Osteopaths regularly treat knee pain whether acute (short term) or chronic (long term).
The knee, along with the hip, ankle and lower back are the primary weight bearing structures of the body when it is in an upright position. Because the knee is a weight bearing structure and is also quite a loose fitting and flexible joint it is prone to injury especially during upright rotating movements.
The knee is quite unique in its structure as it features two ligaments actually located inside the joint itself, called the cruciate ligaments. Two cartilage cups called menisci make the overall joint fit together better and give it increased stability. In addition there are two ligaments which stabilise both sides of the knee called the medial and lateral collateral ligaments.
Because the knee has a lot of moving parts for one joint it is very important that movement in it is as controlled as possible. If the movement is not controlled some of the parts can be pinched and damaged especially if it is loaded too quickly or is knocked or shifted whilst fully loaded.
Some classic examples of this are footballing injuries where a person is wearing studs, these grip the floor and so stabilise the lower part of the knee. From this point if the players upper body is then moved quickly it can cause ligament and/or menisci damage and regularly does. Other unlikely sounding but common mechanisms include twisting the upper body whilst kneeling and even getting out of a car awkwardly.
Osteopaths are trained to assess the knee itself but also take into detailed consideration predisposing and maintaining factors like posture, previous injuries and occupation, to name a few. This enables Osteopathic intervention to be more than just symptomatic relief because both the primary symptoms and the influencing factors can be addressed.
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