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(FAQs) Knee Pain & Knee Injuries

Knee Pain Causes & FAQs About Knee Pain

What can cause knee pain without injury?

There are a wide variety of causes of knee pain that can developed without a trauma or injury event.  In fact, most of the varieties of knee pain that Dr. Melander treats at North Shore Spine and Sport are due to repetitive strain scenarios, like running, whereby there is no acute trauma or injury event.

In these situations the pain experienced at the knee could be due to referred pain from the hip, quadriceps, hamstrings, or even calf musculature.  The pain might also be related to a loss of range of motion inherent to late stage joint degeneration.

Dr. Melander is trained in evaluating all manner of non-traumatic knee pains and he is happy to discuss you case anytime.

What can I do to relieve knee pain?

How can I relieve knee pain naturally?  As a general rule, movement and exercise are extremely powerful tools we can harness to improve how we perceive pain and very likely mitigate the likelihood of injury or pain long-term.  Dr. Melander only utilizes “natural” pain relief modalities as he does not prescribe medication.  That being said, some people do require the use of certain medications to help reduce knee pain.

How do I know if my knee pain is serious?

The severity of any pain, including knee pain, is entirely individualistic.  Some considerations specific to the knee include what is the range of motion at the knee, are you able to walk or bear weight without significant difficulty, is there any swelling, redness, or heat evident at the knee, was there any trauma that preceded the knee pain?

Assuming someone can walk, has decent range of motion, no swelling, redness, or heat, and no trauma linked to the pain, then it is unlikely the knee pain is too serious.  Dr. Melander can help answer these questions quickly for you anytime!

Is walking good for knee pain?

More than likely, yes, walking is good for knee pain.  In any pain scenario, people should be mindful of activities that are clearly aggravating of a pain experience.  If walking is clearly aggravating pain, perhaps a rest period of the shortest time needed to then tolerate walking is warranted.  If walking does not aggravate pain, then yes, get moving!

What does a dull ache in the knee mean?

It is difficult to say what a dull ache in the knee means without an evaluation.  Common painful knee conditions that may be described as a dull ache could include bursitis affecting one of the bursa structures of the knee.  Dr. Melander advises anyone in pain to consult with a trained healthcare provider if they have any concerns.

Will knee pain go away?

Pain is a highly subjective experience and for most situations and for most people it will change overtime and in most cases go away entirely.  Dr. Melander is a huge advocate of movement and exercise as a means of empowering patients to take control of their own pain experiences.

Why has my knee suddenly started hurting?

An evaluation with a trained healthcare provider is warranted if sudden knee pain persists and is concerning to the person experiencing it.

Why does my knee hurt when bent?

It is tough to say why knee pain occurs when a knee is bent without an evaluation.  Common considerations for knee pain when bending the knee include quadriceps tendinosis, patellar tendinitis, or knee joint degeneration.

Knee Pain Treatment & Relief

What are some knee pain treatment options / knee pain relief without surgery?

North Shore Spine and Sport offers tons of treatment options that are non-surgical for knee pain.  These include Active Release Techniques®, Functional Range Release®, Functional Range Conditioning®, and strength and conditioning programming.  The majority of knee pains do not require any drugs or surgery to achieve full resolve.

Dr. Melander is happy to discuss your knee pain any time and guide you on a non-surgical route to recovery.

What are some knee pain treatment / knee pain relief exercises?

Dr. Melander commonly evaluates painful knee conditions with the following thought process:

  1. Does the knee work like a knee, which is to say, does it move the way a knee is supposed to?
  2. If no, we need to treat the knee with the intention of improving range of motion.
  3. If yes, lets make the knee area stronger using a variety of non-weighted exercises like CARs, PAILs, RAILs, and weighted exercises like split squats and single leg deadlifts to improve the load-bearing capacity of the knee throughout its entire range of motion.

Knee pain treatment hot or cold?

Neither ice or heat will make too significant a difference, but as a generally safe rule some people report relief using ice for acute strains, and some report relief using heat for more chronic issues.

    Knee Pain (Related Conditions)

    ACL Injury:

    For recent surgical repairs of ACL injury, Dr. Melander highly recommends seeing a physical therapist as they see many patients for immediate post-surgical needs.  That being said, Dr. Melander has treated countless people following ACL surgical repairs due to lingering pain or range of motion difficulties that did not resolve with physical therapy or self-care.

    Knee Bursitis: Causes, Treatment & FAQs

    There are multiple bursa around the knee making knee bursitis one of the most common painful conditions treated by Dr. Melander.  Most notably are bursa at the patella, patellar tendon, and in the medial (inner thigh area) of the knee known as the pes anserine.

    Knee bursitis causes

    Knee bursitis causes are quite varied, but generally something has happened to increase tension in a muscle/connective tissue grouping that causes a friction or irritation to a bursa.  Treatment intent therefore is to reduce tension in tissue surrounding the bursa. 

    Knee bursitis treatment:

    In most cases, Dr. Melander will opt for some variety of soft tissue mobilization, IE: ART®, to treat knee bursitis given its extremely specific and efficient affect on the tissues near the bursa.  Dr. Melander always follows up any kind of hands-on manual therapy with exercise and self-care instruction to reinforce treatment progress.

    Knee Bursitis (Common Questions)

    How do you treat bursitis of the knee?

    Dr. Melander uses soft tissue mobilization techniques like Active Release Techniques®, Functional Range Release®, Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization to quickly counter the tension that developed in muscle and connective tissue near the involved bursa.

    How long does knee bursitis last?

    Tough to say as more than likely most episodes of knee bursitis are self-limiting and do not require any type of intervention.  For cases that Dr. Melander treats, generally knee bursitis is quite easy to treat and will respond favorably immediately.  If a certain activity clearly aggravates someone’s knee bursitis and they do not modify that activity, then bursitis may linger for a longer period of time.

    Should you wrap a knee with bursitis?

    Probably not.  Dr. Melander does not recommend bracing except in cases of true instability.  If a simple knee wrap is comforting for a patient though, it certainly will not worsen their condition.

    Knee Osteoarthritis: Causes, Treatments & FAQs

    Knee osteoarthritis aka knee arthritis aka knee joint degeneration is one of the most common and misunderstood developments for people as they age.  To begin with, osteoarthritis implies that an inflammatory condition exists within a joint.

    Most situations of arthritic change do not involve any inflammation.  Way too often patients are led to believe that arthritic degeneration equals pain, but this is simply not true.  In situations that a joint has become inflamed and is also arthritic, then we can reasonably attach an osteoarthritis diagnosis.

    Knee Osteoarthritis Exercise:

    Range of motion, pure and simple.  Movement facilitates the health of our joint tissues.  If someone is experiencing knee pain related to knee osteoarthritis, the more their knee can be moved and the stronger they can make their knee, the better their longer prognosis becomes.

    Knee Osteoarthritis Treatment:

    Dr. Melander opts for only non-surgical techniques such as those described earlier in this article.  However, if knee osteoarthritis progresses to late-stage variations that are not responding favorably to movement and exercise interventions, then often surgical intervention is warranted.

    Knee Osteoarthritis Symptoms
    : Usually the symptoms of true knee osteoarthritis include pain and limited range of motion.

    What is the best treatment for osteoarthritis in the knee?

    Just about anything that can be done to help improve range of motion and strength to the knee will be beneficial provided those methods do not aggravate any underlying pain.

    Is walking good for osteoarthritis of the knee?

    Most likely yes, unless walking is clearly aggravating of the underlying pain.  Consult a healthcare professional for additional advice.

    Is knee osteoarthritis curable?

    Not in so many words.  Once joint degeneration occurs, short of surgery there is nothing anyone can do to reverse what has degenerated.  However, there are tons of treatment and exercise methods that can be used to maintain the healthy aspects of one’s knee joint and prevent additional degeneration from occurring.

    Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Exercises

    Patellofemoral pain syndrome:

    Pain near the lower aspect of the quadriceps region and near the patella is often categorized at patellofemoral pain syndrome.  Dr. Melander treats this sort of complaint frequently, most often due to strains that have recurred to tissues acting on the knee.

    Patellofemoral pain syndrome causes:

    The causes of patellofemoral pain syndrome are highly variable and individualistic, but it is commonly experienced by runners and weight-lifters.  It is usually due to strains to tissues near the patella.

    Patellofemoral syndrome treatment:

    Dr. Melander opts for a combination of soft tissue mobilization soft tissue mobilization techniques like Active Release Techniques®, Functional Range Release®, Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization coupled with exercise to treat Patellofemoral pain syndrome. 

    Patellofemoral syndrome exercises:

    An evaluation is needed to properly recommend exercises for any kind of knee pain, but Dr. Melander generally uses single leg exercises that facilitate large knee range of motion and progressive overload.

    our Chiropractic

    Dr. Melander has often described his work as new-school rehab, which is to say, an amalgamation of current best practices regarding pain or injury management, hands-on manual therapy or strength/mobility training, and endless advocacy and support for his patients.

    In Dr. Melander’s opinion, the best providers in the field of musculoskeletal injury are able to draw from multiple disciplines to create the most efficient and impactful care strategy for their patients.  If you are injured or hurting and not sure what to do, please reach out, it will be our greatest pleasure to help you.

    We serve Newburyport and surrounding North Shore communities, including: Newbury, West Newbury, Rowley, Byfield, Georgetown, Amesbury, Salisbury, Ipswich, Seabrook NH, Hampton NH, Rye NH.

    Chiropractic FAQs

    We've compiled a list of common chiropractic questions to help you get all the answers you are looking for. If you have additional questions if our chiropractic and treatment services in North Shore would be a good fit for you, please contact our team. 

    How do I know if I should see a chiropractor?

    Chiropractors are trained in the evaluation and management (IE: treatment) of issues affecting the neuromusculoskeletal system (muscles, joints, connective tissue, nerves).  Many people associate chiropractic care with the spine only, but this is an inaccurate reflection of many chiropractors in the 21st century who are experts in treating spinal issues AND extremity issues (arms and legs).  As a general rule of thumb, if you have a painful condition that does not get better given a few days of activity modification you may want to consult a professional like a chiropractor.  Your chiropractor should be able to evaluate your painful condition, offer you some perspective and guidance relative to the painful condition, and help you care for the painful condition if treatment is warranted.  Like any profession though, each chiropractor has different clinical experience and different post-graduate education that may lend their practice toward a focus on sports injuries or pregnancy/neonatal care or neurologic issues or nutritional issues to name just a few.  If you are considering seeing a chiropractor, make sure that their experience and skill set seems like a proper match for your complaint and your ultimate goals.

    How do I choose a good chiropractor?

    Choosing a good chiropractor does not have to be a complicated process.  To begin with, ask your friends or family if they know someone they trust and can vet for you.  Next, check online as most chiropractors should have fairly informative websites relative to their clinical interests and experience that may help indicate whether they are a good fit for your issue.  If you are still not sure who to see after taking those steps, call your prospective chiropractor’s office as either the staff or the chiropractor will be more than happy to answer any questions and tell you if your issue is something commonly treated in that office.  Many people also like to read online reviews and while some online reviews can be misleading, if the significant majority of a chiropractor’s reviews are super positive then chances are you can trust the expertise of that provider.  Lastly, and arguably the most important step in choosing a good chiropractor, remember that you are in total control of your healthcare decision making.  If you go to an initial or follow-up appointment and you are not absolutely confident in the assessment and plan your chiropractor has rendered, then seek a second opinion.

    What can a chiropractor fix?

    A chiropractor can help you fix a wide variety of painful conditions related to the neuromusculoskeletal system such as headaches, back/neck pain, shoulder/elbow/wrist/hand pains, hip/knee/ankle/foot pains to name just a few.  Injuries of actual orthopedic compromise like fractures are best handled by orthopedists, but chances are if your pain/injury is non-surgical in nature then a chiropractor may be a great option to help you.  The best chiropractors will explain what they can about your pain/injury, offer guidance and likely treatment as efficiently as possible (days to weeks, maybe months in extreme situations), and then remove themselves and let your brain/body do the rest.  A great deal of research these days indicates that in many healthcare interactions providers should try and limit their patient’s dependency on them, opting instead for interventions and language that fosters resiliency and self-efficacy (independence).

    What happens at your first chiropractic appointment?

    Your first chiropractic appointment should include a detailed discussion of your health history and presenting complaint(s), an examination of your complaint(s), a discussion regarding what is indicated by the examination relative to prognosis and treatment plan, and finally some form of treatment/intervention assuming time permits.  Many painful conditions can be evaluated thoroughly and completely in a matter of minutes and certain treatment interventions could yield immediate relief, while other conditions may require more complex evaluations and more lengthy treatment plans.  Above all, you should leave your first chiropractic appointment feeling confident that your chiropractor is the best option to help you with your problem and you should leave feeling confident that you are on the road to recovery.

    How often should you see a chiropractor?

    You should see a chiropractor as often as you want or need.  Perhaps the most common criticism of chiropractors is that chiropractors “need to see you for the rest of your life”, and while there are unfortunately examples of chiropractors who advocate for this kind of dependency, the significant majority of chiropractors today want to help you as quickly as possible with no long-term commitments of any kind.  The best chiropractor will see you the minimally necessary number of times to help you overcome your issue and suggest you follow-up if there are any residual issues or new complaints sometime in the future.  Many patients however recognize how good they feel after chiropractic care and therefore wish to see their chiropractor with some kind of recurring frequency (IE: once/month, twice/year, or more).  These examples though should be dictated by the patient based on their assessment of their body’s needs and absolutely not dictated by the chiropractor based on some kind of pseudoscientific reasoning.

    Does insurance pay for chiropractor?

    In many cases, yes, insurance will help pay for chiropractic care assuming the chiropractor is participating with your health insurer.  If your chiropractor is not participating with health insurance, then it is still possible you have an out-of-network benefit with your insurer and can seek reimbursement that way.

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