The knee is a common source of pain that can severely limit walking and activity. Injuries to the knee can either be due to a sudden trauma or force (such as a fall or tackle in sport) or can be as a result of repetitive stress to the joint. The knee is a common joint affected by osteoarthritis from general wear and tear or this can be accelerated if the knee is poorly aligned.
Other causes of chronic knee pain include
- Ligament damage
- Increased body weight
- Knee position (bow legged or knock-kneed)
- Activity increase or change
- Muscle weakness or imbalance
- All of the above can cause a wide range of ailments to the all aspects of the knee including
- Pain at the front of knee joint from bursitis (an inflamed fluid filled sac), arthritis, patella softening, tendinitis (often worse with walking up or downhill or stairs), Osgood-Schlatter (disorder affecting the growth plate)
- Pain at the back of the knee from arthritis, hamstring or calf muscle issues, Baker's cyst (fluid filled area)
- Pain at sides of knee from ligament damage, menisci damage, cartilage damage, arthritis, iliotibial band, tendinitis
Treatment of knee problems often involve a variety of modalities aimed at reducing the pain as well as addressing the cause of the pain. This can include rest, ice, heat, anti-inflammatories or sometimes a cortisone injection. In many cases stretches and strengthening will also be prescribed by the podiatrist as well as footwear advice or orthotics.