Knee pain is an extremely common complaint. In most cases, particularly for people over 50, osteoarthritis is to blame. However, people of every age can be affected due to many other possible causes including patellofemoral pain, muscle imbalances, structural pathology, or deformity and iliotibial band friction syndrome. Whatever the source of chronic knee pain, it usually involves a certain level of structural damage and limited function. AposTherapy addresses each case with two key treatment goals: To reduce pain and improve long-term function, offering a viable and effective therapy path for long-term healthy joints.
Given the complexity of the knee joint, the extent of possible causes is not surprising. Invariably there are multiple factors at play, placing extra strain on the knee joint and surrounding soft tissues, including wear and tear as part of aging, overuse, excessive flexibility, bad knee-alignment, weak muscles, or injury. AposTherapy addresses the underlying causes of chronic pain in the knee. Treatment redistributes the forces acting on the painful knee, correcting the body’s alignment and any muscular dysfunction for lasting symptom relief.
Arthritis takes many forms, with osteoarthritis being the most common cause of chronic knee pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is the main form of knee inflammatory arthritis. It affects women more than men and causes pain and stiffness. Due to the auto-immune mechanism of the disease (the body’s immune system attacking the tissues), treatment is mainly through medications. Psoriatic arthritis similar to rheumatoid arthritis is often less tender, but there may be substantial joint deformity in the absence of significant pain. Both psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can affect multiple joints at once. Gout is another form of arthritis that is caused by the build-up of unique crystals within the joint that eventually lead to inflammation, pain and deformation.
The bursae are fluid filled pouches around the knee that protect it from various forces acting around the joint. The bursa can become inflamed, leading to local tenderness, pain, loss of movement and swelling. The most common bursa inflammation are the pes anserine (below the knee on the inner side), prepatellar (usually in front of the knee) and popliteal (behind the knee). Bursitis can develop as a result of an existing pathology in the knee. For example, the pes anserine bursa can get inflamed because of excessive pressure from the tendons of nearby muscles, which become over-strained as the body tries to protect the injured knee. Reacting to the pain of bursitis, the body intensifies muscular activity, increasing the pressure on the bursa and thereby creating a vicious cycle.
Structural pathologies can occur in the tendons, ligaments, menisci and bones and include chronic tendinitis (tendinosis), degeneration, tenosynovitis and tears. Tendinosis is the most common tendon pathology and can be due to a variety of causes ranging from chronic repetitive stressors, to inflammatory diseases. Ligament and meniscal pathologies are also common causes of painful knees. Typical causes of chronic knee connected with bone pathologies stem from repetitive injuries. A single impact in this case is too minute to cause the bone to fracture, the stress fracture occurs when a bone breaks after repetitive compressive impacts (a typical case might be seen in a runner). These fractures, although they are microscopic in size, take a while to heal, especially if the patient continues to stay active.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome:
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is the most common cause of chronic anterior knee pain in young adults. These patients often complain of instability due to muscle weakness or sudden pain.
Iliotibial band syndrome:
IIiotibial band syndrome is another cause of anteriorknee pain that is almost exclusively seen in runners. The iliotibial band is the fibrous tract that runs along the outer leg from the hip to the knee. It is attached to the thigh bone (femur) on the outside of the knee. Commonly patients suffering from illiotibial band syndrome complain of an aching or burning pain.
Another type of pathology which causes painful knees that is often seen in younger patients is structural deformity. The most common types include osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), Osgood-Schlatter disease, Plica syndrome and Discoid menisci. OCD is caused by a gradual separation of a segment of cartilage from the underlying bone. Typically athletes will complain of a gradual onset of pain, swelling and locking of the knee, which increases when bending the knee. Osgood-Schlatter disease is caused by repetitive stress at the insertion of the patellar tendon into the lower leg. In children with immature growth plates this causes minor fractures, severe pain and inflammation. Plica syndrome is caused by excessive thickening of the lining of the knee joint. Patients complain of pain, popping and/or locking of the joint. The syndrome can extend for a long period of time, enough to lead to muscle weakness around the joint.
The primary goals in the treatment of chronic knee pain are the prevention of pain and the improvement of function. Here, AposTherapy provides an ideal and unique treatment approach. AposTherapy relieves symptoms by reducing the load on damaged and painful knee and introduces controlled micro-instability for muscle re-education. Combining correct body alignment with micro-instability represents a breakthrough in the treatment of knee & anterior knee pain.
Research has shown that AposTherapy has the ability to relieve pain and improve the long-term function of patients with chronic knee pain. These improvements fall directly within the goals of rehabilitation programs for chronic anterior knee pain. AposTherapy blends into everyday life, for around an hour a day, making treatment easy to comply with for the best results in a very short period of time.