- Lian Yun-Perng, Physiotherapist
My Knee Hurts- What can I do?
Knee pain is known to affect people at various ages. A lot of them are diagnosed with either osteoarthritis, patellofemoral joint syndrome, ITB syndrome, or patellar mal-tracking. Each condition has their own clinical features, but one symptom stays the same and that is PAIN.
Healthcare professionals will often make diagnosis according to the results of your medical imaging which can be misleading. It is advisable to include the history of the condition and the physical examination results before diagnosing. Even then, the diagnosis does not mean much apart from categorising you into a medical condition.
Pain is PAIN regardless of what the diagnosis is. In some instances, your knee pain is related to the structures of your knee. In other instances, it is related to how your body’s system is perceiving and interpreting sensory information.
From my experience, most people experience knee pain when running, descending stairs, or squatting. By far, the best approach to working with knee pain is graded exposure and progressive loading with minimal passive treatments.
Treatment and “Solution”
Kinesio tape – Used as a form of skin distraction. Your body’s system will focus on the tape and you will be distracted from your pain. Many will claim that the kinesio tape will help with movement and posture but that is not always the case.
Skin traction massage - Gentle skin traction “massage”. It is used to release the tension from your muscles and create room for your nerves to function properly.
Electrotherapy – Small electrical impulses will pass through your skin to stimulate your nerves for pain relief. These electrical impulses are proposed to reach your brain which should lead to the release of your body’s own natural morphine (pain killers).
Graded exposure – Gradually exposing your knee to movements that will hurt. Variation is KEY!
Progressive loading – Works best to tendon and joint related pain. Mostly weight bearing exercises and the knee load will gradually increase to accommodate your pain threshold.
Pacing – Pacing your daily activities. Working your body hard enough yet without much discomfort.
The treatment and “solution” above is not a cure for knee pain. The aim is to give you an idea of what to expect during your physiotherapy session. Some physiotherapist does not practise the way I do and some would use a lot more modalities. Ultimately, find a physiotherapist that listens and genuine wants to help you recover.
Thank you for reading. Do drop me a message if you have any questions!
Image credits: https://www.verywellhealth.com/knee-pain-symptoms-2549628