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The Knee & Chiropractic Care

Of all the joints in the human body, the knee is one of the most complicated, as well as the largest. This combination makes for a potentially problematic body part from a chiropractic perspective.

The knee joint is essentially a hinge, which allows for circular movements as well as back and forth motions between the upper and lower portions of the leg, which makes the complex action of human upright bipedal locomotion possible. 

Because the knee makes a range of basic but highly important movements possible, it is highly specialized, almost to the extent of being paradoxical. For example, the knee needs to maintain a reasonable degree of flexibility to allow for all the necessary motions associated with walking, sitting, standing, and bending, however, at the same time it must be stable and rigid enough to bear the entire weight of the upper body, and keep it balanced while in an upright position.

Due to this dual role that the knee joint must fulfill, it is also more open to injury than other joints because so many forces pass through it on a frequent basis. Unfortunately for those who suffer from knee problems, they can be some of the more painful injuries that can happen to any joint of the body.

On average, 30 percent of visits to doctors are the result of some form of joint related pain. Of this percentage of joint pain, the majority of complaints are associated with the knee. Further statistical analysis shows that in 2010 there were 10 million visits to doctor’s offices seeking treatment for knee injuries.

Injuries of the knee joint typically involve sprained ligaments, tendinitis, dislocated patella, or meniscus tears. Another common cause of knee pain is bursitis, which involves an irritation of a region of the knee called the bursis that has become swollen from receptive kneeling and bending. 

Besides these common sources of knee injury, there are rarer cases which come about through illness. Most frequently the condition known as osteoarthritis is the culprit in these cases, especially for patients who are older than 45. Rheumatoid arthritis is another leading cause of knee pain, while obesity can also overload the knee joints resulting in injury as well. 

Chiropractors use their fingers and hands to carefully break up restrictions in a painful knee, to increase blood flow to the area which is healing to the sensitive soft tissue. For injuries that lie deep within the knee special instruments may be necessary.


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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Nora Hollstein

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