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Knee pain is an extremely common finding and it can affect individuals of all ages. Not all knee injuries are equal and fortunately not all knee injuries are serious. The art is to find which are serious and which are not!
Pain is an interesting phenomenon. It’s simply just a signal our brains send to tell us to be aware of the area that has either sustained an injury or is vulnerable to sustain an injury. But there are cases where pain is simply a misfire (yes our brain can mess up too) and so there’s a lot of conditions that just kind of go away.
Although there is no accurate way of self diagnosing knee conditions there are some findings that can help us break down how badly the knee is injured and if wait and rest the best option!
1) The first part of any diagnosis starts with a history because it can tell us a lot about our conditions. First part is where on the knee does it hurt? (*please note that without a full history it is always challenging to diagnose and the listed are not an exhaustive list but just grouping them based on location)
Let’s use this diagram to break down the areas based on the colors (least severe to most severe).
2) How did it start?
3) Is it getting worse, better or staying the same?
4) What is the quality of the pain?
5) How bad does it hurt?
6) Is it swollen, did it bruise, are you able to bend it?
This is a very loaded question as many professionals can help you. Let’s break it down into severity.
Our philosophy on the knee is that it is like a middle child in the chain between the older child (the hip) and the younger child (the ankle) and as a result, the middle child always screams out first when anything happens. Especially in repetitive stress conditions like ITB syndrome, tendonitis, bursitis, etc. these conditions are based on overuse of tissues. So how we help these conditions are to release the muscle tensions and then retrain the body to load forces into the correct areas. Frequently, our approach to these cases is to loosen the guarding muscles around the knee and then strengthen and stabilize the hip.
Here’s a few examples of loosening muscles
Foam roller on quads
Adductor foam roll
And strengthening the hips:
Standing Fire Hydrant:
1) Place a resistance band around your knees and stand up.
2) Bend one leg slightly and lift your opposite foot off the floor-bend that knee slightly.
3) Without moving your trunk, rotate the leg toward the outside ( so that you are externally rotating your hip)
4) Return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
5) Repeat on opposite leg if necessary.
Quadruped Fire Hydrant:
1) Start on all fours with your back flat.
2) Keeping your knee bent, raise one leg out to the side at a height that allows you to keep your pelvis and shoulders parallel to the floor.
3) Return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
4) Repeat on the opposite side.
As always, if you have any questions about your conditions and would like to schedule an appointment with us at Baseline Health and Wellness you can give us a call at 6046744027 or schedule online at www.baselinewellness.ca
Provided by Dr. Kody Au, Vancouver Chiropractor
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