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What is the 'knee'?

The knee is a joint that acts as a hinge to connect the thigh to the lower leg. It is not only the largest joint in the body but one of the most complicated ones too. It is made up of bone, cartilage, ligaments and nerves and has many muscles that pass over it to help drive its movement. Although the knee has a small degree of rotation through its closely associated joints, its primary role is to bend and extend which helps to facilitate functional tasks such as walking and running.


Is Knee Pain common?

Frequent knee pain affects approximately 25% of adults, limits function and mobility, and impairs quality of life. Additionally, it is the third most commonly reported musculoskeletal injury behind back and shoulder pain.

Why is this happening?

Knee pain that is coming from the knee itself is usually due to either some kind of trauma, an acute injury which has overloaded the joint causing ligament or cartilage damage, or a wear and tear injury that has occurred over time. If this is not the case, it is usually due to the knee being loaded in a way that it is not supposed to be and therefore is under stress. Stress on the knee can occur when there is a dysfunction coming from higher up in the hip/back or lower down in the ankle/foot.

Does physio help?

There are many types of knee injuries and conditions which can be successfully treated by Physiotherapy. After examining and diagnosing, depending on the issue, physiotherapists will provide treatments to help relieve pain and tailor sets of exercises to assist healing and to prevent re-injury. The good news is that once a definitive diagnosis is determined, most knee pain quickly resolves with the correct treatment and rehabilitation.

Common Symptoms related to the back

  • Constant pain around the whole knee
  • Sudden, sharp pain usually well localised
  • Burning sensation
  • Swelling, redness or heat in the knee
  • Giving way
  • Locking or clicking
  • Stiffness

How Physiotherapy can help

  • In-depth whole-body assessment to see which area’s need to be focused on
  • Massage/muscle release techniques
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Joint mobilisation
  • Manipulation
  • Positional/Myofascial release
  • Dry needling
  • Specific exercise prescription
  • Kinesiology taping/strapping

Common conditions/injuries we treat

Anterior knee pain (at the front)

  • Patellar tendonitis
  • Patellar maltracking or instability
  • Chondromalacia patella
  • Patellofemoral osteoarthritis
  • Osgood Schlatter's syndrome

Medial knee pain (on the inner side)

  • Torn or degenerate medial meniscus
  • Medial plica
  • Medial ligament injury
  • Cartilage damage on the medial femoral condyle
  • Medial compartment osteoarthritis

Lateral knee pain (on the outer side)

  • Torn or degenerate lateral meniscus
  • Lateral ligament injury
  • Posterolateral corner injury
  • Damage to the lateral facet of the patella
  • Lateral compartment osteoarthritis
  • Iliotibial band syndrome

Posterior knee pain (at the back)

  • Posterior horn meniscal tear
  • Baker’s cyst
  • Hamstring injury
  • Osteoarthritic change

Our Approach

To gain a clear picture of your unique situation, we will consider all of the following:

We use this information to diagnose your back pain and help create a personalised treatment plan and movement program.

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  1. Nguyen, U, Zhang, Y, Zhu, Y, Niu, J, Zhang, B & Felson, D 2011, ‘Increasing prevalence of knee pain and symptomatic knee osteoarthritis: survey and cohort data’, Annals of internal medicine, vol. 155, no. 11, pp. 725-732.
  2. Safe Work Australia (SWA) 2016, Statistics on Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders, Safe Work Australia, Canberra.
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