The knee is one of the most important joints in the body. It takes a large amount of the body’s weight and is responsible for our ability to function and move about freely. The knee is made up of the femur, tibia, and patella that together form a hinge joint. This is supported by a complex group of muscles, including the quads, hamstrings, adductor muscles, calf, and smaller muscles surrounding the knee itself. Underneath this lie the ligaments that are responsible for providing additional stability.
Damage at any point in this system can cause pain in the knee and can limit its ability to function as it should. Beyond diseases such as gout or infections, knee pain is generally either caused by a problem with the skeletal system or with the muscular system. Chiropractic care and Active Release Technique can help with both of these issues.
Chiropractic care and knee pain
Pain in the knee can be caused by a number of musculoskeletal issues that can be helped by chiropractic manipulation of the spine or joints. For example, the knee joint itself can be misaligned, misalignment of the spine can cause gait and posture issues that can increase stress to the knee.
As part of the treatment plan for knee pain, most chiropractic clinicians will introduce other forms of care. For example, trigger point therapy, posture correction, measures to reduce inflammation (e.g. icy heat), as well as rehabilitation and exercise.
A promising form of treatment that can be focused directly on the many muscles, tendons and ligaments that surround the knee is Active Release Technique (ART).
Active Release Technique and knee pain
Active Release Technique (ART) rests on the principle that major trauma, as well as micro trauma, can cause tears and damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia (connective tissue). This damage can lead to bundles of scar tissue known as adhesions. Adhesions can cause tightness, stiffness, and pain and they can also restrict the range of motion.
In ART, the goal is to break up this scar tissue through a form of active treatment for the injured so. The clinician will provide manual tension on the injury while the patient is directed to move the muscle or joint from a shortened position to a lengthened one. This process breaks up the adhesions, freeing the soft tissue, reducing pain, and restoring the range of motion.
ART can help with knee pain issues such as strains and sprains, iliotibial band syndrome, and patella tendonitis. It can also help to release trapped nerves that could be at the root of knee pain if they are caught up in adhesions.
Knee pain is often the result of musculoskeletal or nerve problems. Chiropractic care and Active Release Technique can help to treat knee pain that is the result of a variety of problems that stem both from the muscles and joints of the knee itself, as well as knee pain that is a result of problems in other parts of the body’s systems.