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Knee

Knee symptoms include different types of pain including sharp, shooting, burning, throbbing or stabbing pains and can be constant or intermittent – i.e. come and go.

Pain in the knee can also refer from your back or hip joints and, if so, you may also be getting pins and needles, tingling, weakness, numbness, other strange sensations or pain in one or both of your legs and feet.

If the pain comes on slowly, most common problems that cause pain at the front of the knee are patello-femoral pain, patella tendinopathy (previously called tendinitis) or fat pat irritation.

If the pain comes on slowly and is at the side of the knee then it could be ITB friction syndrome.

If the pain is down the front of the shins it could be what is commonly called shin splints.

If you fell, had an accident or the pain came on suddenly, then you may have torn a ligament, cartilage or other structure like a meniscus or even suffered a fracture. In that case you need to get the knee assessed by a Physiotherapist or Osteopath ASAP. Even if you have not had a traumatic injury it is essential that you get pain and other symptoms assessed by a Physiotherapist or Osteopath, so that you do not do further damage.

Clicking, crunching or noisy knees can be caused by a number of things. Please click here to learn more about clicking knees.

How the Knee Works

The knee is a modified hinge joint made up of two parts – the patellofemoral joint which is where the knee cap (patella) sits in a groove in the thigh bone (femur), and the tibiofemoral joint which is where the femur is joined to the lower leg (tibia) by a number of ligaments and soft tissues. In an accident these ligaments and soft tissues are often torn.The quadriceps are the group of muscles that straighten the knee and control knee bend. The hamstrings are the group that bend the knee. An imbalance between or within these muscle groups often causes the knee to work inefficiently, resulting in excessive or incorrect movements and ultimately damage to the internal and external structures.

However, the vast majority of non-traumatic knee injuries are caused by weakness, tightness or poor co-ordination of the muscles and joints of the ankle, foot, hip and lower back. A good Physiotherapist or Osteopath will therefore never treat a knee injury without addressing the alignment of the whole leg and back, as well as analysing the movements of the whole body, for example by doing a running assessment.

Please scroll down for advice on knee injuries and pain including your knee symptoms, patello-femoral pain, patella tendinopathy, shin splints, ITB friction syndrome and clicking knees.

Please note that although the advice and exercises provided are designed to assist your recovery they are not a replacement for seeing a Physiotherapist or Osteopath! It is essential that you ALWAYS make sure you see your Osteopath, Doctor or Physiotherapist to diagnose your injury and guide you through recovery.

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    Common Injuries

  • Post-Operative Knee

    Of all the operations we recommend for patients, or of all the operations that bring patients our way, the knee is probably the most common. This is no surprise as it takes a lot of strain in sports and everyday life, is vulnerable to injury and is commonly misaligned due...

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  • ITB Friction Syndrome (pain at side of knee)

    Please read how the knee works before reading the following. ITB friction syndrome causes pain at the outside of the knee and may be accompanied by stiffness, giving way or a clicking sensation and is commonly worse when running, going downhill or down stairs and tender to touch. The ITB...

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  • Knee Fat Pad Irritation

    The knee fat pad sits just behind and to the sides of the patella (knee cap) tendon, below the patella. The fat pad can be tender to touch and can be enlarged, puffy or inflamed.It can be irritated by sudden or uncontrolled extension, i.e. straightening of the knee and if...

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  • Shin Splints

    'Shin splints' is an umbrella term for a number of conditions causing pain down the front of your shin, which is usually aggravated by exercise and tender to touch: compartment syndrome, stress fractures, tibial stress syndrome and periostitis. It is commonly associated with a change in running technique, footwear, sudden...

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  • Clicking Knees

    Most people fear that the clicking is caused by bone hitting bone. However, thankfully nowadays this is rare. If you have clicking in the knees, it is likely that for many years you have been suffering severe pain and weight bearing has been very restricted. If this is you, please...

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  • Proprioception exercise

    Please click here to learn about lateral ligament strains before reading the following. Proprioception is the body's positional sense. In other words it is what enables your brain to know where your arms and legs are positioned without needing to look at them. If there is a significant difference in...

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  • Correct your neck posture

    Please read how the neck works before reading the following. The effect of gravity on the head is that it moves down and forwards, away from the body. As a result of the head being lowered it then has to be rotated upwards in order to look straight forwards not...

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  • Stretching

      A note on static stretching v dynamic stretching I bet you can't remember the last time you saw elite athletes doing a static stretches pitch-, track- or court side pre-performance. That is because research now shows that static stretching is not advisable before exercise. This is because it slows...

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  • Foot and ankle exercises

    There are a variety of exercises that are great for your feet and ankles including: 1) Foot self-massage exercise 2) Eccentric calf strengthening 3) Foot muscles strengthening 4) Concentric calf strength and ankle instability exercise

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