The Knees are complex, weight-bearing joints that provide your body with flexibility, support, and a wide range of motion. Because of the knee’s complexity and the amount of use it gets over a lifetime, it is susceptible to injury and is a common site of pain.

Although many knee injuries are caused by overuse, problems with alignment, sports or physical activities, and failure to warm up and stretch before exercise, they can also result from trauma such as a car accident, a fall, or a direct blow to the knee. Depending on the type and severity of joint damage, knee pain can be minor or can lead to severe discomfort and disability.


ACL Injuries – The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) has several functions in the knee. It prevents the lower leg from moving forward on the upper leg, it prevents hyperextension of the knee, it helps stabilize the knee in side-to-side movements, and it helps control the amount of rotation of the lower leg at the knee joint. A hard twist or excessive pressure on the ACL can tear it, causing the knee to give out so that it can no longer support the body. Injuries to the ACL occur frequently in sports that involve sudden changes in direction, such as soccer, basketball, and volleyball. Unless an injured ACL is accurately diagnosed and treated, the meniscus (cushioning cartilage in the knee) could be seriously damaged.

IT Band Syndrome – If your knee pain occurs on the outside of the knee, you may be suffering from iliotibial band syndrome. IT band syndrome occurs when the ligament that extends from the outside of the pelvic bone to the outside of your tibia (iliotibial band) becomes so tight that it rubs against the outer portion of the femur. Distance runners are especially susceptible to IT band syndrome, which generally causes a sharp, burning pain at the lateral knee that often begins 10 to 15 minutes into a run. The pain may also occur when you walk or use stairs, or after prolonged sitting.

Knee Osteoarthritis and Knee Replacement – Over time, recurrent injuries and degenerative changes in the knee can cause the surfaces of the bones to become worn down and painful. If this degeneration (osteoarthritis) is severe, you may require knee replacement. Physical therapy may be helpful: Studies have shown that patients with osteoarthritis of the knee who were treated with manual physical therapy and therapeutic exercise experienced significant improvements in their perceptions of pain, stiffness, and functional ability. These studies also found that fewer patients in the treatment group required knee replacement surgery. Knee replacement surgery: If you require knee replacement surgery, the primary goal of this surgery is to relieve pain. The primary goal of physical therapy following knee replacement surgery is to restore function.

Patellar Tendonitis – Patellar tendinitis (sometimes referred to as “jumper’s knee”) is an overuse injury that affects the tendon connecting the kneecap to the shin bone. Patellar tendinitis occurs when you place repeated stress on your patellar tendon, often when you suddenly increase the intensity or frequency of your workouts. Although patellar tendinitis is most common in athletes whose sports involve frequent jumping (for instance, basketball, soccer, and volleyball players), anyone can suffer from this condition. Patellar tendinitis may be accompanied by bursitis, which can result in pain when you move or put pressure on the area.

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