Body Lab Milano

Understanding Knee Pain: Causes, Assessment, and Treatment

The knee joint, a complex and large joint in the body, is formed by four bones and an intricate network of ligaments and muscles. Among these bones are the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone), and the patella (knee cap), which serve as the main articular surfaces. Additionally, the fibula, situated on the outside of the lower leg, provides attachment for muscles and the lateral collateral ligament, aiding in knee stabilization. Two structures known as ‘menisci’ reside between the femur and tibia, enhancing weight distribution and shock absorption while guiding knee motion.

Ligaments within the knee joint contribute to stability, each with a specific function. These include the Anterior Cruciate, Posterior Cruciate, Medial Collateral, and Lateral Collateral ligaments. Moreover, various muscles, such as the Quadriceps, Hamstrings, and Gastrocnemius, play a crucial role in knee movement and stability.

Common Knee Injuries –

Knee pain can stem from a multitude of causes, including ligament injuries, muscular injuries, tendinopathy, meniscal injury, and conditions like Osgood Schlatters (common in adolescence) and Bursitis. Additionally, ailments such as Osteoarthritis (OA), Bakers Cyst, and Patellofemoral pain contribute to knee discomfort.

Assessment –

A thorough case history is vital in identifying potential causes of knee pain, considering factors like back or leg pain, hip or ankle pain, instability, locking, swelling, and bruising. Age and shoe type may also provide insight into the underlying issue. During examination, an Osteopath evaluates knee movement, palpates for tender areas, and performs diagnostic tests to pinpoint the source of pain. Biomechanics are assessed through gait analysis, while adjacent joints like the ankle, hip, and spine are also examined.

Treatment –

Conservative management is typically the first approach for knee pain, involving rest from sports activities, rehabilitation protocols, and strengthening exercises. Osteopathic treatment, is tailored according to the individual presentation and can alleviate pain, improve mobility and help with healing and recovery.

Occasionally, further investigations may be necessary, and the Osteopath can guide the patients accordingly.

In essence, understanding the intricate structures of the knee, recognising common injuries, and undergoing thorough assessment and treatment can alleviate knee pain and promote overall joint health.

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