Knee Treatment at TLM
The knee joint is made up of four bones, thigh bone (femur), shin bone (tibia), a smaller bone that runs alongside the shin bone (fibula) and the kneecap (patella). These bones are connected to various leg muscles to allow movement of the leg.
The four bones which make up the joint are connected by ligaments strapping the inside and outside of the joint (collateral ligaments) as well as crossing within the joint (cruciate ligaments). These ligaments restrict certain movements in order to provide strength and stability.
The end of the tibia bone is lined with two C-shaped cartilage called the meniscus which act as shock absorbers between the thigh and tibia bone. There are several fluid filled sacs, known as the bursae, at various locations of the joint to reduce friction between the bones and surrounding tendons and muscles to ensure smooth movement of the knee.
Since the knee joint is made up of many components, it is unsurprisingly afflicted by many conditions; a breakdown of any one component can cause the entire joint its ability to function properly.
Knee Pain is Not Normal
There is a general perception that knee pain will develop naturally as one ages and it is an unavoidable aspect of old age one has to bear with. This could leads to a resistance to seeking treatment and adopting poor management strategies. For example, many elderly who are suffering from knee pain try to move lesser to avoid the pain not knowing that inactivity can actually worsens the pain. Others rely heavily on painkillers, which quickly lose their effectiveness if the underlying condition is not treated.
While knee conditions generally affects the elderly, some conditions affect young people as well, such as knock knees, bow legs and knee hyperextension. If you have been experiencing constant or recurring knee pain over a prolonged period of time, you should seek professional help as soon as possible. This is especially so if you can observe visible deformities of your knee. Common ailments of the knee include:
TLM offers orthotic treatments for the above listed conditions as well as other musculoskeletal conditions that cause knee pain or knee deformities. If you suspect you have a knee problem, schedule an appointment with our centre to see how we can help you.
Common Knee Conditions & Treatments
Knee Osteoarthritis Treatment
Knee osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis (joint inflammation). It occurs when the cartilage at the ends of the thigh and tibia bone wears away. As the cartilage slowly wears away, the bones are exposed and start rubbing against each other, resulting in a series of bodily reactions — such as the growth of bone spurs and inflammation — causing pain.
Besides feeling excruciating pain with every movement of the joint, patients may also feel stiffness, tenderness and swelling in the knee, as well as grating of the joint when moving. While the condition is determined to be irreversible as the cartilage that has worn off cannot be regenerated, it can be managed so that it does not severely decrease the mobility and quality of life of those who have the condition.
Besides painkillers and knee replacement surgery, wearing orthotics coupled with moderate exercises are effective in relieving pain and improving joint flexibility. Orthotic insoles and footwear corrects the hip-knee-ankle alignment to prevent bones from rubbing against each other and provides support to maintain the corrected alignment. Doing exercises while wearing orthotic insoles and footwear can strengthen the surrounding muscles to correct walking posture, reducing or eliminating pain caused by muscle inflammation around the knee.
X-ray images of the knees of patients with knee osteoarthritis often show the thigh and shin bone very close to each other.
Support provided by orthotics as well as exercise can help manage the condition by strengthening the surrounding muscles to compensate for the damaged cartilage.
Swollen Knee Treatment
A swollen knee occurs when excess fluid builds up around or in the knee joint. Swelling is typically accompanied by stiffness and pain. Swelling can be caused by knee osteoarthritis, trauma, overuse injuries, or underlying diseases and conditions.
If you are not suffering from any underlying medical conditions, the swelling is most likely caused by a misalignment of your knee joint that leads to the build-up of excess fluid at your knee. An orthotic treatment can correct the misalignment to increase and restore blood flow, nutrients and waste material to and from your knee. Thereafter, the swelling will dissipate accordingly.
If you are suffering from an underlying medical condition, an orthotic treatment can help alleviate the swelling by boosting your circulatory and lymphatic system to recover and preserve your mobility.
If the swelling persists for several days or is recurring, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible.
An orthotic treatment will prevent the swelling from coming back by realigning your hip, knee and ankle alignment to boost circulation.
Knock Knees Treatment &
Bow Legs Treatment
Knock knees refer to an abnormal inward bend at the knees. People with knock knees find their ankles wide apart when standing with their knees together.
Bow legs refer to an abnormal outward bend at the knees. Patients with bow legs find their knees wide apart when standing with their feet together.
Both conditions are commonly observed in children below the age of 4 as their legs are still developing. Medical advice should be sought if they do not grow out of the condition as it might imply the presence of underlying conditions.
For adults, both conditions are usually caused by poor walking habits that develop over time in response to trauma, pain, and/or discomfort. For example, the knee might bend inwards or outwards to shift weight off the feet when walking in an uncomfortable pair of shoes. Over time, the body learns to walk with a bend at the knees.
While mild bends with no discomfort or pain are usually left untreated, it is still important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Having bent knees is an incorrect walking or standing posture which places the knees under extra pressure. Overtime, this can leads to further bone deformity, instability, early onset of degeneration of knee joints and pain (knee osteoarthritis). Eventually, other joints like the ankle, hip and back joints will also be affected as your body tries to shift stress away from the knees.
An orthotic treatment can correct the alignment of the hip, knee, and ankle joints over time by "pushing" the knees to the correct position and providing appropriate support for the surrounding muscles and ligaments to grow and strengthen in the corrected position.
In both cases, knees are out of alignment. Muscles and ligaments surrounding the knees have grown in such a way that prevents one from straightening his/her legs.
Corrective forces applied at the feet using orthotics will naturally travel upwards to the knees, treating bow legs/knock knees and correcting the hip-knee-ankle alignment.
The knee joint is a crucial mid-way joint connected to the ankle joint (which connects to the foot) and the hip joint (which connects to the lower back as well as the rest of the body). Therefore, a knee problem will often manifest in several parts of the body and vice versa. For example, patients with knock knees often have ankle pronation and back pain or shoulder soreness. A weakened knees may activate hip muscles to assist in walking, resulting in back pain and shoulder pain over time.
Recognising the interconnectedness of the knees to other parts of the body, TLM treats knee conditions with orthotic insoles and footwear, and prescribes additional braces in severe cases. Orthotic insoles, orthotic footwear and braces are medical devices used to treat these conditions. Corrective forces applied at the feet when wearing orthotic insoles and footwear will naturally travel upwards to the knees, thus treating knee conditions naturally.
If you are suffering from knee pain and is looking for a simple and effective solution to your knee problems, contact the centre to schedule an appointment right away!