I recently saw a young woman who had intense knee pain. One day, she felt it shift, and could hardly move it. She went to her physician, and got x-rays and an MRI. They showed no physical damage through the knee. The doctors told her there was nothing wrong, and that she should take 6 weeks off of all activity, and all will be good. After five more weeks of having constant knee pain, she decided to come and see me for athletic therapy.
On the initial assessment, I found that her meniscus had shifted backwards. The meniscus is a lubricating and shock absorbing disk that sits inside our knee to help with proper motion. It is supposed to have a minimal sliding motion forward and backwards so the knee can move properly.
Her meniscus was stuck backwards. This was causing it to get pinched every time she bent and straightened her knee. This pinching caused the intense pain every time she moved her knee. It got to the point where she was unable to get into her car.
The question is, why was her meniscus stuck backwards? Your hamstring muscles have some attachments to the meniscus and are partly responsible for the proper sliding motion of the meniscus. Six years ago, she had a bad hamstring pull which she didn’t rehabilitate properly. This caused a bunch of nasty compensation patterns leading to a hamstring muscle that was super tight, no matter how much she stretched it.
In the first rehabilitation session, we used NKT (Neurokinetic Therapy) to find and correct some of those compensation patterns. She left that day being able to fully bend and straighten her knee without pain for the first time since the injury. Since then we have been working through her compensation patterns from various previous injuries which are all connected to her knee injury.
Moral of the story is, rehab your knee injuries properly when they first happen; and that just because a muscle is tight, doesn’t mean it needs to be stretched. Sometimes that muscle is tight because it is the only thing supporting your joints. In that case you need a proper rehabilitation program to turn on the dysfunctional muscles, which will allow that tight, painful muscle to relax.
Written by Micah Reim, Certified Athletic Therapist
At Competitive Edge Sport Therapy your recovery is our concern. We will provide caring and professional rehabilitation for your injury in our one hour appointments, one on one with your athletic therapist. We want to help you get back to full health and enjoying the activities you love to do.
Phone: 403-252-6222 Email: [email protected]