Knee Joint Pain may be the result of muscle tension that is in constant partial contraction. The flexor muscles in the upper leg can become tight or even rigid. Therefore resulting in firm, tense-feeling muscles that may be painful. Resulting in excess tugging on the muscle attachments around the knee. This constant tugging pressure develops pain at the knee joint. The Knee Joint Pain is the result of abnormal muscle activity around the knee area.
Almost everyone has had a minor knee problem some time or other. There are many reasons for knee joint pain. Here the subject relates to pain issues stemming from overuse or strain. Most often our body movements function without problems, but pain symptoms develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, or injury.
Knee problems and injuries usually occur during sports or recreational activities, work-related tasks, or home projects. The knee is the largest joint in our body carrying all our weight compounded by jarring impact. The upper and lower bones being separated by two discs (menisci). The upper (femur)leg bone and the lower(tibia and fibula) leg bones are attached by ligaments, tendons, and muscles. These ligaments, tendons and muscles can cause much misdiagnosed knee joint pain issues.
Runners knee can develop in anyone who spends time doing things that require bending they knees a lot. Squatting, walking, biking, and jumping can cause runner’s knee, aching pain around the kneecap. Runner’s knee isn’t a specific injury. It’s a broad term that describes the pain you feel that is caused by several knee activities.
Overuse, unusual or a lot of repeated bending or high-stress exercises. Weak or unbalanced thigh muscles. The quadriceps muscles on the front of your upper leg keep the kneecap properly positioned while bending or stretching. If they’re weak or tight, your kneecap may feel pain or discomfort. Standing and/or sitting for long periods can also make the pain worse.
Do stretching and strengthening exercises,especially for your quadriceps muscles.
Sport Specific Bio-machanics
Jumper’s knee is believed to be caused by repetitive stress placed on the patellar or quadriceps tendon during jumping. An injury specific to those participants of jumping sports such as basketball, volleyball, or high or long jumping. Jumper’s knee patients report front side knee pain, usually an aching feeling. However, symptoms sometimes come on slowly and may not be associated with a specific injury.
What causes muscle rigidity?
Muscle rigidity is one of the most common causes of muscle pain. It is brought on by the inability of muscles normally relax. This condition can affect any muscles in the body, causing intense pain making it difficult to move. Muscle rigidity is also known as muscle tension or stiffness. Healthline notes that “muscle tension is the constant tonic contraction of the skeletal muscles. Resulting in firm, tense-feeling muscles that may be painful.”
This muscle rigidity occurs most often in flexor muscles, which do most of the heaviest work. But rigidity can also occur in the extensor muscles which return the body part to normal positioning.
In order to move a particular body part, the brain sends a signal to the muscles in that area. Thus causing those muscles to tighten or contract. Muscles can contract a little bit or a lot, which is determined by the signal the brain sends. After contracting, the muscles relax, resting until the next time they are needed.
Muscle rigidity occurs when a muscle or muscle group remains contracted or partly contracted for an extended time. The brain continues sending signals for the muscle to contract after the muscle’s work is done. This may last for several hours or days. The longer your muscle remains contracted, the more pain you’ll feel.
This brings to mind the question as to how much of the muscle is being signaled to contract? Does the nerve signal go to the entire muscle or can it be going to just parts of a muscle? Therefore developing knots or tight “masses” in a muscle or muscle group.(?). Often the muscle has parts of it that have focused pain. Trigger Points in fibromyalgia issues for example. Sometimes a “mass” the size of the therapists palm exists in a muscle area that tightens(shortens) the entire muscle length. Pain disappears when this mass softens and relaxes.
Another thought develops as to which direction the signal travels in muscle tissue. Does the brain send (as stated above) orders to the muscle or can a muscle(or nerve) signal the brain? As in a reaction response or impulse. Emergency issues? Fight-or-flight signals? Does this effect the prolonged behavior of muscle tissue, all or in part?
Muscle rigidity is very often triggered by stress. Stress adversely affects the body’s nervous system. And how the nerves function creating abnormal muscle responses. The Fascia becomes involved as the nervous system responds to stress. Thus putting additional pressure on the blood vessels, resulting in reduced blood flow to the muscles. Muscle tension and pain can develop through this.
Symptoms Indicating Abnormal Behavior
Some symptoms that the muscle tissue may experiences are the following:
- chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition causing extreme fatigue, sleep abnormalities and muscle pain.
- dehydration, which is a condition developing as a result of not drinking enough water.
- delayed-onset muscle soreness. A condition of pain and stiffness in muscles that develops hours or days after very strenuous activity.
- fibromyalgia. A chronic soft tissue disorder that causes muscle soreness, pain and rigidity.
- myofascial pain syndrome. Is a chronic disorder applying pressure on sensitive spots in muscle tissue causing pain.
- polymyalgia rheumatica is a chronic inflammatory disease creating muscle pain and stiffness, particularly in the shoulders.
- repetitive strain injury to the muscles or nerves from muscle overuse.
- pinched or compressed nerves along the nerve path to the brain.
Written by Erica Cirino
Medically Reviewed on March 8, 2016 by William A Morrison, MD
How Does This Relate to Knee Joint Pain?
Having been a massage therapist for 18 years, my treatments have focused on Pain Reduction Massage. While using The Muscle Release Technique taught by Michael Young. So often joint pain is the direct result of tense or tight muscle above and/or below the joint.
Overuse, strain or unusual knee activity can cause Knee Joint Pain that seems to be from no reason. Muscle pain many times is felt in the joints, the muscle connection to the bone. This leads one to believe the joint has a problem. However, there are many knee issues that arise among our friends. And we have fantastic technology today to look inside the body. We are blessed! But the Knee Joint Pain may not be that serious to repair by releasing the soft tissue in the upper leg above the knee. No invasion! No “down-time” for rehab or healing!
Repetitive Use Injury Therapy
The Repetitive Use Injury Therapy works the Quads, Hamstrings, IT Band, Adductors and all the upper leg muscle groups. Massaging and Incrementally stretching each individual muscle, even adding heat, to return them to their original relaxed length. This removes all points of tightness, cramps or tension in the entire length of each muscle.
After completing the upper leg into the gluteal area, move down to the lower leg below the knee. Releasing all the lower leg soft tissue will most often relieve the Knee Joint Pain.
Some time ago a client came with an interesting experience. Her husband was expected to call home with an urgent request. The call came while my client was in the far end of the house. While hurrying to the kitchen phone she stepped into a wet spot on the tile floor. She slipped and did the splits. Hitting one knee on the tile floor. Had micro surgery on the knee to correct issues.
About a year later she entered my office with continued pain in her knee. An MRI showed no remaining damage in the knee but pain persisted. In working the leg the adductor on the inside of upper area had a “mass” of soft tissue. Not real tight but clearly different than muscle tissue feels. It was the size of my palm. I had never run across this before. In working the entire length of the adductor it began to respond to Muscle Release Technique. Putting heat on the area and incrementally stretching it. After several treatments it melted and became normal again. Many months later we made contact again socially and she had had no further Knee Joint Pain.
Tom Suderman has taken Advanced Training in Repetitive Use Injury Therapy from Michael Young. He has been releasing client muscles since 1998, working out of two locations, Visalia and Reedley in Central California. Make contact by email: email@example.com. Saturday appointments are also possible.
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