We treat a lot of knee pain at our Oakville Chiropractic clinic. Whether the knee pain is the result of a muscular imbalance, strained or torn ligaments, a strained meniscus or inflamed tendon, acupuncture can help!
Acupuncture For Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome results from an imbalance in the knee. The muscles on the inside of the knee are weaker than the muscles on the outside. Sometimes this imbalance is so apparent that you can see the difference in muscle size! This imbalance can lead to the knee cap ‘translating’ inward. The kneecap slides medially and therefore doesn’t track through it’s designated groove properly, causing some friction and irritation felt behind the patella.
Acupuncture can help in two ways. Firstly, it can help stimulate the muscles on the inside of the knee (specifically, your vastus medialis obliquus). Acupuncture can help wake up the nerves and ensure there is proper neurological input getting to the muscles. This is particularly helpful to ensure that the muscles can fully activate during strengthening exercises – which is the most important aspect of recovery for this condition. Secondly, acupuncture can help alleviate tight muscles on the outside of the leg and help restore balance between the muscles and promote proper mechanics of the knee joint.
Acupuncture For Medial Meniscus Strain
The medial meniscus is a c-shaped cushion that sits between your femur (upper leg bone) and tibia (lower leg bone). This structure helps to support the knee under load, cushion the joint and distribute forces through the knee joint. When the meniscus get irritated or tears, it can become quite painful. This can happen when the knee rotates on a firmly planted leg. Signs of a meniscus strain include inability to fully extend the knee, clicking/locking and pain with going up and down stairs.
Acupuncture can be very helpful in managing the pain and swelling associated with meniscus strains and tears. There is even one acupuncture point that can be inserted directly into the meniscus to help reduce inflammation and promote healing to a structure that already doesn’t get a great blood supply (and therefore is a naturally poor self-healer). Stimulating the nerves around the knee, via acupuncture, can help limit discomfort and swelling.
Acupuncture for Knee Osteoarthritis
Our joints don’t always age as gracefully as we’d like them to. Most people over 50 would begin to show osteoarthritis of the knees on an x-ray. For some people that osteoarthritis is completely asymptomatic and they will never experience a day of knee pain in their life. For other people, knee osteoarthritis can become painful, and that wear and tear on the joints can start to impact quality of life.
Osteoarthritis is the narrowing of the joint space in the knee. The cartilage in the knee wears down, and the surfaces of the bone get closer together. Without the normal smooth gliding surface of the cartilage, the knee can become painful. Our knees are weight-bearing joints, so they can get worn down from the walking, running, squatting, standing that we do every single day. We have two compartments in the knee, one medial (on the inside) and one laterally (on the outside). The medial compartment that gets affected most often. Dr. Jenn can insert two small needles directly into the knee joint and her patient reports that it works like magic!
Acupuncture can be an amazing tool to manage osteoarthritis! Acupuncture can help draw blood flow into the knee, and therefore help lubricate the joint and decrease some of the pain from the bone-on-bone contact of osteoarthritis.
Acupuncture For Ligament Sprain
There are 4 main ligaments in the knee; ACL, PCL, LCL and MCL. For these injuries, acupuncture can be a beneficial modality in combination with other manual techniques and exercises. At their worst, these injuries can require surgery and more extensive therapeutic intervention but when the injuries are less severe they respond well to immediate conservative care.
Acupuncture for ligament strains is aimed at controlling swelling, and encouraging healing to the injured ligaments. The MCL and LCL can be stimulated directly with needles, as they can easily be felt on the inside and outside of the knee complex. When the ACL is injured it can often cause a lot of swelling. Acupuncture is very effective at limiting the swelling and preventing it from lingering around too long.
If you haven’t tried acupuncture for knee pain, you’re missing out. Call us at 905-827-4197 or email the clinic to book your appointment now!