Knee pain is one of the most common orthopedic ailments treated by chiropractors. The knee takes a huge amount of stress, as it is built only to bend in one direction; however, many movements we make force the knee to bend slightly in other directions, along with having to support the weight of the body, which can lead to knee pain and injury. It is quite easy to damage the tendons, ligaments, meniscus (knee cartilage) and bones that comprise the knee, and this damage can take months to recover from. Having chronic knee pain can seriously interfere with your life, making it difficult to do the simplest everyday things such as walking up and down stairs, grocery shopping or even just walking across the room.
Knee pain can be chronic (i.e. stemming from osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease, etc.) or acute (i.e. stemming from an accident, sports injury, etc.) Whether due to previous injury, increased body weight or just living longer, degenerative knee pain and is a condition that is becoming much more common in people over age 50, and the chronic pain, swelling and inflammation can put you at higher risk of arthritis. Hyperpronation (putting most of your weight on the outsides of your feet as you walk) can be a cause of knee pain. You may be able to determine if you are hyperpronating by examining the heels of your shoes. If they are excessively worn on the outsides, this is likely due to hyperpronation, and you may want to look into getting special foot supports to correct this problem.
While injury to the knee itself is quite common, some people are not aware of the fact that sometimes the pain in their knee may not be due to a knee injury, but is actually referred pain from an irritated nerve in the lower back area of the spinal column. Many with pain in their knees report also having pain in their lower back and pelvis, which may be due to inflammation around the nerves connecting the knee to the spinal cord. While pain medication or cortisone shots may provide temporary pain relief, they do not address the root cause of the problem, and long-term use of either of these medications is not recommended. However, a qualified chiropractor can evaluate your condition and provide safe, holistic treatment that doesn’t involve the use of drugs or surgery. Chiropractic treatment may involve spinal adjustments, joint manipulation, stretches, exercises and advice on footwear or orthotics that will address the cause of your knee pain and start you on the road to healing.