The knee is the largest joint in your body, did you know that? Well, now you know. It takes a lot of stress during sports, and during one’s lifetime in general. It can take even more stress if you have a health condition that affects ligaments, connective tissues, or your joints. Or perhaps you’re just prone to falling down—any condition that affects your body, most likely has an affect on your knees, too.
The knee is made up of two ligaments in the center, called the anterior cruciate ligament, and the posterior cruciate ligament. These bands are considered the “strongest” ligament in the knee. After those, you have the two cartilage rings, the medial and lateral menisci, and then you have the ligaments on the side—the medial collateral ligament and the lateral collateral ligament.
That sounds like a lot, but even after this you have three separate compartments to your knee—the medial, lateral and patellofemoral (knee cap), each have their own cartilage. The knee twists, pivots, rotates, goes forwards, backwards, even sideways to an extent. These areas, because they’re so complex, can wear down or become injured throughout your lifetime. The knee is also the second-to-lowest joint on the body, and it seems more stressed than the higher joints because it bears weight during events such as walking, running, jumping. Even repetitive wear can take its toll on the knees in various parts.
Working with a chiropractor can not only help your pain but help you learn about your body, and how to avoid injuries for your specific situation. Some people are more injury prone, others are not, but regardless of that, you can learn to treat your body how it needs to be with a tailored health plan. This is especially true if you work with an experienced chiropractor or series of chiropractors, who have your best interests at hand, such as the ones at Northeast Spine & Wellness.
The Structure of the Knee
The knee has four ligaments and they work in pairs. The anterior cruciate and posterior cruciate ligaments control the forward and backward motion of the knee. The lateral collateral and medial collateral ligaments provide sideways stability for the knee. Injuries occur when there is some type of twisting to the knee or if there is a significant blow to the area.
One of the most common places where knee injuries occur is to the ligaments:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee injury: If the knee is twisted, gets bent the wrong way, or is pushed too far, the ACL can become overstretched, rupture, or tear. There are usually immediate symptoms when this happens. The knee can give away, there may be a popping sound, and the patient suffers pain and swelling.
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear: When there is any kind of force to the outside of the knee or sudden twisting, this can cause the MCL to tear. Symptoms of an MCL tear include swelling, pain of the inner knee, difficulty bending the knee, and instability. A knee chiropractor may recommend physical therapy, the PRICE method, and a knee brace for treating the injury.
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury: A blow to the top of the shin bone that causes the knee to bend backward can lead to injury or a tear of the PCL. There may be mild pain and swelling, although many patients do not realize they have suffered an injury. Untreated, the tear can call instability when the patient bends their knee. Treatment usually includes physical therapy and a knee brace. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.
Is Physical Therapy for a Knee Injury Right for You?
The knee is the largest joint in the body, responsible for supporting your upper body’s weight and maintaining a great deal of mobility. Like all parts of the body, the knee is subject to injuries both minor and major. Depending on your situation, physical therapy in Edison, NJ might be a viable option for recovery and rehabilitation.
The Types of Knee Injuries
The knee joint is composed of various, intersecting muscles and ligaments, all of which could be injured in different ways. Common strains can occur from overuse, overextensions, or twists that could result in inflammation or tears. Of course, the knee could also be injured due to some external trauma, such as a fall or a blow to the joint. The more severe tears will almost always require surgery to repair, but many knee injuries can be healed through physical therapy in Edison, NJ. In fact, many doctors even recommend physical therapy after surgery for a more comprehensive healing process.