Many people experience knee pain on a daily basis. Their pain can vary, rather its, constant, pain only with walking, going up stairs, down stairs, raising from a chair, etc. Each one of these different activities causing our pain could be from a different source. A common finding on examination reveals shortness of the quadriceps muscle. The quadriceps is the muscle in front of the thigh (pictured to the right) and runs below the knee and inserts into the top of the lower leg. When the quadriceps contracts the leg straightens. Determining the length of the quadriceps is easy. Laying on the stomach and bending the knee to bring the heel toward your glutes determines shortness were appropriate length of the quadriceps. If the heel does not touch you may have shortness of the quadriceps. This is one example that can set you up for knee pain. The shorter the muscle, the more inefficient and consequently the more easily overworked.

Frequently the pain is caused by trigger points (a myofascial disorder) in the quadriceps. These trigger points refer pain to the knee. A detailed examination reveals whether trigger points are present and if they a part of the problem. Patients often present with only one knee that is bothering him. This is not due to “old age” because your knees are the same age. This is the result of distortion somewhere only the kinetic chain, most commonly in the pelvis. If only localized treatment to the knee is performed and the distortion of the pelvis is not resolved the knee pain will return or a new symptom will result. This is why we utilize a wide variety of treatment options and strive for the best results for our patients.

Goals on treatment in our office are to reduce the knee pain, restore more normal function, and if there is structural distortion involved to resolve or stabilize the distortion so continuing symptoms of the knee or other areas of the body. I have found therapy such as interferential therapy, infrared light therapy, the unweighted treadmill, lymphatic/myofascial massage, foot leveler orthotics, along with chiropractic care work to be very effective in treating knee pain.

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