How Does the Knee Work, and Why?

By Dr. Molly Casey

Knee Pain and Chiropractic

Knee pain and irritation happens. It can be annoying and put a cramp in your daily lifestyle. The pain and irritation can arise from a multitude of things. There are also fixes for these issues, so you don’t need to live your life simply accepting it as the new normal.

Knee Joint

The knee joint is made up of the femur (thigh bone), the tibia (shin bone), and the patella (knee cap). There is cartilage that covers the ends of the femur and tibia. This helps the bones move smoothly throughout the proper range of motion. There are two discs of cartilage, individually called meniscus located on the medial and lateral aspect of the knee, which help stabilize the movement of the knee joint and assist in cushioning and shock absorption. There are four main ligaments that attach the femur and tibia and stabilize the joint as well. The tendons present connect bone to muscles and assist in movement of the joint.

The liquid in the joint capsule is called synovial fluid. It is produced in part as a result of proper motion of the joint. This liquid assists in smooth motion and reduces friction. Joints move better and feel better when anatomically they have what they need to function properly. This includes full range of motion and proper joint fluid. In the same way an engine needs oil, the synovial fluid assists in the joint exercising full range of motion.

Common Knee Issues

Pain and irritation can be experienced in a wide variety of ways and is often unique to the individual. Each structure in the knee can be a pain generator and will present a different way. Some common types of irritation are stiffness, popping noises with movement, feeling of weakness or instability, and decreased ability to fully straighten the leg.

Ligament injuries are common to those who live active lifestyles and play high-demand sports such as soccer, football, basketball and tennis. Moving quickly, stopping abruptly, and pivoting, all put a significant amount of stress on the joint and can increase opportunities for injury. It’s common that menisci are injured along with ligament issues. Tendons can and do tear. Again, most of these injuries are associated with overuse or injuries due to activity.

It’s common that you may have not had any major traumas to the knee but years of wear and tear occur with joints just like any other structure. And sometimes this wear and tear adds up enough so that the joint becomes fixated or decreased in its range of motion. This also can be a pain or irritation generator.

Can Chiropractic Help?

The short answer is yes. Chiropractic can help with knee joint pain and irritation.

At the most basic and profound level, chiropractic manipulation of the spine and extremity joints, such as the knee, promote proper nervous system communication. Proper communication is the foundation of one’s health and function. This includes extremities such as the legs and knee joints.

The chiropractic manipulation, in this case manipulation of the knee, can be helpful for restoration of range of motion. When joints move fully through the intended range of motion, pain relief and decreased stiffness is a common side effect.

Chiropractic care improves the health and functioning of your communication system. Chiropractic adjustments also promote proper joint range of motion and health. All of these are important in suffering less in life, period -- certainly with regard to knee pain and irritation. Come into The Joint Chiropractic and let us help you help yourself out of knee pain and irritation and into full health and wellness.

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