Do you often get knee pain just getting out of a chair? Does your knees ache in the morning or when it rains? Are you worried you might have arthritis?
“Musculoskeletal disorders are the most frequent cause of disability in the modern world”1
Knee pain is a real nuisance pain. It can start off as a little niggle. It may only come on after you’ve done some exercise. You may notice that you have trouble getting up & down stairs. It may progress to more regular pain and stiffness in the morning or getting out of the car or a chair.
So when does knee pain become knee arthritis…?
If you’re like most, knee arthritis has probably been diagnosed after ongoing knee pain and stiffness that hasn’t resolved. It may be associated with changes to the look of your knee and may be diagnosed on your symptoms. Most commonly though people will be referred to get an X-Ray, CT or MRI and then receive the label of arthritis. So, what then?
Generally, most people in this boat will be told that it is the cause of their knee pain and nothing can be done. They’re told there is no cure for it, it’s all about management and that they will most likely need a knee replacement at some point in the future.
For most this usually means pain killers or anti-inflammatories ongoing, the restriction of activities and some exercises. The problem is that exercise may have been part of the problem in the first place.
You see, I commonly find the reality a little different.
Knee arthritis, like so many things to do with the human body, doesn’t just turn up overnight. The body has generally been compensating for some time with dysfunction in the area and knee arthritis is the outcome of that adaption, not the cause.
Whilst the causes of knee dysfunction can be quite broad, I generally see in most cases the causes can be corrected. The result of this can often be better function, less pain and potentially a slowing or stopping of progression.
Find the cause and correct the dysfunction!
Knee arthritis is not bad luck or your genetic destiny. Knee arthritis is most commonly due to muscle imbalance and function at the knee. The causes of dysfunction can be quite broad and include problems at the knee, hip, ankle and may even be physiological or neurological!
Correcting the dysfunction is the first step to eliminate the pain and stop the knee from deteriorating further.
If you have knee pain, even if it is only occasional, don’t wait for it to get worse. I’ve put together a couple quick tips for you to see if simple dysfunctions may be contributing to your issues. Would you like to know what they are…? If so, check them out below.
Here are a couple of quick tests to check if you have knee joint dysfunction or a risk of it:
Quadriceps function test – stand on one leg, near some supporting furniture but not resting on it. Do a one-legged squat as far as you can. With a fully functional quadricep you should be able to do a squat and get your buttock almost to the ground.
Tenderness around the knee – bend your knee and find the joint space at the knee. Now feel along the bones of the joint, press reasonable firmly. Go all the way from the inside, jump over the kneecap then continue to the outside. Any tenderness around the knee joint could be suggestive of dysfunction. This may only be tender after exercise.
If you found some tenderness or couldn’t do the quadriceps test, or both, and you want to discuss it further. Send me a message or give my team a call on 9318 7758. We’re more than happy to have a chat and see if we might be able to help.