Are you suffering from Knee Pain?
The knee joint is the largest joint in the body and is made up of 3 bones and the knee cap. The joint plays a fundamental role in mobility, carrying a person’s weight and absorbs the forces caused from walking, running and jumping. As such, it is not surprising that knee injuries are common.
The Bone & Joint Journal, reports the pain in the front of the knee occurs in up to 40% of cases leading to such being investigated by a clinician. The Journal reports that the main risk factor for knee pain is age, as over time gradual wear and tear can lead to osteoarthritis, pain, stiffness and inflammation.
A significant amount of body weight goes through the knee, for instance walking up and down stairs or a gutter. Therefore, if there is an injury, such can lead to pain. The Journal of Biomechanics found that 346% of your body weight goes through your knee when going down stairs. Similarly, 316% of body weight when going upstairs and 261% of body weight when walking.
One of the most important modifiable risk factors for the development and progression of knee pain and osteoarthritis is obesity. In Arthritis & Rheumatism “weight loss reduces the risk of symptomatic knee arthritis”. The ratio of 1:4 is commonly used, whereby a 1kg weight loss equals a 4kg reduction in the load going through the knee joint.
One of the strategies for knee osteoarthritis is exercise. The British Medical Journal supports this by concluding “exercise is the most effective management strategy for knee osteoarthritis”. The Journal goes on to find that exercise promotes the circulation of synovial fluid to ‘lubricate’ the joint. Further, exercise can strengthen the muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding the knee joint. Such increases the heart rate, which increases the blood circulation carrying oxygen and healing nutrients to the structures of the knee.
There are many different exercises that can be given for knee joint pain, some include walking regularly, the use of an exercise bike, exercises carried out in a pool, strengthening exercises, squats and several others.
Clinical experience suggests that a ‘recipe approach’ does not work, in other words, any type of exercise is not suitable for knee pain. Therefore, a thorough clinical assessment needs to be carried out so the most appropriate exercises can be implemented.