Chiropractic is a Smart Choice for Treating Knee Pain and Injuries

Chiropractic is a Smart Choice for Treating Knee Pain and Injuries

In 2010, more than 10 million people were treated for some type of knee injury. Every year, approximately 200,000 people undergo reconstructive surgery of the knee while another 700,000 people undergo some type of arthroscopic knee operation due to injury.

ACL injuries (anterior cruciate ligament)(1), meniscus(2) injuries and arthritis problems are the most common knee injuries and complaints, however many other knee conditions are prevalent. (See sidebar.)

The knee is a hinge joint which does not tolerate full rotation. The knee joint is complex, made up of three bones, two menisci(2), four ligaments, and a number of tendons and muscles. The primary movement of the knee is flexion and extension and only allows for minimal rotation to the right or left. Additionally, because the knee is composed of a number of different structures, there are consequently a number of different ways for knee injuries to occur. This is the primary reason knee injuries are so common.

A knee injury can happen when twisting or squatting, exercising or performing a physical task or moving too aggressively or suddenly.

Knee pain is the result of a direct injury, repetitive stress or it may be that another condition in your body is contributing to your knee pain. One of the most difficult things for the knees to handle is excess body weight. For every pound of overweight, the knees bear four times that weight.

Typical symptoms of knee injury include:

  • stiffness and swelling

  • instability and weakness

  • a popping noise when moving

  • the inability to straighten the knee

The sidebar to the right provides a longer list of knee injuries or pain conditions, however there are four common types of knee injuries:

  • IT band syndrome: Pain that occurs on the outside of the knee resulting from a too tight tendinous(3) muscle along the outside of the thigh

  • Mensicus(2) tear: A tear or irritation in the fibrous cushioning within the joint

  • Runner’s knee: Pain in the front of the knee because of the pulling of tight quadriceps

  • Patello-femoral pain syndrome: A general term to describe knee pain from repetitive use


Extremity adjustment by your chiropractor coupled with shockwave therapy(1), low level laser therapy(2), and acupuncture can help bring a knee back into alignment and relieve pain. At Wagner Chiropractic we create treatment strategies to not just manage the pain, but heal and eliminate it in many cases. Chiropractic will tend to first check your spine because the nervous system is the body’s master communication system. Adjusting the spine where necessary, especially in the low back, will allow the nervous system to function optimally and facilitate repair to the injury.

Chiropractic may also manipulate the knee joint. Restricted knee joint range of motion can actually further contribute to the injury itself and/or it can be a result. Restoring proper and full range of motion is vital in not just healing but preventing possible future knee injuries. In addition, your chiropractor will assess for various needs such as shockwave, interferential current and low level laser therapies and/or acupuncture.

An effective course of chiropractic treatment for knee pain and injury may include:

  • spinal adjustment

  • chiropractic knee joint adjustment

  • shockwave therapy

  • low level laser therapy

  • ultrasound treatments

  • interferential current therapy

  • gentle stretching and strengthening exercises

  • acupuncture

  • nutritional counseling and support

At Wagner Chiropractic, an examination and evaluation of your knee will be performed. If an MRI is needed to evaluate the damage of the soft tissue or meniscus one will be ordered. Call us today to begin finding answers to your knee problems.

  1. acoustic waves applied to create faster and long-term healing and regeneration of tissues

  2. sometimes also referred to as low level light therapy or photobiomodulation (PBM), low level laser therapy is a non-invasive low intensity light therapy


“Knee Problems.” National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 15 Oct. 2018,

Types of knee injuries or pain

Ligament tears, primarily of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)(1), most common to sports.

Tearing of the meniscus(2), the C-shaped piece of cartilage that functions as a cushion between the femur(4) and the tibia(5): this tear occurs when the knee is twisted forcibly while under weight.

Patellar chondromalacia also termed “runners’ knee:” damaged cartilage under the kneecap (patella) from regular wear and tear or by repetitive trauma from weakening knee muscles and misalignment of the kneecap.

Bursitis: occurs when the bursae(6) swell from chronic irritation, inflammation and the accumulation of excess fluid.

Patellar tendinitis also termed “jumpers’ knee:” a repetitive strain injury to the tendon connecting the patella (kneecap) with the shinbone (athletes of jumping sports like basketball or volleyball tend to suffer from this condition).

Osteoarthritis: caused by the cartilage deterioration in the knee from wear and tear or from trauma to the joint resulting in nothing but bare bone; it causes pain and stiffness, especially in the hip, knee, and thumb joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease with painful swelling, joint deformity and bone erosion.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease: swelling and pain below the knee most often occurring in athletic adolescents during their period of rapid growth.

Gout of the knee: a type of arthritis identified by a severe and rapid onset of pain and resulting from an accumulation of uric acid(7) in the knee. Gout is often hereditary but other factors such as obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, kidney malfunctions and cancer also contribute.

Tendinitis: pain in the anterior of the knee that is aggravated when climbing or walking up an incline or stairs.

Baker’s cyst: a buildup of synovial(8) fluid (fluid that lubricates the joint) behind the knee.

  1. a tear or sprain of the anterior (front) cruciate (cross-shaped) ligament (ACL) — one of the major ligaments in your knee.

  2. a thin fibrous cartilage between the surfaces of some joints, e.g., the knee.

  3. a flexible but inelastic cord of strong fibrous collagen tissue attaching a muscle to a bone

  4. the bone of the thigh or upper hind limb, articulating at the hip and the knee

  5. the inner and typically larger of the two bones between the knee and the ankle

  6. a fluid-filled sac or saclike cavity, especially one countering friction at a joint

  7. an almost insoluble compound that is a breakdown product of nitrogenous metabolism

  8. relating to or denoting a type of joint that is surrounded by a thick flexible membrane forming a sac into which is secreted a viscous fluid that lubricates the joint