It’s commonly assumed that people won’t get joint problems until they’re well into middle-age, but a recent survey highlighted the worrying fact that joint pain is happening more frequently at a younger age. More than half the respondents had first experienced problems like knee joint pain in their 30s and 40s, and 16% in their 20s. The survey actually found that almost half of those surveyed were dealing with these sorts of knee pain.
The knee is the largest joint in the body, and it’s also a major weight-bearing joint. Our knees have to deal with a lot of wear and tear as we go about our daily business, and any amount of pain will therefore, cause us a lot of problems. Unsurprisingly, it’s the most commonly injured of all our joints.
Common Causes of Knee pain
The cause of a lot of knee pain is mechanical, where the components – usually the kneecap – have become misaligned either because of injury (the most common cause of knee problems), bad posture, overuse in sporting activities, obesity, tendonitis or diseases usually related to getting older, such as arthritis. Common symptoms include stiffness, aches, locking, swelling, or difficulty in bending or straightening.
Arthritis can be inflammatory, such as rheumatoid arthritis, or degenerative (caused by wear and tear) e.g. osteoarthritis. Osteopaths most commonly treat patients with osteoarthritis, and the results of a new study have found that osteoarthritis of the knees can be significantly improved by a course of regular Swedish massage treatments.
An osteopath will treat the affected joint with a combination of manipulation and deep tissue massage on the surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments. Such articulations will help the natural movement of the joint as well as relieving the pain. Treatment can also promote the production of the synovial fluid which acts as the body’s natural shock absorber and also keeps the joints oiled.
Your osteopath may also give you exercises to do at home as well as advice about posture, lifestyle and diet if they think it is a factor in the pain.