Meniscus

Are you having pain in the knee with sitting, bending, squatting or stairs?
A meniscus injury may be the cause of your knee pain. Here’s what you need to know:

What is the Meniscus?

  • The meniscus is a knee is a thickened crescent-shaped cartilage pad between the two joints formed by the femur (the thigh bone) and the tibia (the shin bone).

Knee Meniscus Symptoms Include:

  • A popping sensation
  • Swelling or stiffness.
  • Pain, especially when twisting or rotating your knee
  • Difficulty straightening your knee fully
  • Feeling as though your knee is locked in place when you try to move it

What typically causes a knee meniscus injury?

  • Aggressive pivoting or sudden stops and turns.
  • Deep squatting or lifting something heavy can sometimes lead to a torn meniscus.
  • Degenerative changes of the knee can contribute to a torn meniscus with little or no trauma.

What can be done to treat a knee meniscus injury?

  • Controlling inflammation: This is especially important in the early stages. Reducing pain and inflammation early with decrease the chances of this becoming a more chronic condition that is more difficult to treat.
  • Avoiding painful movements or activities:  Continuing to push through painful symptoms will only make the condition worse and could lead to a more serious situation such as a tear which could require surgery.
  • Get into Physical Therapy:  a proper evaluation by a physical therapist will help you restore motion and function. Learning how to correct mechanics and strengthening the surrounding muscles, will minimize painful symptoms. Physical therapy will be able to provide treatments such as joint mobilization, myofascial release, and soft tissue mobility to allow for more rapid return to function. It is important to not wait. Request an appointment with a physical therapist early so that symptoms do not get out of control. The longer the symptoms last, the more difficult they are to heal. More and more people are getting benefits from physical therapy over medication and injections.

Proper nutrition and natural supplementation

  • Avoiding foods that have high glucose levels can help control pain.
  • Natural anti-inflammatory herbs and spices are preferred over prescribed NSAIDs. Turmeric is a great example of this

Here are some tips that can make you feel better fast

  • Traditional treatments such as heat/ice or Tylenol are temporary solutions at best but do not fix the root cause. And they can be harmful.

This problem requires

  • Relieving pressure off the meniscus by strengthening the correct muscles. This will allow the meniscus to heal.

Follow these simple instructions now to get a jump-start on faster healing:

  1. Do not pivot, deep squat, kneel or sit for >30min
  2. Be cautious of continued use of pain meds or injections as they can lead to accelerated weakness and could lead to more damage down the road.
  3. Request an appointment with a physical therapist early so that symptoms do not get out of control.