Thanks to the knee joint, we can move around freely and go wherever we want without any difficulties. Knee is the largest joint in the body which can bend and straighten bringing us about. It bears most of the body weight and pressure loads. It supports 1.5 times the body weight when one walks and 3-4 times the body weight when one climbs stairs. Knee is vulnerable which can be injured and can suffer from some diseases causing pain, swelling, stiffness, redness, locking, weakness or instability etc. The symptoms may vary depending on the type of injury. Pain may occur when you bend or straighten the knee. There could be difficulty bearing weight on the knee and trouble with knee motion.
Many muscle around the knee joint. The muscles of the knee include the quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles of the calf. These muscles work in groups to flex, extend and stabilize the knee joint.
The quadriceps is at the anterior surface of the thigh and they include the four muscles of femoris group (vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, and rectus femoris). These large muscles originate in the ilium and femur and insert on the tibia. They extend the knee.
The hamstring muscle group is at the posterior surface of the thigh from the ischium of the pelvis to the tibia of the lower leg. It includes three individual muscles: biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus. The hamstrings work together to flex the knee.
Calf muscle is at the back of the leg which originats from the distal end of the femur through the calcaneal (Achilles) tendon and ends to the calcaneus of the heel. It flexes the knee.
There are other muscles around the knee assisting with the movements of the knee.
The tensor fasciae latae contracts the iliotibial band of fibrous connective tissue that helps to stabilize the femur, tibia, and thigh muscles.
The sartorius muscle is the longest muscle in the entire human body. The sartorius muscle originates from the anterior superior iliac spine on the lateral edge of the hip bone. From the lateral hip, it descends obliquely across the hip joint and thigh, running medially and inferiorly toward the medial edge of the knee. It is a long, thin, band-like muscle. The Sartorius muscle flexes and rotates the thigh at the hip joint. It also helps to flex the knee.
The popliteus muscle rotates the tibia bone when the knee is flexed.
The articularis genus muscle elevates the suprapatellar bursa and capsule of the knee joint when extending the knee.
Some of the most common reasons for knee pain are
Knee injury: a knee injury can affect any of the ligaments, tendons, bone or fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that surround the knee joint as well as the bones, cartilage and ligaments that form the joint itself.
Other conditions that cause knee pain include as follows:
Bursitis: A bursa is connective tissue below the skin over the knee. Overuse, a fall, or repeated bending and kneeling can irritate the bursa overlying the knee cap (patella), causing pain and swelling.
Illiotibial band syndrome: The iliotibial band is a piece of tough tissue that runs from your hip down to the outer part of your knee. If it's irritated by overuse or other problems, it can become inflamed and cause pain on the outer side of the knee.
Hip or foot pain: If you have hip or foot pain, you may change the way you walk and this can place extra stress on the knee joint. In some cases, problems in the hip or foot can refer pain to the knee.
Overuse during repetitive motions as are found during certain exercises (jogging, skiing) or work conditions (long periods of kneeling) can cause breakdown of cartilage and lead to pain.
Others Include osteoarthritis, dislocated kneecap, patellofemoral pain syndrome and patellar tendonitis, a condition caused by inflammation of the tendons around the knee.
Acupuncture can help release the pain by reducing the inflammation and improving circulation to speed up the healing process.