Knee Pain in New Jersey
Knee pain is one of the most difficult types of pain to live with because you use your knees for many movements of your body. Located in Totowa and Lafayette Township, Performance Rehabilitation specializes in treating the residents of New Jersey experiencing knee pain.
What is Knee Pain?
Knee pain is a common problem that can affect people of all age groups. Knee pain may come as the result of a medical condition, such as an infection, gout or arthritis. A person may experience knee pain due to an injury, such as torn cartilage or ruptured a ligament.
Most of the time, a person can effectively treat knee pain using self-care measures at home. Knee braces and physical therapy can also help to relieve the pain. In some many circumstances, a person may need surgery to repair the knee.
What are the Causes of Knee Pain?
Knee pain is usually caused by conditions such as tendonitis, runner’s knee, sprained ligaments or tears in the cartilage of the knee. However, the knee is a complex joint. For that reason, there are lots of different issues that may arise.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome
When the iliotibial band becomes inflamed, it can cause pain on the outer part of the knee. This band is made of tough tissue and runs from a person’s hip to the outer part of the knee.
Bursitis is sometimes called “preacher’s knee” or “housemaid’s knee” because it affects individuals who kneel often. Right under the skin that overlays the joints in the knee is a sack filled with a fluid known as the bursa. When an individual kneels often, repeatedly bends the knees, overuse the knees, or fall, this sack can become irritated. This causes swelling and pain.
Osgood-Schlatter disease most frequently affects teenage girls and boys who are around 13 to 14 years of age. It is basically a painful bump that is located right under the knee where a tendon connects the knee to the shin. When it is overused, there may be irritation at the tendon insertion, which is known as the tibial tubercle. The pain may come and go over time.
Patellar dislocation occurs when the kneecap becomes dislocated by sliding out of its position. This causes swelling and pain.
Osteoarthritis is usually seen in individuals who are 50 years of age and older.
When the tendons that surround the knee are overused, this can cause pain and inflammation. This is commonly referred to as ‘jumper’s knee.’
Sometimes, a knee injury can break cartilage loose. These pieces can then get stuck in the joint, causing it to freeze up and producing pain and swelling.
Patella Femoral Pain Syndrome
Patella femoral pain syndrome most commonly affects teenage girls. It is not caused by injury but instead is the result of issues that are associated with tightness, muscle imbalance, and alignment of the legs.
What are the Symptoms of Knee Pain?
The type of symptoms a person will experience depend on the reason he or she is experiencing knee pain. However, common symptoms and signs of knee pain include:
- Warmth to the touch
- Instability or weakness/giving way
- Crunching or popping sensation
- An inability to straighten the leg
How is Knee Pain Diagnosed?
Your physician may use a variety of diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your pain.. Some include:
- X-rays – uses electromagnetic radiation to see what is happening inside the body and then produce an image of it. This can be used to locate injuries and malformations of the knee.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – produces 3-D images of the body, which allows doctors to closely look inside the knee.
- Ultrasound technology – uses high-tech sound waves to produce real-time images of the knee.
- Blood tests and joint fluid tests – any blood that may be found in the knee as well as the joint fluid is tested to diagnose a knee condition. An arthrocentesis, a procedure that examines fluid taken from the bursae, synovial membranes, and joint capsules, may be used.
Our physical therapists at Performance Rehabilitation utilize the same Maitland approach to examination that places the patient at the center and is very interactive. They will very often have a good idea of the pathology based upon this discussion. Hands-on testing of the ligaments and structures of the knee joint coupled with active special tests will clearly identify the problem and treatment can begin.
Can Knee Pain be Prevented?
There are a couple of things that people can do to prevent knee pain. Before running, exercising, or lifting weights, it is important to warm up to prevent knee sprains. After doing strenuous exercise, it is important to cool down and rest. Maintaining a healthy weight can prevent placing too much stress on the knees. If a person has knee pain that is associated with a medical condition, doing low-impact exercises may be helpful.
How is Knee Pain Treated at Performance Rehabilitation?
Knee pain can have many causes including patellar tendinosis, meniscus tears (cartilage), ligamentous tears (ACL), joint surface defects, or pain referred from the low back or hip. Faulty movement patterns due to weakness in the lumbopelvic core and hip rotator and abductor weakness predispose individuals to injury. Performance Rehabilitation physical therapists perform a comprehensive orthopedic manual therapy evaluation utilizing the Maitland approach. This involves an in-depth discussion with the patient to gain greater insight into the reasons for the pain that the patient is experiencing. Once this subjective examination is complete, the physical therapy examination proceeds with identifying movement disorders, muscle imbalances, and joint dysfunction that may be contributing to knee pain. The therapist also identifies or rules out structural problems as the cause (ligamentous tears, meniscus tears, hip or knee alignment issues, etc.). Current evidence supports physical therapy versus surgery for a meniscus tear in patients aged 50 years or older have better outcomes. The therapists work with your doctor to pre-rehab patients who may require surgery and post-surgery for arthroscopy or reconstruction and knee replacements.
Are you living with acute or chronic knee pain? If so, the physical therapists at Performance Rehabilitation can help. Contact our office in Totowa or Lafayette Township in New Jersey to schedule a personal consultation.