What Causes Knee Pain

The knee is a complex structure and offers a wide variety of movements. It consists of three basic bones, the Femur (thigh bone), the Tibia (leg bone) and the Patella (knee cap).

Over these bones is present a web of muscles and ligaments which give immense strength, making the knee joint one of the strongest joints of human body. It also contains some fat padding while major blood vessels and nerves also traverse it.

The bones and cartilage of the knee are often the main areas affected when a patient experiences knee pain. The muscles and ligaments can also sometimes be involved. 

Some of the causes of knee pain include:

Cartilage and joint degeneration. 

Dislocation of the knee cap. 
Muscular pain. 
Torn ligaments.
Bursitis (inflammation of soft tissues due to long standing overuse or injuries). 

Physiotherapy is an important part of the treatment program for people with osteoarthritis of the knee. Many people with osteoarthritis of the knee may suffer from limitations in their range of motion and weakness in their quadriceps muscle group. Both can be improved with physiotherapy. The primary goals of physiotherapy are to decrease inflammation, improve range of motion, and strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee; particularly the quadriceps muscles. In addition to using exercises to achieve these goals, other techniques may include cold and heat therapy, ultrasound, laser, electrical neuromuscular stimulation, and direct muscle stimulation. 

WARM UP first! Warming up with 5 minutes of low-impact aerobics, such as walking or riding a stationary exercise bike, increases blood supply to the muscles to help prevent injury.

Quad Strengthening Contractions:

Sit in chair. Move forward so that you are sitting at edge of chair. Extend legs, heels to floor. Keep knees straight (or as straight as possible if you have arthritis.) Tighten thigh muscles. Hold for count of 10. Relax for count of 3. Do 10 repetitions. 

Tips for Knee Injuries:-

Strengthen the muscles that support the knee with knee exercises. 
Slowly increase the duration and intensity of activities you are not accustomed to. 
Warm up before activities that involve walking and running.
Avoid high-impact activities to give your body a chance to recover.
Get your weight under control. As the knees are weight-bearing joints, weighing less decreases stress on the knees.
Proper footwear: Adequate cushioning to help absorb shock, adequate support for those who tend to overpronate to prevent excessive internal rotation of the lower leg and knee. 

Do not use a pillow under the knee at night or at any other time, as this can make the knee stiffen so that it cannot be straightened out
Swimming is good because there is no weight-bearing requirement.

Walking is probably the best overall exercise and then the distance should be gradually increased.

Avoid squatting, try using a English commode
Do not sit cross-legged for prolonged hours

One very powerful way of controlling your knee pain is to do daily range of motion exercises, putting your knee through full movement several times a day. This prevents stiffness developing and stretches all the attached muscles, making them less vulnerable to sudden demands.

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Published on

Jul 18, 2014

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