You may be wondering why your knee buckles when you go up and down the stairs. Do you feel like your knee is unstable and that it may slip out with sudden movements? You may be experiencing knee instability.
Common Knee Injuries that Contribute To Knee Instability
- Meniscus Tear: a meniscus tear occurs in the rubbery knee cartilage that cushions the shinbone from the thigh bone. The meniscus can tear with forceful twisting or rotation of the knee. Symptoms include: pain, swelling, stiffness, and difficulty extending the knee are symptoms.
- ACL Tear: the ACL is tissue that connects the thigh bone to the shinbone, at the knee. Most ACL injuries occur during certain sports such as basketball, soccer, football, skiing, and tennis. Symptoms include knee swelling, instability, and pain.
- PatelloFemoral Pain Syndrome: a condition in which the cartilage under the kneecap is damaged due to injury or overuse. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome is the most common cause of knee pain seen by doctors. It’s common in people who participate in sports, especially women and young adults. Symptoms include: knee pain that increases with stair climbing or squatting movements.
- MCL Tear: a tear to the medial collateral ligament in the knee can cause pain, swelling, and a lack of stability in the knee. Treatment is usually with ice, a knee brace, and physical therapy. Surgery may be necessary in rare cases.
Exercises For You to Try!
- Single Leg Stance – This exercise can determine your Knee stability
- Straight Leg Raise – This exercise determines your Quadriceps strength
- Standing Hip 4 Way – This strengthens the muscles that cross your Knee joint
Why Should You Treat Knee Pain NOW?
Knee pain and instability, when left untreated, can lead to inflammation of the tendinous, cartilage, ligamentous structures and cause other body parts to compensate for the instability. You may feel pain and instability with weight-bearing activities such as walking, running, cutting, jumping, or stairs. Avoiding these activities can lead to quad weakness and knee pain. Physical Therapy is a very effective treatment option to alleviate knee pain and improve knee stability.
If you are experiencing any of the conditions listed above or are having knee instability issues that are limiting your daily activities, physical therapy can be the most effective treatment option for you. Call Respire Physical Therapy today at 703-671-1871 to schedule an evaluation with a Physical Therapist or click here to request an appointment and get back to the activities you love.
Written By: Dr. Kevin Teng, DPT