- What is Chiropractic
- What is a Subluxation
- What is an Adjustment
- What is Muscle Guarding
- Care for Accidents and Injuries
- Rehabiliative Care
- Prevention & Wellness Care
- Chiropractic for Sports & Fitness
- Conditions Improved by Chiropractic
- Top 7 Reasons to get Adjusted
- What to Expect at Your First Visit
- Traditional Chinese Medicine
- TCM Diet Principles
- Acupuncture for Pain
- Acupuncture for Fertility
- Acupuncture During Pregnancy
- Acupuncture for Stress
- Acupuncture to Quit Smoking
- Trigger Point Dry Needling
- Moxibustion Therapy
- Cupping and Acupuncture
- Gua Sha Technique
- What is Chi/Qi and Meridians
- Conditions Improved by Acupuncture
- Chicago Community Acupuncture Project
- Top 7 Reasons to get Acupuncture
- What to Expect at Your First Visit
- What Are Orthotics?
- Foot Mechanics
- Symptoms of Improper Foot Mechanics
- Conditions Improved by Orthotics
- Plantar Faciitis
- Shin Splints
- Hallux Rigidus
- Iliotibial Band Syndrome
- Morton’s Neuroma
- Knee Pain
- Low Back Pain
- Sports Performance
- Choosing Shoes for Your Orthotics
Expert Chicago Chiropractors Treating Knee Pain in Your Neighborhood!
Chiropractic is a proven safe and effective treatment for knee pain that can provide both immediate relief and long-term care to restore strength and flexibility. Read more about how our Chiropractic Physicians can help you get knee pain relief today.
Understanding Knee Pain - Let’s Start with Basic Anatomy of the Knee
The knee is the joint spanning the upper and lower legs. As with any joint, it is composed of cartilage, meniscus, tendons, ligaments, and muscle tissue allowing for smooth but restricted movement of the lower leg.
Knee Pain Conditions Commonly Seen In Our Chicago Office
Knee pain can result from a number of different conditions or causes. Common knee pain related conditions we see and have successfully treated in our office include the following:
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)Tear—The ACL is the stabilizing ligament that joins the thigh bone (or femur) to the shin bone (or tibia) across the knee. The ACL prevents the shin bone from moving anteriorly on the femur. A tear or injury to this ligament is common among athletic individuals, and occurs most often when a twisting force is applied to the knee while the foot is either planted firmly or landing from a jump. It can also be caused by falling poorly, a sharp turn or sudden change in direction, or by a direct blow to the outside (and less often the inside) of the knee. An ACL tear may sometimes occur in combination with a Meniscus Tear and/or Medial Collateral Ligament Tear. This is sometimes called “The Terrible Triad”. Skiers are one group at risk for ACL tears.
Symptoms include a crack or popping sound at the time of injury followed by a clicking later on. This injury can be intensely painful, particularly just upon injuring. Swelling is likely to follow, along with instability on the leg, mild tenderness spreading out from the area, and restricted movement, particularly in straightening the leg.
For sports-oriented or more serious ACL tears, the doctor may refer you to a surgeon. However, patients with less serious ACL tears or who are not particularly athletic can benefit from physiotherapy, joint stabilization, and acupuncture for knee pain.
Meniscus Tear—The menisci are the two crescent moon shaped strips of cartilage on the upper surface of the shin bone (or tibia) that act as shock absorbers for the knee and allow for even weight distribution between the tibia and thigh bone (or femur). There are the medial or inner menisci and the lateral or outer ones, and either can tear, though the inner meniscus is more prone to tearing than the outer. A meniscus tear is most often caused by a twisting motion, direct impact, or because of degeneration with age. A meniscus tear may often follow a medial collateral ligament tear (or MCL tear).
Symptoms of a meniscus tear may include tenderness, pain (most typically when bending the knee), and swelling (generally within the first 24-48 hours of sustaining the injury). A clicking or popping sound may also be present when bending or unbending the injured knee.
Meniscus tears respond well to chiropractic joint adjustments to reduce symptoms and physiotherapy and acupuncture to reduce pain.
Medial Collateral Ligament Tear—Another one of the main stabilizing ligaments of the leg (along with the ACL) the MCL joins the inner surfaces of the thigh bone (or femur) and shin bone (or tibia). An MCL tear most frequently occurs following a direct force to the outside of the knee, particularly while the knee is bent, and can often lead to a meniscus tear. The MCL can also be torn, however, from repetitive strain.
Symptoms of an MCL tear may include tenderness on the inside of the knee, stiffness, swelling of the ligament, and pain (especially when force is applied to the outside of the injured knee while the knee is bent). There may also be weakness and instability on the leg.
MCL tears (and especially first degree MCL tears) respond well to orthotics, activity modification, a chiropractic rehabilitation program aimed at strengthening the medial and lateral stabilizers, and acupuncture as needed to control knee pain.
Patellofemoral Arthralgia and Chondromalacia—“Arthalgia” meaning literally “joint pain” (as distinct from “arthritis” which mean literally “joint swelling”) and “patellofemoral” referring to the front of the knee, Patellofemoral Arthralgia is a general term used to describe any pain in the anterior region (or front) of the knee. This can occur from many causes, most often overuse of the knee.
Chondromalacia (more commonly known as Runner’s Knee) is when an irritation to the cartilage beneath the kneecap causes it to begin to soften or wear away and crack, which can lead to inflammation and pain. This happens when the kneecap fails to ride smoothly over the knee, which can be caused by overpronation, weakness of certain leg muscles (including quadriceps and hamstrings), poor shoes, and overtraining. Symptoms include pain underneath the kneecap or along its sides when flexing, and swelling.
Both of these conditions respond well to chiropractic adjustments of the foot, ankle, knee, and hip, as well as a chiropractic rehabilitation program aimed at stabilizing the knee with exercise and proprioceptive training, along with acupuncture to control knee pain.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)—Pain and swelling on the outside of the knees caused by spasms in the thigh muscle creating friction against the thigh bone (or femur) along the knee or hip.
The most common cause of ITBS is overuse of the knee. Other causes for ITBS include overpronation, ITB muscle tightness, improper or insufficient stretching before or after exercise, worn or improper shoes, excessive running up and down hills (especially down), along with any action leading the leg to bend inwards. Cyclists with improperly adjusted seats and tennis players may also be at risk of ITBS.
Treatment options for ITB Syndrome include rest, ice, massage, orthotics, and physiotherapy.
Popliteus Tendonitis—an inflammation or tear in the tendon that attaches at the back of the thigh bone (femur) and runs over the back of the knee to connect to the front of the shin bone (tibia). This is the tendon responsible for keeping the leg from twisting outward while running. Popliteus tendonitis can therefore be caused by one of the feet rolling inward. Downhill running is also a risk factor for popliteus tendinitis by adding extra stress to the tendon.
Symptoms of popliteus tendonitis, include swelling and inflammation, along with pain that increases with movement, and tenderness, redness, and warmth around the area on the outside of the knee.
Popliteus tendonitis responds well to rest, ice, massage, and orthotics.
Proximal Tibial-Fibular Subluxation—also known as a proximal tibiofibular dislocation, this condition occurs most frequently during activities involving twisting motions, particular when sustaining a fall while the leg is twisted.
The tibial-fibular joint is the barely movable joint connecting the two bones of the lower leg, the tibia and fibula. The proximal portion is the upper joint situated just below the knee, as distinct from the distal portion which is the lower joint situated just above the ankle.
Symptoms of a proximal tibial-fibular subluxation are pain and swelling on the outside of the shin that increases with ankle movement, along with weakness and an inability to bear weight. The head of the fibula may also appear more prominent (like the ankle bone) right below the outside of the knee.
An often misdiagnosed condition, proximal tibial-fibular subluxations are often missed in emergency room evaluations and in many cases are never caught in time for timely treatment. That is why is so important if you experience pain in the knee or lower leg that you have it checked out by a doctor.
Proximal tibial-fibular subluxations respond best to a chiropractic adjustment and physiotherapy.
Patellar Tendonitis (Jumpers Knee)—an inflammation of the tendon connecting the kneecap (or patella) to the shin bone (or tibia).
As the patellar tendon plays an important role in actions like jumping, kicking, pushing the pedals of a bike, and any other motions involving a straightening of the lower leg, these are the very activities that are risk factors for patellar tendinitis. Those engaged in sports involving frequent jumping or running are particularly at risk. Other potential causes of patellar tendonitis include obesity, tightness, misalignment, or imbalance among the leg muscles, and intensity and frequency of heavy activity.
Symptoms of jumper’s knee include pain between the knee cap and the shin bone that may feel particularly sharp during activity (like jumping or running) and subside to a dull ache after activity. At first Jumper’s knee pain may only be noticed at the start or end of a workout or other activity as a tightness around the knee or a squeaking sound with movement. But over time untended the pain can increase to where it makes stair-climbing and sleeping difficult.
Jumper’s knee responds well to ice, rest, and stretching. Early intervention is particularly essential when it comes to patellar tendonitis. It is important that an evaluation and treatment program begin right away, as "working through" an initial bout of patellar tendonitis can lead to a chronic condition. Acupuncture is successful in reducing pain from patellar tendonitis.
Chiropractic for Knee Pain
At your first appointment, your chiropractic physician will discuss your symptoms with you, review a medical history, and conduct an examination.
Once the doctor has diagnosed the cause of your knee pain, he will design a treatment program specific to you that may employ any of the following techniques: chiropractic adjustments, orthotics, activity modification, physiotherapy, joint stabilization, a chiropractic rehabilitation program, and acupuncture for pain.
There’s no need to suffer in pain another moment. Call our office today for evaluation and treatment of your knee pain (773) 878-7330.