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What you "knee'd" to know about knees

If you suffer with knee problems, I would be willing to bet that you think your treatment options are limited. You more than likely believe that your treatment options are limited to medication, physical therapy, injections, or surgery. If you are like me, none of those options sound too exciting.

Knee pain is a common problem

One in four adults have knee pain and 44% of those are disabled according to recent statistics. Google goes on to tell us that 60% of people with knee pain are women and 75% of all people suffering knee pain are overweight.

So here we are with knee pain, our options appear to be limited, so what can we do? That’s the topic of this month’s blog and video series. (If you haven’t seen our videos, you can check us out weekly on Facebook.) The first thing we need to accept is a fact I have written about many times in my blogs before. That fact is that pain is the last symptom to arrive and the first symptom to go away.

The second thing that we need to realize is, due to the pain fact we just referenced, we need to do more than just treat the pain. If the pain is the last symptom to arrive, logically it must have started a while ago due to a dysfunction of some tissue in the knee. We need to determine what tissue has malfunctioned and why it malfunctioned to not only stop the pain currently, but also to prevent it from recurring. Common sense tells us that we must do more than just stop the pain, otherwise the problem will just come right back. Sadly, common sense is not always common practice.

Structures in the knee and how they work

Today I would like to share a simple overview of the structures and functions of the knee. This will help us understand what structure might be the one causing the pain. The knee is a joint between two long bones. The long bone closer to our hip is the femur and the long bone if makes a joint with is the tibia (shin bone). When the knee joint moves one way the foot goes out in front of you (extension of the knee.) When the knee joint moves the other way, your heel get moved toward your butt (flexion of the knee). The knee joint has very little rotation ability and even less side bending ability.

The knee joint has a thick piece of cushioning cartilage between the two long bones. There are two ligaments in the middle of that cartilage that hold the two long bones together. Finally, the side edges of the joint have two strong ligaments that prevent the side bending of the knee.

When any of these tissues, the muscles that surround them, or other minor (but no less important) structures of the knee become damaged, we experience pain. It becomes imperative for us to not only reduce the pain but to stop the stresses on the tissues that failed to prevent recurrences of that pain.

Please be sure to look for our blog or watch our videos through May as we take a deeper dive look at knee issues. We will look at causes, how we treat them in our office, and most importantly what you can to relieve or even prevent these problems at home!

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