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Knee Pain

Your knee is the largest joint in the body. It is a major weight-bearing joint and is one of the most frequently injured joints. Knee pain can be painful and debilitating, and although some conditions may require surgery, many can be helped with the right advice, exercise and treatment.

Why should I see an osteopath for knee pain?

Osteopathy treatment will help to reduce pain and inflammation of the knee. Your osteopath will decide how best to treat you based on the type of injury, how bad it is, as well as your age and how active you are. During treatment, we’ll look at your range of motion and assess the tenderness and inflammation of your knee joint. 

We can’t reverse any damage done to the knee cartilage, but we can improve your range of movement in the knee and advise strengthening exercises to improve stability.


How can osteopathy help with knee pain?

The type of treatment suitable for knee pain primarily depends on the cause of your symptoms. Every day people visit Osteopaths with knee pain and evidence shows that Osteopathic treatment is effective at treating knee pain. 


What can cause knee pain?

  • Muscle Tension: in the lower back, buttocks, legs, or hips

  • Pinched Nerves: compression of the nerves as they exit the lumbar (lower back) spine and cause radiation of pain into the knees and surrounding muscles

  • Joint Fixation: when joints in the lower back, sacroiliac joints or hips become fixated, this can lead to pain or discomfort in the knees

  • Stress: excessive physical or mental stress can cause tight muscles or increased inflammation

  • Trauma: falls, trips, and whiplash are just some types of trauma

  • Osteoarthritis: arthritic changes in the knee joints can cause knee pain and stiffness 

  • Overuse: repetitive movements, heavy lifting or awkward lifting can cause a muscular strain


What happens when you see an osteopath for knee pain?

A first appointment with an osteopath will usually take around 40-50 minutes. Your osteopath will want to talk to you about your knee pain and your health in general, as well as any other treatment you’re having. They’ll probably ask you to remove some clothing so that they can examine you. If you wish, you can ask for a friend or relative to accompany you.

Your osteopath may look at your whole body in relation to your knee – they may observe you making some simple movements and stretches. They’ll also feel around your joints, ligaments and tissues with their hands (this is called palpation).

Osteopathy techniques

Your osteopath will use manual techniques to try and reduce your knee pain. Osteopathy techniques aim to increase the movement in your joints and relieve muscle tension.

The main techniques your osteopath may use include the following.

  • Massage. This is when your osteopath directly applies pressure to the soft tissues of your back. It aims to reduce tension in your back and relieve your pain.

  • Muscle energy technique. This is a technique in which your osteopath will ask you to push against them, while they apply force back. This aims to increase the range of motion in the affected joint.

  • Functional technique. In this technique, your osteopath will gently move your joints into positions that reduce your tension and pain, before gradually working them back to the original position.

  • Counterstrain. This involves your osteopath slowly moving you into the position that causes you least pain. They’ll hold you in this position for a short time while they monitor ‘tender points’ – areas on your body that are causing your pain.

  • Myofascial release therapy. This is a type of deep massage technique, in which your osteopath aims to release tension and tightness in your muscles.

What to expect after treatment

You may feel a little sore for the first few days after your treatment. If you have any concerns, contact your osteopath for advice. You may need more than one treatment. Your osteopath will assess you at each session and discuss and agree with you any changes needed to your treatment plan.

Manual therapies such as those offered by an osteopath are usually only one part of your treatment for knee pain. It’s important that you also follow any advice your osteopath or other healthcare professional gives you on looking after your knees and doing exercises. This will give you the best chance of a quick recovery, and will help to stop your knee pain returning.


Call us today to find out more about knee pain or to book an appointment at our well established, friendly Osteopathy clinic located in Old Harlow. We are well located and are happy to see patients from any area including Sawbridgeworth, Bishop's Stortford, Epping, Roydon, Nazeing, Broxbourne, North Weald, Loughton, Ongar, Stanstead and beyond.

We are registered with the Geneal Osteopathic Council.
Our Harlow Osteopaths are fully qualified and members of the institute of Osteopathy.
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