Knee pain can be scary and can greatly limit your activity. Many people assume that joint pain problems require surgical intervention, but this often isn’t the case. Problems like runner’s knee and patella chondromalacia can be easily healed with orthopedic massage and manual therapy.
It’s a good idea to consult with an orthopedic medical doctor for evaluation and diagnostic tests to determine if your knee pain is caused by problems within the joint capsule of the knee. Problems within the capsule will require physical therapy and/or surgery. What’s frequently overlooked is that problems within the capsule are often caused by mechanical problems that originate with soft tissue dysfunction outside the joint capsule.
Even if you have problems within the capsule, myofascial problems need to be treated with manual therapy or orthopedic massage. Don’t be fooled, myofascial problems of the pelvis, upper and lower legs often cause serious knee pain and joint dysfunction.
Sometimes successful surgical reconstruction of a knee joint does not completely eliminate knee pain. This indicates that your knee problem includes a soft-tissue component. After knee repair, our manual therapy finishes the job by balancing the total mechanical forces acting upon your three knee joint compartments.
Of course, the best plan is to prevent knee surgery. Your manual therapist or orthopedic massage therapist may need to work segments of your pelvis, hip, upper leg, lower leg, ankle, and foot to ensure your knee is able to work correctly without undue mechanical stress.
Many people have weak, underdeveloped hip adductors along with hypertonic, overdeveloped hip abductors. This combination can lead to knee problems for those who exercise or participate in sports. Others have compacted muscle bundles within the thigh or calf muscles. And some people have connective tissue adhesions that interfere with independent muscle action. All these problems can create knee pain and can be readily healed with orthopedic massage.
If you have a weight-bearing or gait problem causing knee pain, we can help to correct this with orthopedic massage and manual therapy. These problems include tibial torsion, supination of the foot, and a pelvis that is not level. If the pelvis is not level or is in rotation, the knees will be affected.
You and your surgeon need to keep in mind that correctly diagnosing the causes of knee pain can be tricky if soft-tissue components aren’t evaluated. Again, joint dysfunction can be caused by problems inside the joint capsule or by soft-tissue problems outside the joint. Because knee pain is often related to soft-tissue dysfunction, medical massage therapy can be extremely helpful.