Knee Injuries Knee Pain Information

Knee Injuries Knee Pain Information

A 2008 study performed by the Center for Injury Research and Policy and published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine found that injuries to the knee are among the most costly sports injuries. All too often sports-related knee injuries are viewed as something that mainly happen at a professional level, but the above study showed that knee injuries are the leading cause of sport-related surgeries performed on high school athletes. But, knee injuries aren’t just an athletic injury. According to Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, knee injuries were the second leading cause of time off from work and accounted for 7.1% of all Liberty Mutual claims made in 2000. Because the knee is used to perform basic movements like walking, sitting, running, kicking, jumping, and standing, even everyday activities can result in a knee injury.

 

Anatomy Of The Knee


The basic function of the knee is pretty straightforward from looking at it on the outside - it bends (flexes) and straightens (extends) to allow the lower leg to move. However, within the knee is a complex joint and many bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, bursae, cartilage (menisci), and so forth that work as a cohesive unit for the knee to function properly.

The knee joint is where the thighbone (femur) and the shinbone (tibia) meet, basically connecting the upper and lower leg. The kneecap (patella) is the thick bone that sits just in front of the knee joint. The patella glides upwardly and downwardly in the patellofemoral groove as the knee bends.

The ends of the tibia and femur and back of the patella are covered with a special rubbery and slippery shock absorbing material called articular cartilage. It allows surfaces within the joint to easily slide across one another without creating friction.

Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that provide cushioning for the knee as it goes through range of motion. There are two bursae surrounding the knee joint; one bursa is located at the front of the knee and one bursa is located just above the kneecap.

Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that connect bone to bone and provide stability for the knee. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) are found on each side of the knee joint and prevent the knee from going too far to either side. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is inside the front of the knee joint and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is inside the back of the knee joint. The PCL and ACL prevent the knee and tibia from going too far forward or backward.

Unlike articular cartilage, the inner and lateral menisci (meniscus) are fibrocartilage. These are crescent shaped pads that act like a gasket to help the femur and tibia fit , help the ligaments provide knee stability, and help to evenly distribute the force or load that is applied to the knee from the weight of the upper body.

Tendons attach muscle to bone. There are several important tendons around the knee joint. The quadriceps tendon attaches the quadriceps muscle group to the patella. The patellar tendon attaches the patella to the tibia. The hamstring tendons run along the posterior side of the thigh and attach the tibia and fibula behind the knee. The illiotibial band is the long tendon that attaches the tensor faciia latte muscle to the tibia just under the knee. As the knee extends, the band moves across the head of the fibula. It provides knee stability, especially when walking or running.

There are two main supporting muscles of the knee - the quadriceps (vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, and rectus femoris) and the hamstrings (semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and the short and long heads of the biceps femoris). When the quadriceps contract, the knee joint and leg straighten. Whereas, when the hamstrings contract, the knee bends.

What Causes Knee Pain?

Anytime that any of the above structures are irritated, damaged, or otherwise injured from an acute trauma, overuse, misuse, repetitive usage, or disease process, the result is often pain in and around the knee. Hyperextension, hyperflexion, twisting, and direct blows to the knee commonly result in fractures, dislocations, strains, sprains, and contusions. Lets look at some common injuries that result in knee pain:

Knee sprains
- injuries to the ligaments in the knee. Sprains occur when the ligament is stretched abnormally or torn.

Knee strains - injuries to the muscles and/or tendons surrounding the knee. Strains occur when the muscle and/or tendon is stretched abnormally or torn.

Knee bursitis - inflammation of one of the bursae in the knee. Bursitis of the bursa found on the front of knee is commonly called housemaid’s knee.

Knee tendonitis - inflammation of one of the tendons in the knee.

Jumper’s knee or patellar tendinopathy - a collective injury that may start as tendonitis of patellar tendon where it attaches to the kneecap and progress to a degenerative state.

Osgood Schlatter Syndrome - rupture of the childhood growth plate at the tibial tuberosity (bony protrusion below the knee).

Sinding Larsen Johansson Syndrome - rupture of the childhood growth plate at the bottom of the knee where the patellar tendon inserts.

Patella dislocation - the knee cap moves out of its normal alignment (usually laterally) in the patellofemoral groove.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome - an overuse injury that causes pain in the kneecap.

Osteoarthritis of the knee - a degenerative form of arthritis that involves the cartilage between the bones in the knee joint wearing away.

Popliteal cyst or bakers cyst - a soft bump or swollen area on the back of the knee. It’s usually caused when the knee joint swells after an injury or produces too much lubricating fluid.

Osteochondritis dissecans - when a piece of cartilage and bone separate from the main bone. This is caused when blood flow to the end of the bone is disrupted.

Meniscus tears - tearing of either the medial or lateral meniscus cartilage in the knee. The medial meniscus is the most often torn since it is the less mobile of the two.

Knee fractures - a break in the continuity of the patella, femoral condyles, tibial tuberosity, tibial eminence, or tibial plateau.
 
Strengthening Exercises

These Knee Pain Exercises are ideal to build strength and flexibility.

Massage Treatment

These Knee Pain Massage Techniques are of great value in pain relief; circulation stimulation; dispersing blood and fluid accumulations; swelling reduction; and relaxing muscle spasms, especially when used alongside the Sinew Therapeutics liniments and soaks.

 

ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

This stage is characterized by swelling, redness, pain, and possibly a local sensation of heat, indicating inflammation. If coolness makes your pain feel better, then the Acute Stage Treatment is recommended.

 

ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS:

 

The acute stage starts the moment an injury occurs and lasts until the swelling and inflammation are gone. The swelling is the result of the blockage of blood, tissue fluids and circulation in the knee because their normal movement has been disrupted by the force of the injury. Just like cars back up behind a traffic jam, causing congestion, exhaust and overheating; blood and fluids back up behind the injured area, causing pain, inflammation, lumps and swelling.

The sensation of heat is due to the warming action of the blood and fluids overheating in the injured knee as they back up and accumulate. Stiffness and decreased mobility are due to spasms in tendons and ligaments that have contracted reflexively beyond their normal range from the impact of the injury.

As ligaments and tendons stretch and tear, blood from ruptured blood vessels becomes trapped in the local tissues. As the trapped blood clots up, it sticks the tissues together creating adhesions. Adhesions cause pain, inflammation and restricted movement because the layers of tissue that used to slide smoothly across one another now adhere and snap which interferes with normal functioning. It is essential to break up clotted blood as quickly as possible to prevent adhesions and scar tissue from forming.

During the acute stage it is very important to restore normal circulation to the knee, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, reduce swelling, and reduce the redness and heat associated with inflammation. By restoring the flow of blood, fluids, and circulation in the knee, then pain is reduced, damaged tissues can regenerate with healthy functional tissue, and the knee can strengthen and regain it's mobility.

 

ACUTE STAGE TREATMENT:

 

1. Apply the Sinew Herbal Ice on your knee to reduce redness, swelling, and inflammation while dispersing accumulated blood and fluids to help restore normal circulation to the knee. This first-aid treatment is used in place of ice to significantly speed up the healing process. It reduces the swelling and inflammation more effectively than ice, allowing you to more quickly regain range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.

Ice is not recommended because it does not help repair damaged tissues and keeps everything in the injured area frozen, causing the stagnation of blood and fluids and the contraction of muscles, tendons and ligaments. In Chinese sports medicine ice is not used and is considered a culprit in injuries that donít heal well.

2. Massage your knee with Acute Sinew Liniment to relieve pain, reduce swelling and inflammation, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, and stimulate circulation of blood and fluids to help cells quickly repair damaged tissues. Sinew Herbal Ice can be used in-between applications.

3. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.

 

 

CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

This stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness, and/or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If heat makes your pain feel better, then the Chronic Stage Treatment is recommended.


CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS:

 

The chronic stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel stiffness and aching pain. This is because there are still accumulations of stagnant blood and fluids in the knee that are blocking circulation and blood supply to damaged tissues, creating residual pain, stiffness and weakness. You may actually feel hard nodules like sand in the tissue, indicating accumulation, calcification, and adhesions, which all cause pain, stiffness, and joint instability.

Your knee may feel more sensitive to the cold and ache in cold and damp weather due to impaired circulation. When you move your knee you may hear a clicking or popping sound from the tendons and ligaments slipping very slightly in and out of their natural alignment indicating weakness and joint instability, causing chronic pain and a cycle of reinjury. These symptoms are often the result of failure to treat the injury properly from the outset and overicing.

Increasing circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues is very important in treating chronic injuries because tendons and ligaments do not have an extensive direct supply of blood. That is why chronic injuries can be slow to heal. Increasing local circulation also prevents cold and dampness from penetrating the injured area, preventing pain and stiffness.

During the chronic stage it is very important to break up remaining accumulations of blood and fluids, and increase circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues, which will relieve pain and stiffness, and strengthen the tendons and ligaments to restore stability.


CHRONIC STAGE TREATMENT:

 

1. Massage your knee with Chronic Sinew Liniment to relieve pain and stiffness, strongly stimulate circulation to damaged tissues, and promote the healing of overstretched tendons and ligaments. Sinew Injury Poultice and/or the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.

2. Apply the Sinew Injury Poultice on your knee to relieve residual pain and stiffness, significantly stimulate circulation to damaged tissues, and further promote the healing of overstretched tendons and ligaments. The Sinew Injury Poultice is particularly useful if your knee is more painful in cold and damp weather. Chronic Sinew Liniment and/or the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.

3. Soak your knee with the Sinew Warming Soak to ease joint pain, increase range of motion, and strongly increase local circulation to drive coldness and dampness out of damaged tissues. The Sinew Warming Soak is particularly useful if your knee is more painful and sensitive to cold or hurts more in cold weather. The soak can be used by saturating a towel in the liquid and applying it to your knee. Chronic Sinew Liniment and/or the Sinew Injury Poultice can be used in-between applications.

4. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.