The ‘HELP! My Knee Is Crunching’ Guide:
Is that random ‘click’ or ‘crunch’ of your knee now starting to really worry you?
Have you been slowed down in your work-outs by an ache which now lingers longer than ever?
If so, it’s time to take a look at today’s DIY approach to general diagnosis of your issue, as well as where to go for help:
Stage one – generally the beginning of our knee issues starts with ‘patello-femoral syndrome’.
This is an issue with the tracking of the knee-cap (patella) where, instead of gliding up and down the femural groove, it now is pulled laterally or slightly to the outside of the knee.
An ache is generally felt after a work-out, after sitting for prolonged periods (the patella is pushed further against the bone when the knee is flexed), or going up and down stairs. Your knee may click or crunch randomly, though be of little concern to you at this stage.
If not treated however, the constant grinding on the under surface of the patella most often leads to…
Stage two – ‘chondro-malacia-patella’ (CMP).
Which is a BIG word to say that the patella has now developed arthritic changes on its underside – the cartilage is wearing down leaving the articulating surface exposed and inflamed.
You may notice at this stage that the knee develops crepitus – small crunching sounds when you bend it. Instead of a general discomfort after exercise, the ache is longer lasting and may even keep you up at night. Your knee may appear swollen at times and will prevent you doing all the sports you love. Even driving the car may become difficult as every flexion activity now irritates the inflamed patella surface…
*What this is not! I am NOT referring to mensicus or cartilage tears in this article – these presenting with popping and locking. I am also not referring to a general arthritic knee, though the signs and symptoms may imitate CMP.*
So – WHAT TO DO?
To be honest, the best time to prevent worsening is to seek help when your knee is at stage one. From foot alignment to pelvis stability, there is so much to do!
Your knee is really the ‘meat in the sandwich’ and bears so much force through a simple hinge joint. Patella tracking issues are often the first sign that all is not well – do not ignore!
However, the reality is that we so often present for treatment only when we have reached stage two and the patella is now actively degenerating. Even very young people have been recently returning with MRI reports showing advanced CMP – the constant ache preventing their sporting aspirations.
But with all things there is always hope! At our clinic we get fantastic results with acupuncture (settles the inflammatory process in all the tissues) alongside specific diagnosis of the causes involved in the initial imbalance. And of course we have the fantastic availability of the latest in technology – PRP injections administered by Dr Mark in our clinic. These natural injections utilise your own blood plasma and start the regeneration process of the patella – my knees testimony to PRP’s success.
But while you are in the process of coming in to get it assessed, realise that all actions when your knee is bent and loaded will only worsen the issue. ‘Squats’ will not strengthen it, but again worsen things due to their dominant recruitment of the lateral quads and the pull these generate on the patella.
I encourage you to ask any further questions with regards to today’s blog as it is a big field to cover.
However, if I leave you with nothing else, please know that you should not ignore the issue, and that diagnosis is a massive part in any patella tracking problems – there is just no way around it.
Give us a call now om 0400284408, or check out our online booking facility! http://www.physioandacupuncture.com.au
Yours in Solving the Unsolvable…