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Knee pain

December . 2nd . 2021 | General treatment

Experiencing knee pain, here’s what you knee’d to know. 

Podiatrists main area of work involves the foot and ankle, however, did you know that podiatrists can also help with knee pain too? Foot and ankle function can play an important role in knee and lower leg mechanics. Let’s look at a few conditions that can be affecting your knees.

knee pain

Patellofemoral pain syndrome 

This condition is also referred to as runners knee and it relates to pain you may experience in and around your kneecap (either in front or behind). It is referred to runners’ knee because the pain may occur during higher intensity activity such as running, however it can also be present during movements such as squatting or climbing stairs. 

Causes

  • This condition can be caused by overuse, or through activities that place increased and repetitive stress around the knee
  • Hip and quadricep muscle imbalance can affect the way that the patella (knee cap) tracks over the joint particularly during activities that require knee flexion. 

Diagnosis

  • This condition can be diagnosed through a biomechanical assessment. This type of assessment involves testing joint range of motion, muscle strength and visual gait analysis. 

Treatment

  • In order to treat patellofemoral pain a combination of treatment modalities may be utilised. Treatments that are used to treat this condition include
    • Strength and Exercise programs
      • Aim to improve function, range of motion and strength. Muscle groups that may be addressed in these programs include your quadriceps and glutes. 
    • Orthotic Therapy:
      • Orthotic therapy can be helpful in treating patellofemoral pain syndrome. By changing the way load is being transferred through your foot and ankle, it can also help the pressure that is being transferred through the rest of your leg. 

Os-Good Schlatters

This condition is related to pain that is experienced below the kneecap and at the top of the Tibia (your shinbone) and is most common in children and adolescents. This condition may be present mainly during children’s growth spurts, and children can be at increased risk if they are physically active. 

Symptoms

  • Pain and swelling below the knee and at the tibial tubercle
  • Pain worse during activity such as running, jumping, stair climbing

Causes

  • The reason that this condition mainly occurs in children and adolescents is because the bone growth plates are still open. Once children reach adulthood the growth plates close and become bone. These growth plates are also the attachment sites for tendons, in this case the patella tendon. Repetitive stress and load through the patella tendon will increase its pull on the tibial tubercle (growth plate), consequently this area can become inflamed resulting in pain and swelling.
  • Sports that involve running and jumping can increase the pull on the tendon, however even people that don’t participate in sports can still be susceptible to the condition. 

Treatment

  • The goal of treatment is to reduce the pull of the patella tendon on the tibial tubercle. Treatment modalities that can be used include:
    • Stretching: Main muscle groups such as the quadriceps can help reduce pull on the patella tendon
    • Ice: This may be beneficial post activity to help reduce swelling and decrease pain 
    • Strapping: this can be beneficial during activity to limit the movement and pull on the patella
    • Orthotics: These devices can help with lower leg mechanics, such as reducing internal knee and leg rotation which can decrease pull and tension on the patella tendon and tibial tubercle. 

Bakers Cyst

A Baker’s cyst (or Popliteal cyst) is the term coined for a fluid filled sac that will form behind or at the back of your knee. The presence of this may be indicative of a further injury, where subsequent excess synovial fluid can cause the formation of the cyst. 

Symptoms

  • Pain and swelling at the back of your knee, you may also feel a bump in this area 
  • Stiffness or tightness behind your knee
  • Pain when moving knee

Causes

  • Inflammation that occurs secondary to conditions such as arthritis
  • Trauma or injury to the knee which may include a cartilage tear

Treatment

  • Rest Ice Compression and Elevation can be helpful in managing pain as well as controlling swelling. 
  • Depending on the size and severity of the cyst formation a referral may be required to have the cyst drained 
  • Custom foot orthotics can be of benefit to help reduce any excessive load on the knee

This is by no means an exhaustive list of knee related conditions. If you do have concerns, make the appointment and get the right advice before it gets worse!

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02 4296 8363
info@shellharbourpodiatry.com.au
19/23 Addison St, Shellharbour Jobs and Shellharbour Podiatry

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