Knee pain and injury is common in a wide variety of sports and professions. Females are 2 – 2.5x more likely to develop knee pain than males, especially related to the patella, aka patellofemoral pain. 15% of active females and 7% of active males have patellofemoral pain, and the most common age to develop this pain is 50 – 59 years old. As we age, osteoarthritis is the most common reason for knee pain.
Sports such as football (soccer), rugby league, basketball, and netball have a high number of knee injuries, and all sports that involve sprinting and/or change of direction have a high incidence of knee injuries. Professions that involve squatting, climbing, and kneeling are also at higher risk.
Traumatic knee injuries are not uncommon such as a patellar dislocation, and the complete anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear.
And ongoing or chronic pain after surgery can also be a reason for persistent knee pain, especially after a total knee replacement.
We can help to provide programs to manage knee pain, delay or prevent surgery, and even reduce the risk of an ACL tear – yes, there are established programs to achieve this! Click here to see what we can do for you.
Why does my knee crack / click?
Knees often click and crack, especially when the knee is bent under load, for example climbing stairs and squatting. The latest research indicates it is due to irregularity between the joint surfaces of the patella and the femur (the 2 bones that form the “kneecap joint”). In younger people it is nothing to worry about if there is no pain associated with it. After around 40 years of age, it is unclear whether the clicking and cracking are early signs of osteoarthritis, but the latest thought is that it probably is.
If your knee is making sounds but there is no pain, we can provide professional advice, and even an exercise program to start strengthening the quadriceps and lower limbs to delay or prevent future knee pain.
It is important to realise that the reason for cracking in the knee is different to the spine, which is different again to the hip.
Why do I have knee pain during running?
The most common reason is poor control of the stride relative to the upper body or trunk. The posture of the upper body, the strength/control of your hips, and stride length all contribute to the efficiency of your knee through the running cycle. Poor running technique leads to reduced efficiency, and higher forces through the knee joint, which contribute to knee pain.
Knee Pain in Children and Adolescents
Knee pain is common in adolescents, especially if they are active. This is often worse if they are in a period of growth as they often develop muscle imbalances through rapid musculoskeletal changes, high levels of activity and not enough rest. The most common types are Osgood-Schlatters syndrome, and Sinding-Larsen Johanssen syndrome.
The vast majority of these cases are self-limiting, not serious and can be resolved effectively with physiotherapy.