In my last blog I mentioned a few muscles which can contribute to knee pain. But how are they treated, and how do work out what the pain is in your knee?
The Road Map – Assessment
“I had six honest serving men. They taught me all I knew. Their names were: Where, What, When, Why, How and Who.” (Rudyard Kipling on Learning)
As a myotherapist it is not only vital to look at the knee itself, but also assess above and below the knee. This means the hip and ankle, and even foot and lower back to ensure that these have optimal function and symmetry between the left and right sides. After all, if you have a tight hip or a collapsed foot arch this is going to affect you knee function. Mapping the pain, namely when it hurts and the type of pain when it hurts, are keys to understanding many differences between overuse and acute, traumatic knee injury.
Then we assess the knee. Range of Motion testing and special tests to assess ligament or meniscal structures of the knee are important to rule out serious injury: especially when the knee is acute and traumatic. Sounds complex, but it usually involves pushing and pulling the knee in specific movements to invoke a response.
“We use the three Rs concept in rehabilitation and exercise to create a checklist. Here’s what I mean by that: Imagine that each R has a box next to it—you’ll check off that box before moving to the next R.” (Gray Cook)
I really subscribe to Gray Cook’s 3 R’s tenet. These are “Reset, Reinforce, Reload”.
The reset phase is the treatment. Massage, Needling, Cupping, Stretching and any other technique are employed with the intention of improving the pain and/or range of motion in the area of the knee, hip, ankle, etc.
The reinforce phase is to provide some sort of support and longevity to the “reset” phase. Taping, stretching, foam rolling, exercise, etc are the keys to this. After all, we don’t want to slip back to where we were before!
The Reload Phase is where the functional movement of the whole body and not just the knee is addressed. This means stretching, strengthening, and correcting how the area moves to support the both the knee and the other structures around the knee. In other words, we are creating an environment where we can both rehabilitate the injury reduce the re-injury rate.
Knee pain can be simple. however often there are situations behind the scene in other areas of the body that manifest pain as a knee problem.
If you have a problem with your knee and would like a fresh perspective call Ash at Body and Spine Solutions on (02) 5310 6259 or you can book online at www.bodyandspinesolutions.com.au/online-booking and we can help you.
Yours in Health