July 11, 2023
Knee pain exists due to a plethora of causes, from osteoarthritis to an injury, to inflammatory issues like rheumatoid arthritis. One of the most common knee-related issues I’ve come across in the last few months at Bridgeham however, is idiopathic knee pain – otherwise known as knee pain with an unknown specific cause. When this happens, I usually see that the patient is also receiving treatment from an osteopath who has greatly helped their condition, as well as helped them understand where the issue could becoming from.
As a massage therapist, knee pain patients are usually referred to me so that I can work on reducing muscular tension and tightness, removing adhesions or ‘knots’ in the tissue, and supporting more circulation around the affected joint. In combination with exercise and osteopathy, I’ve seen this approach work wonders for patients!
One of the areas I work on specifically when it comes to treating knee pain is the fascia. Fascia is a type of connective tissue that effectively ‘wraps around’ the entire body. It connects to the muscles, organs and even the joints and bones, keeping everything held together. When the fascia becomes dehydrated, knotted or tight, this can lead to pain in the muscles and joints. I use different techniques to help release the fascia, improving range of motion, reducing pain and restoring good circulation and nutrients to the joint. Very often, patients notice an instant difference when they stand up after the massage!
If you’re experiencing knee pain and you’re not sure why, here are my top 3 tips:
1. Book in with an osteopath, Pilates instructor or a massage therapist, so we can assess your body and suggest the best plan of action to help get you moving on your journey from ‘broken to brilliant’ as we say at Bridgeham.
2. Ensure the muscles around your knee are both strong, as well as supple. Very often joint pain is caused by a combination of weak muscles and overly ‘tight’ muscles, which may pull upon the tissue surrounding the joint, causing pain. Keep up your exercise, stretch the surrounding muscles, avoid being too sedentary, and book in regular massage appointments.
3. Improve your nutrition. You are what you eat! And making a few simple dietary changes can help reduce pain and improve the tissue around the knee joint. Reduce inflammatory foods like refined sugar, processed foods, alcohol, additives and any foods you are sensitive to. Then, increase anti-inflammatory foods like berries, leafy greens, the yellow spice turmeric, fresh vegetables, and omega 3s from fish, walnuts, flax and chia seeds. Ensure you’re hydrated – aim to drink 2 litres of water per day, especially if you are active. Protein is vital for maintaining strong and healthy joints – you can obtain this from lean meat, chicken, fish, pulses, and a good quality protein powder is needed. Collagen is also a useful addition when it comes to caring for joints; collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, but production slows after age 30, so anyone who wants to stay active or who is dealing with joint issues may benefit from adding a scoop of collagen powder to food or drinks.
If any of Emma's top tip recommendations resonate with you and your knees, then please call our admin angels on 01293 542245.