Knee Pain Acupuncture Treatment Phoenix Arizona
Brief anatomy of the knee:
The knee is a vulnerable joint that bears a great deal of stress from everyday activities such as lifting and kneeling, and from high-impact activities such as jogging and aerobics.
The knee is formed by the following parts:
* tibia – shin bone or larger bone of the lower leg.
* femur – thighbone or upper leg bone.
* patella – kneecap.
Each bone end is covered with a layer of cartilage that absorbs shock and protects the knee. Basically, the knee is two long leg bones held together by muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
There are two groups of muscles involved in the knee, including the quadriceps muscles (located on the front of the thighs), which straighten the legs, and the hamstring muscles (located on the back of the thighs), which bend the leg at the knee.
Tendons are tough cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Ligaments are elastic bands of tissue that connect bone to bone. Some ligaments on the knee provide stability and protection of the joints, while other ligaments limit forward and backward movement of the tibia (shin bone).
What are some common knee problems?
Many knee problems are a result of the aging process and continual wear and stress on the knee joint (i.e., arthritis). Other knee problems are a result of an injury or a sudden movement that strains the knee. Common knee problems include the following:
* sprained or strained knee ligaments and/or muscles
A sprained or strained knee ligament or muscle is usually caused by a blow to the knee or a sudden twist of the knee. Symptoms often include pain, swelling, and difficulty in walking.
* torn cartilage
Trauma to the knee can tear the menisci (pads of connective tissue that act as shock absorbers and also enhance stability). Cartilage tears can often occur with sprains. Treatment may involve wearing a brace during an activity to protect the knee from further injury. Surgery may be needed to repair the tear.
Inflammation of the tendons may result from overuse of a tendon during certain activities such as running, jumping, or cycling. Tendonitis of the patellar tendon is called jumper’s knee. This often occurs with sports such as basketball, where the force of hitting the ground after a jump strains the tendon.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that affects the knee. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative process where the cartilage in the joint gradually wears away, and often affects middle-age and older people. Osteoarthritis may be caused by excess stress on the joint such as repeated injury or being overweight.
Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the knees by causing the joint to become inflamed and by destroying the knee cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis often affects persons at an earlier age than osteoarthritis.