Knee pain

Knee pain


This is the most common cause of knee pain, especially over the age of 50 and occurs more commonly in females than in males. A past history of sports and overuse may also increase the likelihood. Arthritic changes refer to the wearing away of the cartilage (or meniscus) between the femur and tibia and/or the femur and patella (knee cap). Once the cartilage has worn down, pressure on the pain sensitive membrane (periosteum) covering the bone underneath occurs. This causes the pain, which is generally increased or only present during the following activities:

  • Walking up/downstairs
  • Squatting
  • Running/walking

This is because there is increased pressure through the knee joint during the above activities. There may also be stiffness in the knees with inactivity, and sometimes clicking and grinding too.

So what can we do about that?

Obviously nothing can be done to reverse the degeneration of the cartilage, but treatment can help reduce pain and increase mobility. In fact it is generally very effective!

Post traumatic

After a knee injury, there’s every chance the knee may fully recover with rest. If the pain has worsened since the injury or is persisting with rest, then a visit to a chiropractor may help to diagnose and treat the problem. With a post-traumatic knee injury it is important to first check for any ruptured or damaged ligaments. If your knee gives way or feels unstable then further investigation should be carried out to check the integrity of the knee ligaments.

If the knee is stable and it’s obvious there is no severe damage, then the pain may be due to prolonged inflammation of other structures. This could be due to the injury itself or because of changes in the way you have walked since the injury occurred (compensation). In this case manual therapy could help reduce scar tissue and improve overall knee function, therefore reducing pain. Exercises and advice can also help improve knee function and prevent further injury.


Idiopathic knee pain means of unknown cause. However, it could be due to:

  • Sudden increase/changes in training or overuse
  • Knee alignment or foot problems
  • Hypermobility

Here, a history and full examination is vital for diagnosis. Treatment may include soft tissue work, rehabilitative exercises or referral for orthotics.

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