What causes hip and knee pain?
The hip and knee form a key link transitioning body weight from one leg to another. They also provide a stable support for the upper body. Hip and knee complaints are often related to foot and ankle dysfunctions because they all play a crucial role in moving the lower limbs. Likewise, dysfunctions in the low back or sacroiliac joints may refer pain to the hip and/or knee.
Common injuries to the hips and knees, which often occur while playing sports, include dislocations, fractures, and tears of the meniscus and ligaments (anterior cruciate and collateral ligament): all these may need surgical repair.
Chiropractors commonly treat the following hip and knee conditions:
- Hip: bursitis, groin strain, adductor strain, hamstring strain, osteoarthritis, meralgia paresthetica
- Knee: patellofemoral arthralgia, illiotibial band syndrome, patellar tendonitis, bursitis
What is the chiropractic treatment approach for hip and knee pain?
- Reduce pain - The goal of treatment initially would be to reduce the pain, or to “break the pain cycle”. As the pain level is reduced, the muscles will relax, reversing the pain cycle. Certain modalities, such as interferential current therapy, ultrasound therapy and soft tissue massage may be employed to provide pain relief and reduce inflammation.
- Restore normal joint mechanics - Depending on the examination findings, your chiropractor will adjust (manipulate) the joints that are misaligned (subluxated). Shockwave therapy can further enhance soft tissue healing. If indicated, orthotic insoles will also be prescribed to improve gait (walking posture).
- Improve flexibility and strength – To prevent future injuries, it is important to improve the flexibility of the joints and improve muscle strength. Your doctor will advise you on appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises according to your physical needs and fitness level.
- Lifestyle adjustments – Dr. Ng will work with you to identify lifestyle adjustments that will help you maximize the quality of your health.
What are the recommended treatments for hip and knee pain?*
- Spinal manipulation - for restoration of joint movements
- Interferential current therapy - for relaxing muscles and enhance circulation
- Ultrasound therapy - for reducing inflammation
- Dry needling - for pain relief and relax muscles
- Shockwave therapy - to speed up tissue healing
- Exercise therapy
Author: Dr Claudia Ng, BSc, DC
* A proper diagnosis has to be obtained for all of the above conditions before an appropriate combination of treatments will be provided. This is just a list of possible treatments for the individual condition but not all of them may be necessary, nor is it limited to those listed only.