Knee Pain

Signs and Symptoms

Knee pain is a very common complaint. Symptoms can have a sudden onset due to injury or may come about gradually worsening over time. Knee problems can cause an ache or a sharp pain, clicking, stiffness, locking or giving way. These symptoms are often experienced during walking, running, stair climbing or turning in bed.

Structures that can be affected at the knee joint include the ligaments, surrounding muscles, patellofemoral joint, menisci (cartilage), nerves, or the knee joint itself. Common ligament injuries of the knee include tears/ruptures of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL), Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) and less commonly, the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL). Ligament injuries most often occur in sports that involve a lot of cutting, pivoting and turning such as soccer, volleyball and basketball. The injury may also occur to the cartilage causing microdamage or tears. Some other common causes of knee pain include degenerative disorders such as osteoarthritis or cartilage degeneration.

Our Treatment & Expertise

Assessment includes a number of tests to determine the source of your symptoms and check for any structural damage to the knee. We will also include a full biomechanical analysis of gait, functional movements and check for muscle imbalances. If your physiotherapist suspects you have a serious ligament or cartilage injury, they may recommend a visit to your GP to discuss obtaining an MRI or X-ray to confirm the diagnosis. Physiotherapy plays an important role in the treatment of knee injuries, both in conservative and post-operative management.

At Bray Physiotherapy, treatment begins with the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) protocol in the first 24-48hours to reduce swelling and inflammation. This is then followed by gentle exercises, manual therapy, cryotherapy/ice, electrotherapy and/or acupuncture to promote healing of the tissues. Taping or bracing and may also be used to help stabilise the joint. As your symptoms begin to improve, your exercise prescription will be progressed to increase the load and further challenge your muscles with the aim to optimise function and return to sport or function as soon as possible.