What’s Really Causing Your Knee Pain?
MENISCUS, IT-BAND OR ARTHRITIS… WHAT’S REALLY CAUSING YOUR KNEE PAIN?
We are continuing our discussion about other painful conditions that the general population doesn’t realize qualified chiropractors treat. This month we are focusing on knee pain, and the real root-causes of this very common problem.
50% of the population will suffer from knee pain at some point throughout their life. It can come on after a traumatic event, or when you are starting a new workout routine, and sometimes knee pain can arise for no apparent reason..
The typical narrative is that a person’s knee pain will get bad enough that it starts impacting the quality of their day-to-day life. You go to your doctor (PCP), an MRI is typically ordered, then the radiology report will most likely show joint degeneration, a torn meniscus, and possibly some ligament damage. You then get prescribed 8-14 weeks of PT (physical therapy) where you are told your glutes are weak…. so bring on the clam shells and squat exercises!
Six weeks go by, and while you can crush clam shells and other strength-training exercises, you still are experiencing pain. Now what?….Usually the next step (in our current system) is a cortisone injection, or surgery.
Here are some statistics that may surprise you:
- Studies show that 85% of adults without any complaint of knee pain actually have signs of knee arthritis on x-rays/MRI’s
- 48% of healthy, pain free professional basketball players have meniscus damage on an MRI.
- In a study where subjects with meniscus tears received either knee arthroscopic surgery or a fake “sham” surgery…. the outcomes were exactly the same (read that again!)
- 25% of knee pain actually originates from the lumbar spine!
So How Does Lakeside Treat Knees?
First, we make sure the knee is the actual cause of the issue and not your spine. If you are struggling with low-back tightness or pain, or if you feel your knee symptoms worsen when you are sitting down in a chair, it may indeed be coming from the spine. IT’S TIME TO GET ASSESSED!
Second, if the knee is the issue, then oftentimes one doesn’t need endless glute strengthening exercises. Rather, we need to determine if there is a directional preference, or reductive movement for the knee itself. If the knee joint is the culprit, a therapeutic exercise can typically fix the problem quickly.
What to take away from this post:
- You can have “abnormal” knee findings on imaging, but that does not mean this is the cause of your knee pain.
- Knee Surgery RARELY has superior outcomes vs conservative care.
- Maybe you don’t have an actual knee problem, maybe it’s a back problem.