Knee Pain Treatment in Annapolis, MD
Knee pain is very common, affecting around 25% of all Americans. Over the past 20 years the prevalence of knee pain has continuously increased, rising over 65% and leading to almost 4 million primary care visits annually. Living with this pain can significantly affect your level of function and mobility while taking a toll on your emotional well-being as well.
Let our team of knee pain specialists in Annapolis, MD help you get back to living a pain free life. They will determine the source of your pain and develop a customized treatment plan that meets your specific needs, so you can not only get out of pain but you can also STAY out of pain!
Symptoms of Knee Pain
Pain in the knee joint, as well as above, below, and to either side
Instability (possibly feeling like the knee will give out)
Popping or crunching noises
Loss of range of motion in the joint
What Can Cause Knee Pain?
Injury to the knee can be in the form of an acute or repetitive trauma.
Acute Trauma is a single incident that pushes the knee farther than its normal range of motion or causes it to move in a direction it normally does not move, thus damaging the ligaments, tendons, and muscles around the knee and/or the bones that make up the knee joint. The knee is a hinge joint and therefore can only flex and extend (bend and straighten) anything outside this movement will result in a traumatic injury.
Repetitive trauma can result from a variety of things including work related stress i.e. standing for long periods of time, bending/squatting down, walking/running on very hard surfaces etc. or from compensation from other joints. An injury or issue in the low back, pelvis, hip, ankle or foot can lead to compensation in the knee(s) which over time will cause abnormal wearing in the joint and its surrounding soft tissues.
Arthritis, by definition, is swelling of a joint. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and occurs when the protective cartilage at the joint surfaces (ends of your bones) begin to wear down. It takes years of abnormal wearing for osteoarthritis to occur however, an injury can trigger the breakdown process to begin as well as speed it up if abnormal wearing is already occurring. Some patients have no idea they have osteoarthritis in a joint and it is only found because testing (usually imaging like X-ray, MRI, CT) for a different complaint has been done. More commonly a patient will experience one or more of the following symptoms in the affected joint; pain, stiffness, swelling, instability (sometimes described as the joint “giving out” or weakness), grinding/popping/clicking, and decreased range of motion.
Patellar bursitis occurs when one of the bursa in the knee becomes irritated, causing it to over produce fluid then swell, putting pressure on the surrounding parts of the knee. There are a total of four bursa in each knee located between bone and soft tissue to reduce friction during movement. Bursitis aka swelling of the bursa, can be caused by a variety of things including: trauma, repetitive stress/pressure on the knee like kneeling, overuse, bacterial infection, and complications of arthritis of the knee. Often the knee will look swollen and sometimes red, feel tender and warm to the touch, and pain will be increased by activity and relieved by rest.
Runner's knee is a broad term used to describe pain in the front of the knee, another name for it is Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). When the knee moves the kneecap (patella) should glide smoothly in a specific path over the end of the thigh (femur) bone. PFPS affects more than just runners, it can be caused by one or several things including; trauma to the kneecap, overuse, overloading, anatomical and/or biomechanical irregularities, and muscular imbalance. Typically pain is located in the front of the knee however pain can also be felt behind the knee, it will increase with activities that stress the knee like running, going up or down stairs, sitting with knees bent, squatting, and kneeling.
Chondromalacia patella is the softening and eventual breakdown of the cartilage underneath the kneecap (patella). Sometimes it will be referred to as Runners knee aka Patellofemoral pain syndrome (see above) due to the fact that it also can cause pain at the kneecap and can develop from an injury, overload, and anatomical and/or biomechanical irregularities. Two primary differences are that Chondromalacia patella that is not degenerative most commonly affects adolescents and young females and the pain is often so severe the individual will be quite limited on what activities they can perform. Other than pain there can also be swelling, instability, and crepitus (crunchy/grating/grinding sound or feeling).
IT band syndrome or Iliotibial Band Syndrome is described as an overuse injury with pain on the outside (lateral) of the thigh or knee. The IT band begins at the top of the pelvis, above the hip and extends along the outside of the thigh down to just below the knee joint. Repetitive stress like running, cycling, and squatting, poor biomechanics of the low back, hip, knee, foot and/or ankle as well as poor exercise regimes (i.e. over training, bad form, improper warm up and cool down, lack of stretching) all can lead to IT band syndrome.
FAQs About Knee Pain
Movement is the key to keeping any joint healthy! Working on both strength and flexibility are important. Maintaining a healthy weight and good posture (think back, hip, knee, foot, ankle placement) will also help you keep your knees healthy.
The only way to determine if you have arthritis is to have X-rays taken. Just because you have knee pain does not necessarily mean you have arthritis however, it is the standard of care to take X-rays if your knee pain persists for more than 6 weeks.
Often this is a sign of instability. There are a variety of reasons you may be experiencing instability in your knee including strain/sprain, soft tissue tear, muscle imbalance, a nerve condition etc. In the case of osteoarthritis, as the space between the knee joint becomes smaller from the breakdown of cartilage and loss of fluid, the ligaments that are some of the main stabilizers of the knee joint do not actually shorten. This allows the joint to move more than it should.
It is possible for knee pain to go away on its own. If you have had an injury OR if your pain is persisting for more than a day or two from an unknown cause or something that typically shouldn’t cause knee pain (i.e. squatting down to put something away, going down the stairs etc) OR the pain keeps reoccurring, we recommend you get it checked out. The next best thing to prevention is being treated as early as possible. The sooner an issue is identified and properly treated, the quicker the recovery and the better the outcome!
Treatments for Knee Pain
Here at Annapolis Pain Management we offer a wide variety of treatments for our patients suffering from knee pain. Our recommendations for care are always based on getting patients out of pain quickly as well as fixing the cause of the problem so they can stay out of pain for as long as possible. Some treatment options for knee pain include:
Including manual therapy, stretching, strengthening etc.
... and more!
What Our Clients Say
“Very friendly and attentive staff would highly recommend to anyone having arthritic knee pain”
“I have found my experience at Annapolis pain management to be top shelf from the moment you walk in everyone is totally professional and friendly. I have found my experience with PT and the medical staff to be very helpful with my knee and hip problems I would suggest them and have suggested them to my friends.”
“Pain management is really making a difference in my knees and I will definitely refer you to any one in need and I give you guys 5tars plus and thank you for everything”
“The team at APM had been so instrumental in my road to recovery following a total knee replacement. From the friendly professionals at the front desk to the medical team, physical therapists and chiropractors, I feel like everyone is invested in my recovery. I recommend APM to anyone preparing for major knee surgery!!”
“Staff is very attentive; accommodating, and prompt. Great alternative to meds for knee pain. Thanks very much for all of your help. Highly recommend!!”