Knee pain is a common result from an injury or certain medical conditions such as arthritis, gout and some infections. Some injuries to the knee include a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), a meniscus tear, bursitis and tendonitis of the patella. There are several types of arthritis that can cause knee pain and these include gout, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and septic arthritis. If there is any injury or inflammation in areas near the knee, such as iliotibial band syndrome, this can cause pain to the knee as well. Mechanical problems such as one leg being longer than the other, being overweight or having a pervious knee injury can pose a higher risk of future knee injury. If the knee pain is not from a serious condition, many times the pain can be alleviated with at-home care in a short amount of time. In very serious conditions, surgical intervention may be required. Depending on where the injury is located and the severity of the injury or medical condition, knee pain may vary. There can be redness and swelling, warmth felt during palpation, difficulty in straightening the leg, stiffness, the knee may become unstable and not able to bear weight and crunching or popping noises may be heard during movement.
In some instances, chiropractic care may be indicated for the treatment of some causes of knee pain. During an initial visit with a chiropractor, a health history will be obtained and a physical examination performed to determine the cause of the knee pain. The chiropractic physician may watch while the patient walks to observe how the knee is tracking and to check for gait and any improper mechanics of the lower extremities, such as hyperpronation of the foot. If it is determined that the cause of the knee pain is not severe and there is no tear to any of the tendons, ligaments or to the meniscus of the knee, chiropractic care will be indicated. If any inflammation is present, icing the area and rest will be advised. Manipulation and gentle massage therapy may help to reduce any discomfort in the area and foot orthotics may be casted if any mechanical problems such as hyperpronation or fallen arches are noted. Supportive footwear is essential in helping to prevent knee injury. It is important to communicate with the chiropractic physician whether or not any improvement is being made. If no improvement is noted after a certain period of time, a referral may be made for another specialty to treat the injury.
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