Sports

Proper treatment can fix painful knee

Community: Many standard treatments just mask the pain

Knee pain is the second most common cause of chronic pain in the United States. Proper treatment can help avoid more serious issues down the road. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Knee pain is the second most common cause of chronic pain in the United States. Proper treatment can help avoid more serious issues down the road. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

Editor’s note: Cody Scharf is owner of Thrive Spine and Sport, a chiropractic and soft tissue clinic in Cedar Rapids focusing on sport and overuse injuries. Scharf is a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic and certified by Integrative Diagnosis for diagnosis and treatment of soft tissue injuries.

By Cody Scharf, community contributor

Knee pain is the second most common cause of chronic pain behind only low back pain.

One-hundred million Americans currently are suffering with knee pain, and one third of the population will have knee pain at some point in their life. If you have sustained any type of knee injury, you are 25 to 50 percent more likely to have early osteoarthritis and a knee replacement.

Clearly, knee pain is a very big deal.

The biggest problem facing Americans with knee pain is the lack of a solution to their problem. Most treatment aims to reduce pain — which is what we all want. The problem is cortisone, pain killers, stretching, ice, heat, e-stim, kinisiotape don’t offer functional solutions. While some of these treatments can provide relief, most only mask the problem, essentially kicking the can down the road. This is why we are seeing an increase in arthritis, degeneration and knee replacements.

Most problems, however, can been prevented with the right kind of care.

With any quality treatment, the goal should be to restore function to a dysfunctional body part. Your knee has a very fundamental range of motion. When limited or painful, this lack of function starts to break down the knee and the degenerative processes begins.

So what does normal range and function look like? There is a very simple test you can try at home to find out how you rank, and your risk for future knee problems.

Start by standing upright. Flex the leg, grab the ankle, and try to pull it to your butt. Full range of motion is the heel in contact with the butt with the upper leg in alignment with the opposing leg. If this is not possible, try bringing the heel to your butt, but allow the knee to travel forward.

If you cannot do one or either test, you have a massive problem.

The most common reason this test is limited is due to muscle adhesion. Adhesion is the most common cause of limited flexibility, weakness and pain in the knee. Fortunately, adhesion is very easy to fix by those trained to fix it.

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l For more information, email Scharf at dr.cody@thrivespineandsport.com or visit www.thrivespineandsport.com

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