pain and helps us create a customized treatment and maintenance plan so that we can get you back to optimal health.
We don’t just treat your spine—we also teach you how to keep it healthy by incorporating some of the tips we mentioned above. Our customized plans can include spinal remodeling traction methods that work to rid the spine and joints of misalignments, postural exercises to help your body maintain an optimal posture throughout the day, and nutrition and wellness tips to help you stay in adequate shape.
Chiropractic BioPhysics®, or CBP, is a deeply researched and results-oriented corrective care technique. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health and optimal function while eliminating the source of pain and circulatory and nervous dysfunction. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is conservative, painless, and non-invasive. Contact us today to schedule your appointment or to learn more about chiropractic care for knee pain.