How Can a Physio Help With Knee Pain?

Have you ever gotten up after resting and found your knee aching? Or have you misjudged a step and felt your knee make a ‘pop’ or ‘crack’ noise? It doesn’t matter if you’re on your way to becoming a professional sportsperson or working at a desk. Knee pain and discomfort can happen to anybody, and it can certainly be uncomfortable!

Regardless of what may have contributed to your knee pain, seeking professional help may be the best thing for your knee now and in the future. But who should you see, and how may they be able to help?

This article explores the causes and symptoms of knee pain and how physiotherapists may be able to assist in reducing it. For personalised advice, contact our team at The Whole Body Clinic today.

What is Knee Pain?

The knee is one of the largest joints in the human body, and a complex one. It involves three bones: The femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone), and patella (kneecap). As it’s so large and responsible for much of our lower body movement, it’s susceptible to a range of injuries and conditions that may affect it.

Depending on the cause of your knee pain, symptoms may include:

  • Joint swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Pain when using the knee
  • Popping or crunching sounds when sitting or standing
  • The inability to bend, straighten, or flex the knee
  • Weakness in the knee
  • Instability in the knee
  • Deformity of the knee joint area
  • Pain that comes on during the night or while resting
  • Pain that lasts for longer than several days

Knee pain may be sharp, stabbing, dull, or any other sensation that feels painful. This may be severe enough to cause your knee to give way, or a mild feeling that you only notice from time to time. If rest and other at-home remedies don’t alleviate your knee pain within a day or two, it may be beneficial to visit a physiotherapist to determine the cause of your knee pain.

What Can Cause Knee Pain?

There are many reasons why people may injure their knees. These range from having poor technique when performing a particular activity or engaging in sport to their specific genetics and anatomy.

Some common causes of knee pain include:

  • Increasing training
  • Having weak lower limb and trunk muscles
  • Having tight hip, knee, and leg muscles
  • Poor technique or form when playing sport or engaging in another activity
  • Having a high body mass
  • Having reduced cardiovascular fitness levels
  • Bursitis
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears
  • Patellofemoral joint syndrome
  • Hamstring muscle strains or tears
  • Quadricep tendinopathy/tendinitis
  • Meniscal tears
  • Osteoarthritis in the knee
  • Osgood Schlatter’s disease
  • Kneecap dislocation
  • Sinding Larsen Johansson syndrome
  • Medial and lateral ligament sprains
  • Illio-tibial band (ITB) syndrome
  • Chondromalacia patella

How Physiotherapy May be Able to Assist With Knee Pain

Knee pain doesn’t have to be a permanent aspect of your life. In many cases, a qualified physiotherapist may be able to assist and aid in your recovery. Physiotherapists frequently see clients with knee pain, and have the knowledge needed to determine the best possible course of action.

Your physiotherapist will likely begin by talking with you about when your knee pain started, what kind of pain it is, and where you feel it. They will also conduct a thorough physical assessment in an effort to determine the possible cause of your knee pain and what may be contributing to it. Then, they will likely assess your strength, flexibility, and balance to see what areas may be affected by your knee pain.

Depending on your individual needs, methods and techniques used to address your knee pain may include:

  • Mobilisation— A form of manual therapy where the physiotherapist uses controlled movements designed to improve the mobility of the knee joint
  • Stretching— Gentle stretching aims to improve the flexibility of the muscles and tissues surrounding the knee joint in an effort to reduce pain
  • Deep tissue massage— The use of firm pressure that aims to target deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue around the knee joint
  • Dry needling— Inserting thin, sterilised needles into trigger points or tight muscle tissue, designed to stimulate a relaxation response
  • Electrotherapy— Using electrical currents to stimulate nerves and muscles surrounding the knee joint
  • Shockwave therapy— High-energy acoustic waves that deliver targeted shockwaves to specific areas of the knee joint in an effort to promote tissue healing
  • Knee support— Such as the use of crutches, braces, or strapping material to restrict the knee from performing certain movements
  • Education— Explaining if you may be doing certain activities too much or not often enough, and offering advice to optimise your recovery

Your physiotherapist may use one or several of the above methods, or other methods or techniques if they feel they may be better suited for you. Regardless of the method or methods chosen, your physiotherapist is dedicated to addressing your knee pain so you can get back to doing what you love.

Address Your Knee Pain at The Whole Body Clinic

People of all ages may develop knee pain. Whether you’re a young athlete, a professional who works at a desk, or a grandparent trying to keep up with the kids, we’re all susceptible to knee pain! However, that doesn’t mean it has to stay with us any longer than necessary. Our experienced team of physiotherapists at The Whole Body Clinic is committed to assisting you in recovering from knee pain and getting back out there. To get started, book your initial consultation today.