The knees provide a stable support for the body. Both flexibility and stability are needed to stand, walk, run, squat, jump, and turn. Types of knee injuries include sprains, strains, inflammations, dislocations, fractures, tears, and overuse injuries. The main signs and symptoms of knee injury are pain and swelling. Women are more prone to knee injuries because of hormones and anatomy.
Structure Of The Knee
Knee is a simple yet complex joint. Simple since it is a hinge joint with fewer planes of motion compared to a joint like Shoulder or Hip. Complex due to its close relationship with the hip and pelvis above and the foot below.
The knee is the joint between the thighbone and the shinbone. It comprises of the thigh bone (Femur) articulating with the shin bones (Tibia and Fibula). The knee cap (Patella) sits in the front of the thigh bone and plays a vital role in muscle control via pulley mechanism.
There are several key ligaments that stabilize the knee joint, both inside the joint (ACL and PCL) and outside the joint ( MCL and LCL). Apart from these ligaments, the joint has additional cushioning in the form of cartilage discs called Meniscus (medial and lateral). To help move the joint, we have several muscles around it which carefully coordinate with the hip and the foot to ensure optimal movement.
Essentially, any of the above structures can get injured, broken, sprained, stressed and cause pain. The bones can break, bruise; the ligaments can get overstretched (sprain), torn (ACL tear); the menisci can get torn, etc. This can cause pain, limited movement and swelling that can be treated with Physical Therapy but sometimes needs surgery to repair.
Similar injury can happen to the muscles too. They can be pulled, torn, inflamed, be too tight, too lose, too weak, which can limit the optimal functioning of the joint. Muscular issues are the most common cause of knee pain and can be easily treated with Physical Therapy.
Identifying the underlying cause of pain is the first step in obtaining long-lasting pain relief
Our bodies are designed by the most gifted engineer of all times. It is so complex that each part needs to be in harmony with the other for optimal function. Some buffers are built-in so that the body can adapt and accommodate temporary limitations. But if these changes or limitations continue for a while you will start feeling pain, and pain is an important indicator that something is not right.
The true fix begins with identifying the root cause of the pain. Is it the alignment of your pelvis throwing your knees off or is it the flattening arches of your feet making you stand with knock knees? Is it the IT Band that is tightened up on one side or is it tight hamstrings altering the mechanics of your knee? There are a ton of other possible causes or a combination of causes that can alter the mechanics of your knees. Key is to identify them correctly and address them effectively.
Until we thoroughly examine the body and the joints along with functional movements, you will keep popping advils for pain relief and end up with a real physical damage. Sooner the better is the best advice we can give when it comes to having your knee looked at if it bothers you.
At Liberty Physical Therapy, we identify the root cause of your pain and custom tailor your treatment regimen using various techniques. Liberty Physical Therapy is a state-of-the-art physical therapy center conveniently located in the heart of Jersey City, next to Grove Street Path Station. We are a team of specialists with several years of experience treating all knee conditions. We can offer you the safest and most effective Physical Therapy in Jersey City. And, we accept most insurance plans.