Nebraska Orthopaedic Newsletter
Say “Goodbye” to Your Aching Knees
Capture Your First Pain-Free Moment
Too often, we take our hardworking knees for granted. Just imagine, the pounding they take doing over a million steps each year! Yet when problems arise, we realize just how complex these large joints are. When you have trouble performing previously simple functions like kneeling, stair climbing and bending down, it’s time to seek help. Discover How You Can Make Kneeling and Bending Easy Again Why is knee pain so complicated, anyway? Each of your knees are not only the largest joints in your body but are comprised of two crucial connecting systems -- the first acting as a “hinge” between the thigh bone and the lower leg, and the other joining your thigh bone and kneecap. In fact, the way your knee joints are put together allows them to move in several directions in rapid succession. That means that the vast majority of functions you need to
perform each day (whether it’s getting out of bed, bending down to empty the dishwasher, crouching to tie your shoe, or simply going upstairs) are only possible when your knees can perform their full range of motion. Consider just one example of the interconnected functions of the knee joint. Your patella (kneecap) is designed to glide up and down within the thigh bone groove. If even a minor injury prevents that from happening, the resulting friction causes a buildup of debris, leading to inflammation, pain and crucial loss of function. Because the knees’ systems consist of 3 joints, the causes of individual knee pain can vary. In some cases, knee pain occurs from the kind of repetitive motions that athletes routinely inflict on these hardworking joints. Ironically, the other extreme -- never moving very much at all -- can also lead to knee issues. What Causes Knee Pain and Stiffness?
Fortunately, the type of pain you feel and the activity that causes it, often reveal the underlying cause. This allows your physical therapist to evaluate the specific problem and devise the best treatment plan. For example, dull aching and swelling anywhere in your knee often indicates osteoarthritis. But a stabbing pain on the inside of your knee is a clue that a torn meniscus from injury or overuse may be the culprit. Other parts of your knee that take a beating from overuse include irritation of the tissue below your knee cap. This causes swelling and aching in the front of the knee. If ligaments actually tear (which can happen when you suddenly twist) you may feel that you can’t put weight on your legs at all. Call Nebraska Orthopaedic Physical Therapy today at (402) 721-1112 to learn more about we can help you resolve your knee pain issues.
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