Anyone who suffers from knee pain will definitely tell you it’s no sunshine and rainbows. Simple activities of daily living such as walking, going up and down stairs, getting in and out of a car, and kneeling, can all become increasingly difficult and painful, not to mention the frustration you can feel when your symptoms prevents you from engaging in your hobbies or participating in competitive sports.
So, to help you avoid or deal with symptoms of knee pain, here are 5 things to know:
- Anyone can experience knee pain sometime in their life.
Anterior knee pain (pain in the front of your knee) is the most common presenting musculoskeletal symptom that causes people to pay a visit to their Physio, contributing to 20-40% of consultations. 1 Knee pain can occur in men, women and children manifesting in various ways from a simple ache to even symptoms of grinding, clicking and feelings of instability. The main risk factor for knee pain is age; over time, gradual wear and tear can lead to osteoarthritis and cause pain, stiffness and inflammation of the knee.
- The knee is the largest joint in the body.
The knee is not only the largest joint in the body but one of the most complicated ones too. The knee joint can be divided into two parts; the tibiofemoral joint and patellofemoral joint which consists of the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone), patella (kneecap) and fibula. The knees play a fundamental role in our mobility as they not only carry the weight of our body but also absorbs the shock that is caused by walking, running and jumping.
- 346% of your body weight goes through your knee when going downstairs.
Climbing steps is part of everyday life but something as basic as stepping up or down from a gutter can be quite challenging at times. Knee pain is often due to abnormal forces passing through the under surface of your kneecap known as the patellofemoral joint. When comparing normal walking, walking upstairs and walking downstairs, the latter is shown to place the greatest load through your knee. 2,3
- Walking – 261% of body weight
- Upstairs – 316% of body weight
- Downstairs – 346% of body weight
- Exercise is the most effective management strategy for knee osteoarthritis.
Physical activity is the recommended treatment option for individuals with knee OA as it reduces pain and stiffness, improves range of motion, and increases quality of life.
- Promotes circulation of synovial fluid around the joint which acts like WD40 to lubricate the joint.
- Increases your heart rate which increase blood circulation exposing the synovial membrane around the joint to nourishing oxygen and nutrients.
- Strengthens the muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding the joints.
- 1kg of weight loss equals a 4kg reduction in load through the knee joint.
The most important modifiable risk factor for the development and progression of knee osteoarthritis is obesity. Weight loss reduces the risk of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis and is recommended by medical guidelines worldwide. The 1:4 ration of weight loss to load reduction in the knee is that for every 1kg of weight loss, there is a 4kg reduction in load through the knee joint. 4
Knee pain can be a very debilitating condition impacting your mobility and confidence with activities of daily living. So, if you experience any sort of knee pain whether it’s from arthritis, sporting injuries or just a nagging ache that comes and goes, don’t let it linger and get on top of it today! For more information, book in with your Physiotherapist for a precise diagnosis and a management plan to return to all the things you love to do.
If you would like Precision Physio to help you with your knee pain, please give us a call on 02 8607 4000 or request a call using this link: https://www.precisionphysio.com.au/request-a-call/
- Brukner, P., Khan, K., Clarsen, B., Cook, J., Cools, A., & Crossley, K. et al. (2017). Brukner & Khan’s
clinical sports medicine (5th ed.). North Ryde, N.S.W.: McGraw-Hill Education (Australia).
- Andriacchi, T., Andersson, G., Fermier, R., Stern, D., & Galante, J. (1980). A study of lower-limb
mechanics during stair-climbing. The Journal Of Bone & Joint Surgery, 62(5), 749-757.
- Kutzner, I., Heinlein, B., Graichen, F., Bender, A., Rohlmann, A., & Halder, A. et al. (2010). Loading of
the knee joint during activities of daily living measured in vivo in five subjects. Journal Of Biomechanics, 43(11), 2164-2173.
- Messier, S., Gutekunst, D., Davis, C., & DeVita, P. (2005). Weight loss reduces knee-joint loads in
overweight and obese older adults with knee osteoarthritis. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 52(7),