Understanding Above Knee Pain: Causes and Treatment

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Understanding Above Knee Pain: Causes and Treatment Options


As we go through our daily routines, it’s not uncommon to experience aches and pains in various parts of our bodies. One area that is particularly prone to pain is the knee, and in some cases, this pain can be felt above the knee. Above knee pain can range from mild discomfort to severe pain that interferes with daily activities. In this article from London physiotherapy centre One Body LDN, we will explore the causes of above knee pain and the treatment options available, including the role of physiotherapy.

Causes of Above Knee Pain

Above knee pain can have various causes, including:

1. Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome: The IT band is a thick band of tissue that runs from the hip to the knee. When this band becomes tight or inflamed, it can cause pain above the knee.

2. Quadriceps Tendinitis: The quadriceps tendon connects the quadriceps muscle to the knee. Overuse or injury can lead to inflammation and pain above the knee.

3. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: This condition, also known as “runner’s knee,” is characterized by pain in the front of the knee, including above the knee. It’s common in runners and athletes who engage in activities that require a lot of knee bending.

4. Arthritis: Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can cause pain above the knee. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the knee joint wears away, leading to pain and stiffness. In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks the lining of the joints, leading to pain and inflammation.

5. Fractures: A fracture or break in the femur (thigh bone) or patella (kneecap) can cause above knee pain.

Treatment Options

The treatment for above knee pain will depend on the underlying cause. Some common treatment options include:

1. Rest: Taking a break from activities that aggravate the knee can help reduce pain and inflammation.

2. Ice and Heat Therapy: Applying ice or heat to the affected area can help reduce pain and swelling.

3. Pain Medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help alleviate pain and inflammation.

4. Physiotherapy: Physiotherapy can help strengthen the muscles around the knee, improve range of motion, and reduce pain. Your physiotherapist may recommend exercises such as leg raises, squats, and lunges to improve knee strength and stability.

5. Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damage to the knee, such as a fracture or torn ligament.

Preventing Above Knee Pain

While some causes of above knee pain cannot be prevented, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk, including:

1. Maintaining a Healthy Weight: Carrying excess weight puts added stress on the knee joint, increasing the risk of pain and injury.

2. Stretching: Incorporating stretching exercises into your routine can help improve flexibility and reduce the risk of injury.

3. Wearing Proper Footwear: Wearing shoes that fit well and provide adequate support can help reduce the risk of knee pain.

4. Gradual Increase in Activity: Gradually increasing the intensity and duration of physical activity can help prevent overuse injuries.

Other conditions that can cause above knee pain include nerve compression or injury. This can be due to a herniated disc in the lumbar spine, sciatica, or other nerve-related issues. Nerve pain can cause a burning or tingling sensation, as well as sharp or shooting pain in the affected area.

Another potential cause of above knee pain is hip or pelvic dysfunction. The hip joint and surrounding muscles and ligaments are closely connected to the knee joint, and any imbalances or issues in the hip can lead to compensations and problems in the knee. Pelvic misalignment or dysfunction can also contribute to above knee pain.

It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis for above knee pain to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment. A physiotherapist can help assess and diagnose the issue, and develop a personalized treatment plan to address the root cause of the pain.

Treatment for above knee pain may include a combination of manual therapy, exercise, and other modalities such as ultrasound or electrotherapy.

Strengthening exercises for the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles can help improve knee stability and reduce pain. Stretching and flexibility exercises can also be helpful in addressing imbalances and tightness in the surrounding muscles.

In some cases, bracing or taping may be recommended to help support the knee and reduce pain during activity. Additionally, activity modification and education on proper form and technique can help prevent future knee injuries and pain.

Overall, above knee pain can be caused by a variety of factors and can be a frustrating and debilitating issue. It’s important to seek proper diagnosis and treatment from a qualified physiotherapist to address the underlying cause and develop an effective treatment plan. With the right approach, it is possible to overcome above knee pain and get back to enjoying your daily activities.

If you’re looking for the best physiotherapy in London, contact One Body LDN today.

Do you have private health insurance? Or work benefits with the following companies – Bupa | Bupa cash plan | Bupa International | Vitality Health | Nuffield Health | Aviva | Cigna | Cigna International | WPA | Aetna | Allianz | Healix | Health Shield | Simplyhealth | Axa Private Health Insurance – our approved therapists are ready to take care of you! Contact us today to learn more!



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