A Just Knead It we look at knees as barometers for the rest of the body. Generally, if there is a dysfunction above (through your hips, pelvis and/or core) or below in your ankles you can experience knee pain. Our goal is to work out what is going on, identify underlying factors contributing to your knee pain and create a treatment plan that addresses both your presenting symptoms and those underlying causes.
We have collated some useful information to help you make informed choices and understand knee pain and the potential relief you can get from getting massage as part of your treatment plan.
What are Common Causes of Knee Pain?
There are a variety of common causes of knee pain. Depending on where you are experiencing the pain - for example on the inside of your knee compared to the outside, top or behind your knee can determine the underlying cause. Also the way in which the pain occurred, how you to keep fit and/or what you do to make a living can factor into the cause of your pain. That is why it is so important to do a thorough assessment of your body before we start.
Here are some of the common conditions that we see and how we go about treating them.
Patella tracking disorders - When the outside muscle of your leg (eg Vastus Lateralis) gets too strong compared to the inside muscles of your leg (eg Vastus Medialis) your knee cap can be pulled slightly away from the track that it is supposed to move along. This can cause pain, clicking and/or catching in your knee. Regular treatment to the muscles that are tight and contributing to pulling your knee cap out of alignment, as well as strengthening exercises to help those muscles that are weak can improve this condition. We generally recommend having a team approach to this type of condition with a physio and/or exercise physiologist involved in your treatment plan.
'Runner's Knee'- Is usually an overuse injury involving your ITB (iliotibial band). You experience pain on the outside of your knee where the ITB inserts into the bone, particularly when you bend your knee. Your ITB is that extremely painful band of fascia that runs on the outside of your leg. Most people know it as causing extreme pain when you foam roller over the top of it! Interestingly because this is just a huge piece of fascia meant to help stabilise your knee, if the muscles that insert into it - your quads, hamstrings, gluts and TFL get too tight you may experience ITB pain or runners knee. (Check out our Lower Limb Stretching and Mobility page to see how to loosen these off yourself!) Often people will tell us they've spent hours rolling on their ITB without getting relief for their knee pain. This is usually because they miss triggering or stretching the muscles around the ITB cause it to become irritated in the first place! The reason it's called runner's knee is because a lot of the time the muscles used in running will tighten and irritate the attachment of the ITB. Since this condition in largely related to muscle tightness massage is very effective in treating this condition. Check out our page on loosening off muscles used in running!
Meniscus & Ligament Issues - A team approach is needed for ligament and meniscus injuries. If this is something we suspect we refer you on to one of our great physio referral partners, who specialises in lower limb conditions. Once we have a diagnosis we can then work with your allied health team as you recover from this injury. Generally you will experience feelings of instability, deep knee pain, clicking and/or catching with these types of conditions. . Meniscus and ligament injuries can often be related to a specific event such as a fall or direct hit to the area.
Front of Knee Pain - We see this quite often. Obviously we need to do an assessment to fully understand what is going on. However a lot of the time if your quads are too tight it can iritate through your patella ligament that attaches your knee cap to the front of your shin. By taking the pressure off your quads and that ligament it can help to relieve your pain. The next step is to work out the underlying causes as to why the pain is happening in the first place - this could be related to the exercise your do; mobility in your ankles, hips and/or pelvis or a stability issue.
Referral Pain - A lot of knee pain is referral pain from trigger points in other areas of your body. Trigger paints in your quads, hip flexors and sometimes even your gluts can refer pain to your knees. Having a massage therapist who knows exactly where those trigger points are and how to loosen them quickly can be an effective way to relieve your symptoms.
Are you experiencing any of these symptoms? Book in now!
If you are experience any of these symptoms or would like some more information feel free to contact us. We're always happy to help where we can! If you'd like to book in download our mindbody app and book in online now by pressing the button below!