Physiotherapy for Knee Pain

The knee is an important joint that, when injured, can lead to problems with walking, running, playing sport and performing work. Causes of knee pain can generally be classified into sudden (acute) injuries or long-term (chronic or overuse) injuries. Read on below to find out how physiotherapy can help with your knee problems.

Knee pain caused by acute and sporting injuries

Acute knee injuries happen most commonly when playing sport, or if you slip or trip over. These incidents may cause damage to ligaments or the meniscus (knee cartilage), or may lead to a patella (knee-cap) dislocation. Occasionally these types of injuries can require surgery, particularly if managed poorly, so it is good to get them checked by a physiotherapist sooner rather than later. A physiotherapist is a good first point of call to determine whether we can assist or whether it may need further referral to a specialist.

There are 4 main ligaments in the knee:

  • The anterior-cruciate ligament (ACL)
  • Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
  • Medial lateral collateral ligament (MCL)
  • Lateral collateral ligament (LCL)

The purpose of these ligaments is to provide stability to the knee joint. The meniscus is cartilage that sits between the surfaces in the knee joint and helps to distribute force and allow the different surfaces to move without friction. The severity and location of injuries to these structures will dictate how long or intense rehabilitation will need to be. Even if surgery is ultimately required, an exercise program beforehand will get the knee stronger and moving better so that your recovery after surgery will be more efficient.

Chronic Knee Pain

The two most common longer-term knee injuries are patello-femoral pain (knee-cap pain or mal-tracking) and osteoarthritis of the knee. These conditions can have different causes but are often a result of poor muscle control or previous injuries to the knee. Rehabilitation may include changing your activities, careful and targeted strength training, and sometimes taping or orthotics to help reduce pain. These all help you to resume normal activities and are very effectively managed with the help of physiotherapy.



Does running cause knee arthritis?

The short answer is no. The slightly longer answer is ‘we don’t think so’. In this large study of over 11,000 people, the researchers looked at the association between running and hip and/or knee osteoarthritis. They found no relationship between running and an increased risk of these diseases. In fact, they found that people who did a moderate amount of running actually had a lower risk of knee and hip osteoarthritis! So if you’re concerned about your running and any pain that you’re getting, please come and see one of the physios here at Glebe Physio so we can help you get back into it.

Other conditions that may affect the knee include ilio-tibial band (ITB) syndrome (runner’s knee), patellar tendinopathy (jumper’s knee) and fat pad impingement. Fortunately, all these conditions are very successfully managed by physiotherapists. If you have any questions head over to the Contact Us page or book in at Glebe Physio for an appointment to get on top of your pain today.

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Please note that the information we provide on web pages like this one are for general information and educational purposes. We recommend speaking to a qualified physiotherapist or exercise physiologist to assess your individual situation.