Knee Conditions

The knees are complex joints that connect the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). They provide stability, support, and flexibility, allowing us to walk, run, jump, and perform various movements.

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Your Guide to Understanding Knee Conditions

Knee Conditions

What is Knee Conditions?

The knees are vital joints in the human body that connect the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). They play a crucial role in supporting our body weight and facilitating various movements like walking, running, jumping, and bending. The knee joint consists of several components, including bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and synovial fluid.

The bones that form the knee joint include the femur, tibia, and patella (kneecap). The femur is the thigh bone, the longest and strongest bone in the body, while the tibia is the larger bone in the lower leg. The patella is a small, triangular bone that protects the front of the knee joint.

Cartilage is another essential component of the knees. It acts as a shock absorber and provides a smooth surface for the bones to glide over during movement. The knee joint contains two types of cartilage: articular cartilage and meniscus. Articular cartilage covers the ends of the femur, tibia, and back of the patella, while the meniscus is a C-shaped piece of cartilage that sits between the femur and tibia, acting as a cushion and enhancing stability.

Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect bones to each other and provide stability to the knee joint. The knee joint has four main ligaments: the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and lateral collateral ligament (LCL). These ligaments work together to prevent excessive movement or rotation of the knee joint.

Tendons are fibrous cords that connect muscles to bones. In the knee joint, the quadriceps tendon connects the quadriceps muscle to the patella, and the patellar tendon connects the patella to the tibia. These tendons play a crucial role in extending the leg and providing strength to the knee.The knee joint also contains synovial fluid, which acts as a lubricant, reducing friction within the joint during movement. This fluid helps nourish the cartilage and keeps the knee joint healthy.

How can Chiropractic help treat Knee Conditions?

Chiropractic services offer a unique approach to alleviate knee issues by addressing the underlying musculoskeletal imbalances that contribute to pain and dysfunction.

Chiropractors understand that imbalances in the spine and other joints can affect the biomechanics of the knees. By performing adjustments and manipulations, chiropractors can restore proper joint mobility and improve overall function. They may also utilize techniques such as soft tissue therapy, stretches, and exercises to reduce inflammation, increase mobility, and strengthen the surrounding muscles that support the knees. Through this comprehensive approach, chiropractic care can effectively alleviate knee pain, improve range of motion, and promote long-term knee health.

What causes Knee Conditions?

Knee problems can be caused by various factors, including injuries, overuse, and certain medical conditions. Common causes of knee issues include:

  • Injuries: Acute injuries, such as sprains, strains, ligament tears, and fractures, can damage the structures in the knee joint. These injuries are often a result of falls, sports activities, or accidents.
  • Overuse: Repeated stress or strain on the knee joint due to activities like running, jumping, or repetitive motions can lead to overuse injuries. Conditions like tendinitis, bursitis, and runner's knee can develop as a result.
  • Aging: As we age, the wear and tear on the knee joint can contribute to knee problems. Conditions like osteoarthritis, which is the breakdown of cartilage in the knee joint, are more common in older individuals.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions can affect the knees. Rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and lupus are examples of systemic conditions that can cause inflammation and damage in the knee joints.
  • Obesity: Excess weight puts additional strain on the knee joints, increasing the risk of developing knee problems. The added pressure can contribute to conditions like osteoarthritis.

What treatments might help Knee Conditions?

Treatment for improving knees can involve a combination of exercises, therapies, and lifestyle modifications. Here are some ways treatment can help improve knees:

  • Strengthening Exercises: Engaging in specific exercises that target the muscles around the knees can help improve their strength and stability. Examples include leg lifts, hamstring curls, step exercises, and supported leg raises. These exercises can be tailored to individual needs and abilities.
  • Low-Impact Activities: Participating in low-impact exercises, such as swimming, cycling, and yoga, can help improve knee strength and flexibility without putting excessive stress on the joints. These activities can promote overall knee health and function.
  • Physical Therapy: Working with a physical therapist can provide targeted treatment plans, including exercises and manual techniques, to address knee issues. Physical therapy can help improve strength, range of motion, and reduce pain in the knees.
  • Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight or losing excess weight can significantly relieve stress on the knees. By reducing the load on the joint, weight management can help improve knee function and alleviate pain.
  • Assistive Devices: The use of assistive devices such as knee braces, orthotics, or shoe inserts may be recommended to support the knees and provide stability during daily activities or sports.
  • Pain Management Techniques: Treatment for knee improvement may also involve pain management techniques such as applying ice or heat, taking over-the-counter pain medications, or receiving corticosteroid injections under medical supervision.

Signs of Knee Conditions:

Knee problems can manifest in various ways, and the signs can vary depending on the underlying condition. Here are some common signs that may indicate issues with your knees:

  • Pain: Pain is one of the most common signs of knee problems. It can range from mild discomfort to sharp, intense pain. The pain may be localized to the knee joint or radiate to the surrounding areas.
  • Swelling: Swelling around the knee joint is another common sign. It can be accompanied by warmth and redness in the affected area. Swelling may make it difficult to bend or straighten the knee fully.
  • Stiffness: Stiffness in the knee can make it challenging to move the joint smoothly. You may experience difficulty in bending or extending the knee, and it may feel tight or restricted.
  • Instability: If you feel like your knee is giving way or feels unstable, it could be a sign of ligament damage or knee joint instability. This sensation may be more noticeable when walking, running, or participating in physical activities.
  • Clicking or popping sounds: Some people may experience clicking, popping, or grinding sounds when moving their knees. These sounds may be accompanied by pain or a feeling of the knee "catching" during movement.
  • Limited range of motion: Difficulty fully bending or straightening the knee, or a decreased range of motion, can indicate knee problems. This limitation may impact daily activities like walking, climbing stairs, or kneeling.
  • Weakness: Weakness in the knee or difficulty bearing weight on the affected leg can be a sign of muscle imbalances, ligament damage, or other underlying knee conditions.

Symptoms of Knee Conditions:

Here are some common symptoms that people may experience:

  • Pain: Pain in or around the knee joint is a common symptom. It can range from a dull ache to sharp or shooting pain.
  • Swelling: Swelling of the knee, often accompanied by redness or warmth, is a typical symptom. It can be a result of inflammation or fluid accumulation within the joint.
  • Stiffness: Stiffness in the knee joint, making it difficult to fully bend or straighten the leg, can be a symptom. It may feel like the knee is tight or restricted in movement.
  • Difficulty Walking: Knee problems can cause difficulty in walking or bearing weight on the affected leg. This may result in a limp or altered gait pattern.
  • Instability: A feeling of instability or the knee "giving way" can be a symptom of ligamentous or structural damage in the knee joint. This sensation may occur during physical activities or even at rest.
  • Clicking or Popping: Some individuals may experience clicking, popping, or grinding sensations within the knee joint during movement. These sounds may or may not be accompanied by pain.
  • Limited Range of Motion: Decreased range of motion in the knee, such as difficulty fully bending or straightening the leg, can be a symptom of various knee conditions.
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When is the right time to see a Chiropractor for Knee Conditions?

If you are experiencing knee pain or have a knee condition that is affecting your daily activities and quality of life, it may be a good time to consider seeing a healthcare professional such as a chiropractor. Here are some indicators that it might be the right time to seek their expertise:

  • Persistent Pain: If you have been experiencing persistent or recurring knee pain that does not improve with rest or over-the-counter pain medications, it may be beneficial to consult with a healthcare professional. They can help identify the underlying cause of the pain and provide appropriate treatment.
  • Limited Mobility: If you are finding it difficult to move your knee or perform certain activities due to stiffness, swelling, or limited range of motion, it may be an indication to seek professional help. Chiropractors can assess your knee function and develop a personalized plan to improve mobility and restore normal movement.
  • Recent Injury: If you have recently suffered a knee injury, such as a sprain, strain, or ligament tear, it is advisable to see a healthcare professional promptly. They can evaluate the extent of the injury, provide appropriate treatment, and guide you through the recovery process.
  • Recurring Knee Problems: If you have a history of recurring knee problems, it may be beneficial to consult with a healthcare professional to address the root cause and prevent further episodes. They can provide strategies to manage and reduce the frequency of knee issues.
  • Impact on Daily Life: If knee pain or dysfunction is interfering with your ability to perform everyday activities, such as walking, climbing stairs, or participating in sports or hobbies, seeking professional help can help improve your quality of life and enable you to regain functionality.

Meet our Lead Chiropractor

Dr. Brett Herlehy

Dr. Brett Herlehy


Doctor of Chiropractic from New York Chiropractic College

Dr. Brett enjoys working with active individuals looking to reach the next level and also anyone who is trying to incorporate more physical activity into their daily lives.

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Physiotherapist Brittany Pereira working with client at Anchor Health and Performance Clinic Mississauga
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