What are the most common causes of knee pain?
There may be many different causes for knee pain. Relatively, for the amount of weight the knees support, they are the weakest joint in the body. Injury to the knees is common among athletes. High-impact and repetitive activities such as running and jumping can cause wear and tear and over time, this can lead to inflammation and damage. Knee injury is also common among the elderly. As we age, our bones and cartilage become more brittle, making the joint injure more easily.
What are the ACL and PCL?
The anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments (or ACL and PCL) are the ligaments that connect the thigh bone, or femur, with the tibia, or shin bone. Putting too much stress on these ligaments can result in a sprain or tear. Full tears often require surgery. At the Magaziner Center, we treat sprains and partial tears.
What causes ACL and PCL sprains?
Movements over-extending the knee, stopping suddenly when running, twisting the knee (while the foot remains planted) or getting hit in the knee can cause stress on the ligament, resulting in a sprain or tear. This is a common injury for professional athletes. A complete tear will usually require surgery, if the athlete is to regain his/her ability to compete professionally. Others may be able to function without surgery.
What are the symptoms of ACL and PCL sprains?
- Pain in the knee
- Swelling in the knee
- Inability to bear weight on the knee
- Decreased stability (wobbly knee)
What is a Baker’s cyst?
A Baker’s cyst, or popliteal cyst, is a fluid-filled cyst that occurs behind the knee. It causes a bulge and a tightness, which can be painful when the knee is full extended or flexed. A Baker’s cyst can cause complications if it ruptures.
What causes Baker’s cysts?
The fluid inside the cyst is called synovial fluid, which normally acts as a lubricant, allowing the knee to swing smoothly. When the knee produces too much of this fluid, a Baker’s cyst can result. This can happen due to a knee injury or inflammation.
What are the symptoms of a Baker’s cyst?
- Knee pain
- Tightness in the knee
- Paid when the knee is fully flexed or extended
At the Magaziner Center, we see many patients with torn meniscus. We also see a lot of people who have already had the surgery to repair it, yet are still experiencing pain. We have successfully treated both patients hoping to avoid surgery and those who have already been through it.
What is the meniscus?
The meniscus is the crescent-shaped cartilage that provides cushioning for the knee. It acts as a shock-absorber between the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia). The knee has two menisci, the medial meniscus is on the outer side and the lateral meniscus is on the inner side of the knee.
What causes the meniscus to tear?
A meniscus tear is most commonly caused by quick, jerking movements, such as twisting or turning the knee, usually while it is bent. It can also be caused by heavy lifting, repetitive motion, or high-impact activities, such as running. As we age and the meniscus gets worn down, it is more prone to injury and tears happen more easily.
What are the symptoms of a torn meniscus?
- When the injury occurs, there may be a sensation of ‘popping’
- Stiffness of the knee
- Swelling, or ‘water on the knee’
- Difficulty to completely straighten the knee
- A ‘locking up’ of the knee
What is the osteoarthritis?
Arthritis is defined as the degeneration of one or more joints, resulting in pain, swelling, stiffness and reduced range of motion. Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis. It is characterized by the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone, resulting in pain and stiffness.
With osteoarthritis, the knee is one of the most commonly affected areas. The cartilage that covers the ends of the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) is what allows the knee to bend smoothly and absorb shock. In cases of osteoarthritis, this cushioning tissue wears away, causing the bones to rub against each other. This rubbing causes pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of joint function. Over time, it can cause bone spurs and misshapen joints. Pieces of bone can even break off and move through the joint, causing other problems.
What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee?
- Painful or aching knees, especially when active
- Difficulty climbing and descending stairs
- Stiffness and ‘creaky’ knees, especially when getting up in the morning
- Weakness in the thigh and calf muscle
- Occasional swelling of the joints (osteoarthritis does not usually cause much swelling)
- Reduced range of motion and loss of use
- Crunching feeling (creaking or the sound of bone rubbing on bone) in the knee
- Feeling of warmth in the knee
What is runner’s knee?
The actual name for runner’s knee is patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), but is commonly called runner’s knee for obvious reasons—it is very common among runners. Running is a very high impact activity and puts a lot of stress the kneecap (patella), causing pain.
What causes runner’s knee?
Runner’s knee can be caused by several different things and it is not always easy to pinpoint exactly what is to blame. It can be caused by abnormal placement of the patella, tight hamstrings and calf muscles pulling the patella out of place, flat feet, arthritis, or simply the repetitive stress and impact of running. Some other contributing factors may include:
- Trauma or dislocation of the kneecap
- Inadequate stretching before running
- Injured or fractured kneecap
- Synovial impingement, or plica syndrome
- Weak thigh muscles
What are the symptoms of runner’s knee?
- Pain surrounding the kneecap (especially at the top, closer to the thigh)
- Pain when bending the knee (especially when you put weight on it)
- Grinding feeling in the knee
Traditional western medicine will generally treat knee pain with medication, (anti-inflammatory or painkillers) or surgery. However, a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that physical therapy is just as effective as surgery in patients with meniscal tears and arthritis of the knee. In this study, no significant differences was seen in functional improvement in patients who underwent surgery with postoperative physical therapy and those who received standardized physical therapy alone. According to an accompanying editorial in NEJM, “…millions of people are being exposed to potential risks associated with a treatment [surgery] that may or may not offer specific benefit, and the costs are substantial.”
When knee pain (or any joint pain) is treated with a pain killer or anti-inflammatory drug, the patient may feel some relief, because the symptoms are being suppressed. This is not a solution, however, because it is not fixing the cause of the pain. Inflammation is not the cause of the pain, it is the body’s natural response to injury and the trigger for it to begin the healing process. By suppressing the inflammation, these drugs are preventing the body from to healing itself. Painkillers are simply numbing the pain that results from the injury. If the injury is not treated, it may never properly heal and can even get worse as time goes on. Many of our patients have been on ascending does of pain medication for years, with no end in sight.
At the Magaziner Center for Wellness, we treat knee pain holistically–by learning where the problem originated and working to heal it. We look not only at the knee but for contributing factors such as, leg length discrepancy, pelvic tilt and more. Through treatments such as prolotherapy, platelet rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapy, we stimulate the body’s natural healing process, giving it the tools it needs to heal itself, naturally, without surgery and without side effects.
*The treatment that we will recommend depends on the type and severity of the injury or condition. Call 856-424-8222 or email to schedule a consultation and learn about the options that are right for you.