Osteopathic treatment for Knee Pain

Do you have knee pain? Are you in or around the Northampton area? If so,  please get in touch to see if an appointment with one of our osteopaths is recommended.

Sometimes knee pain happens so gradually you are not sure what caused it while other times it is due to something dramatic like a skiing accident or footballing injury.

In my experience, the pain is often a symptom of a problem elsewhere in the body like the ankle or hip rather than the knee itself.

Runners legs

Knee Structure 

Your knee is the largest joint in the body and a major weight-bearing joint which all contributes to it being one of the most frequently injured joints in the body.

It is a complex joint between the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia) with the kneecap (patella) at the front with various ligaments and muscles holding it all together.

Other structures that can affect the knee are the fibula which is on the outside of the shin and the ankle. While neither is part of the knee joint, either or both can be involved in causing your knee pain.

Causes of knee pain:

  • Damage, strain or sprain to any of the structures in the knee can result in painful symptoms. This is typically due to a sudden injury such as a trip or fall.

  • Poor alignment of the knee or kneecap and altered joint mechanics in relation to the hips and knees can also cause problems.
  • Osteoarthritis due to ‘wear and tear’ is a common condition that affects the knee.

Common symptoms in the knee include pain, stiffness, aching, pain, locking, swelling, limping and difficulty fully straightening or bending the knee.

Knee pain can also be caused by: 

Tendonitis – Patellar tendonitis which is also known as jumper’s knee or runner’s knee is the most common problem that I see in the clinic and it doesn’t only affect the physically active.

Osteoarthritis – The knee joint is lined with cartilage which reduces friction and helps the joint surfaces move smoothly across each other. Osteoarthritis i.e. “wear and tear” occurs when the cartilage breaks down faster than it can be repaired and this can make movement more difficult leading to swelling, joint pain, and stiffness.

Fractures – Any of the bones in the knee joint can be fractured but the most common one is the knee cap usually due to a trip or a fall particularly during rugby or other contact sports.

Meniscal tears – The menisci sit between the thigh and shin bones and can tear suddenly due to an accident or sports injury. With a traumatic tear, you might hear a ‘pop’ in the knee followed by pain and swelling. They can also wear out and tear as we get older although as long as you keep active this is less likely to happen.

Bursitis – If there are any muscle imbalances around the knee joint this can lead to increased tension/ pressure on one or more of the knee bursae leading to inflammation, swelling, and sometimes pain.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament tear – Around 40% of sports injuries are ACL related and usually due to trauma from contact sports like football and rugby but can also occur in tennis, squash, and skiing. This type of injury sometimes happens in non-athletes due to a trip or fall but not very often.

How we can help

  • We use a wide range of gentle manual treatments depending on your age, fitness and diagnosis and this can include massage, stretching and mobilising the knee joint.
  • Sometimes your treatment will involve other areas of the body which could affect the mobility of the knee joint including the hip and foot as these can play a role in your knee pain. We can also provide specific exercises to help prevent a reoccurrence of any problems.
  • X-rays, scans and other tests are sometimes required to make a diagnosis and your osteopath may refer to your GP or a specialist for any additional investigations or treatment.

For more advice on your knee pain, or to book an appointment please call us on (01604) 532853

Can kneel down again (not for long) but can do it now, whereas before couldn’t do that as was in too much pain. Going up and down stairs much easier. Just general day to day life easier with out waking up thinking how are my knees going to feel today

Rebecca O'Neill