I am a private practitioner working in various clinics in Norfolk. I can often help with most muscular or skeletal problems you may have, whether due to an injury, wear and tear or postural. I can be contacted via email address below.

• The Knee joint                     
• Common problems
• Stay injury free
• How an osteopath can help     

The Knee Joint is made up of four bones, the femur or thigh bone, the tibia, known as the shin bone, the fibula that runs parallel to the tibia for added support and the patella or kneecap, which sits at the front to help movement and offer protection.

The knee-joint is a hinge joint and although it may look like a simple joint, it is one of the most complex in the body. It is also the largest joint in the body and more likely to be injured than any other joint. As well as flexing and extending, the knee also has a small degree of rotation, which is possibly the reason why there are so many injuries to the knee. Taking care of our knees in our younger years may help prevent real complications in our more mature years.

The muscles at the front of the knee are the quadriceps and the muscles behind are the hamstrings. As well as causing movement, these muscles also help to support and protect the knee to help it move smoothly. It is very important to maintain the strength in these muscles because if the knee is injured, complications with other joints such as the ankle, hip and lower back will often follow.

The two Cruciate Ligaments are located in the centre of the knee and are the major stabilising ligaments of the joint. These ligaments stop the femur and tibia sliding in opposite directions against each other. If one of these ligaments is damaged, there is often huge instability within the knee leading to pain, discomfort and giving way.

The Collateral ligaments are located both side of the knee-joint and stop the knee falling inward or outward during movement. Once again, these ligaments offer important stability to the joint and can cause a number of problems if damaged.

The Menisci (meniscus) sit between the femur and tibia; they are cartilage structures deep within the knee and provide shock absorption, lubrication, load transmission, stability and aid smooth movement of the bones as they slide against each other. Problems with the meniscus can be very painful and operations are often performed to remove, or partially   remove damaged areas of these structures. Removal can reduce the shock absorbing capacity of the knee by 20%.

Common Problems 

Osteoarthritis (OA)
Osteoarthritis in the knee is a disease that causes cartilage to wear away; without this protective cartilage, the bones begin to rub together causing pain, loss of mobility and deformity. Symptoms of OA include pain, tenderness, stiffness and a loss of flexibility in the knee when standing or walking.  Osteoarthritis in the knee effects over 70,000 people each year in the UK, and is more common in women.  Most physicians believe a combination of factors are responsible for OA, these include muscle weakness, obesity, joint injury and aging. 
Degeneration of the cartilage that lines the kneecap is also common and results in pain during knee bending and kneeling, a grinding sensation behind the kneecap during movement is also common and often referred to as Chondromalacia patella.
Meniscal Tear 
Tears of the menisci can cause pain, popping, “catching” or “sticking” of the joint. Most tears are diagnosed by history and physical examination followed by an  x-ray and MRI scan.  Conservative  treatment can often help but if pain persists, surgical treatment may be required.

Ligament Tear
Four ligaments stabilize the knee: two cruciate ligaments, and two collateral ligaments. Ligament tears usually occur as the result of acute trauma. Symptoms include pain, swelling and stiffness, and possibly instability. Anterior cruciate ligament tears are usually dramatic with immediate symptoms of instability, Posterior cruciate ligament tears are less dramatic, but also result in swelling and instability. Collateral ligament tears are painful, but generally cause less instability.

Other problems that may cause knee pain include rheumatoid arthritis, muscle strains, bursitis, tendonitis, Osgood Schlatters lesion, ITB syndrome, thrombosis, fracture, dislocation, hip and lower back arthritis.

Stay Injury Free

As the knee-joint sits between two long levers, the upper and lower leg, it is extremely reliant upon the muscles and ligaments to support it. Therefore exercise to help maintain the strength, mobility and good foundation in these structures is vitally important to help stability and longevity of the knee-joint.  Be kind to your knees, be careful when twisting the knees under load, rest when needed and take advice when injured.

How an Osteopath can help
Osteopaths may often be able to identify the cause of knee problems or discomfort and can frequently help to relieve pain, improve range of movement and advise on exercises to help or activities to avoid. Osteopathy is predominantly ‘hands on’ treatment; though often involves ultrasound, acupuncture or electrotherapy to help recovery of an injured area. 
Please note: Osteopathic treatment is not available on the NHS. For prices, availability and any other queries please speak to the staff on reception or call/email me directly using the details below.

Your body is a beautiful manifestation powered by spirit. ~Mike Dolan

For more information please contact me at info@jhoughtonosteopath.co.uk or visit my website www.jhoughtonosteopath.co.uk or www.woodfarmcentre.co.uk  Thank you for reading.