If you have ever had any sort of knee injury you are probably familiar with the standard knee pain protocol of RICE therapy.
This of course is:
Rest – Make sure you get plenty of rest so your body has a chance to heal the damage to your knee.
Ice – Ice down the area of the injury using ice, cold packs, or sometimes even frozen vegetables.
Compression – Wrap the area with an ACE bandage or tight fitting knee brace to keep the swelling down.
Elevation – Raise the knee above the level of the heart to reduce swelling and inflammation.
Of course this goes without saying that you went to your doctor’s to make sure there was nothing broken or torn.
What happens though if after a couple of weeks or a month that you have followed this knee treatment to the letter and you still have issues like pain, swelling, and inflammation?
What do you do if your doctor is saying “nothing is wrong” yet you still can’t run, bike or do the things you loved to do before your injury?
If you can answer “yes” to the previous two questions then you fall into a category thousands upon thousands of people find themselves in every year. It is sort of a knee treatment “limbo” where the questions about how to resolve the pain never ends and the answers are for all intents and purposes are non-existent.
What kind of knee treatment do you pursue at this point when the conventional knee treatment is not working?
It is time to start thinking outside “the box” about your knee treatment strategy. Let me first introduce you to a part of your anatomy that isn’t talked about much in regards to knee pain. It is called your fascia. Fascia or connective tissue in essence is a layer of fibrous tissue that permeates the body surrounding your muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments. In some places of the body fascia is almost liquid like mercury and in other places can be as strong as a steel cable (think of the knots you get between your shoulder blades). A good example of fascia is the silvery coating over the top of chicken breast.
Now this next part I am going to tell you is really important in understanding your predicament with knee pain and why your knee treatment is not changing what is going in your knees. Especially, if you have scar tissue that has built up because of your knee injury. Scar tissue is nothing more than connective tissue (fascia) that collects at the site of the injury to protect your knee from getting injured further. This is cool for the injury, not cool if you want the injury to heal and for it to never come back again.
In essence the connective tissue has re-molded itself to your “new body” to compensate for your injury. This has a big effect on your lymphatic system (think of your lymphatic system as the trash collectors in your body). Now when your body begins to form scar tissue to protect the knee injury and you can think of the scar tissue like the police are now shutting down the roads so the trash collectors can’t pick up the garbage. The police are going to stay there until they get orders from the city commissioner to do differently because that is their job.
So now the trash keeps piling up and the trash collectors can’t get to the garbage to haul the trash away and the police won’t let the trash collectors in until they are told to go home. This is the perfect conditions for the garbage to start stinking and the flies and rats to move in.
Back to your knees. Scar tissue is building up, the lymphatic system can’t move the old dead cells out of your knee, and as a result you have swelling, inflammation and pain because now the pressure is being put on the nerves in the knee from the patterning in the scar tissue and excess fluid buildup.
So what is the answer? Just think of your brain as the city commissioner and all you need to do is tell the police to go home so the trash collectors can do their job!
You can also think of “un-kinking the garden hose” all we need to do is create the space in the joint so your body begins to relax and unwind itself through comfortable body positioning. When you get the knee comfortable, the pressure is taken off of the nerves in your knee sending a signal to your brain (city commissioner) that it is OK to send the police home.
I know this is somewhat of a complicated description for knee treatment. It is actually quite a simple process that happens quite quickly once the mind can get around the concept of comfort. You can think of it like following directions to a new friend’s house for the first time. By the fourth or fifth time you can almost get to their house blindfolded!
This is the very same with proper knee treatment and recovering from your knee injury.
I really appreaiate how this article touched on the fact that it is a given that one should see a doctor to make sure that nothing is broken or torn after a knee injury. My dad has had knee problems since a fall last month, and that could be sticking around because he refuses to see someone about it. He keeps saying that it will just go away with time. I will be sure to have him read this article, and then have him check in to see a professional to get his knee looked at.
I am like many of the people commenting. I had some of the meniscus removed from my knee, initially it was better. Now it feels like grinding, catching. I am not sure if it is built up scar tissue? I had my other knee scoped 16 years ago and I don’t have any of those issues. I need some pointers, it’s limiting my physical activities. Thanks
Moses – I answered your question in my most recent Knees For Life Inner Circle – Google Hangout. You can listen to it here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/c8suifccoppkkc3plqc38dbkiqs
Interesting insight, but the bottom line on how to address this issue of continuing swelling due to scar tissue is …. ?
For scar tissue, take a look at this link: https://www.thekneepainguru.com/lp/comfort-zone/
Mimi |Customer Support
I would like to ask if anybody has experienced the same thing I have going on. I have a tight pain on the backside of my left leg behind my knee. When I lift my left leg up it hurts. If I have to walk fast or run it hurts pretty bad. But if I apply pressure to my leg and lift it up it doesn’t hurt. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Hi there Quinn!
Thank you for reaching out to us. Have you seen a doctor about what your experiencing? If so, please forward the information to email@example.com and we’ll be happy to look into it for you!
I haven’t gone to a Dr yet. The insurance I have from work has a very high deductible so I can’t afford to go right now.
Please reach out to our customer support team for further assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org
I injured my knee about 2 months ago I went to the hospital and they drained fluid out of my knee and then gave me anti biotics n said it wasn’t suppose to swell back up again and it did and hurt a lot. So I went back and they put me on a brace and crushes for one week, then gave me a visit for a knee specialist they told me that it can be scar tissue in my knee. Is this a bad thing does scar tissue need any type of surgical removal?
Thank you for reaching out to us. To better assist you with what your experiencing, I have contacted you via email. I have a great program for you!
Mimi |Customer Support
I injured my knee 7 wks ago. Dr. said tissue tags had developed on the bone from knee being immobilized for so long, If after aggressive PT for 4 wks I still don’t have good ROM, he would have to break or cut them with scope surgery.
Can’t find any info about that. He was like it was no big deal.
Thank you for reaching out to us. I can understand how frustrated you may when you cant find answers. To better assist you, I have contacted you directly via email to obtain more information.
HI, Im 22 years old and have played sports most of my life, but last year i done my ACL I tore my right ACL and got surgery in september 2011, the surgery went perfectly, surgen used a graph from my patella. I have done my rehabilition and my physio said its went fine and to go back and play football (gaa) now, been trainen hard this 6 weeks, and after every training the day after training the front of my knee gets all stiff nd feels weak when i bend on it. im wondering is this ok? or normal… Read more »
my name is shravan and i hv pain in right knee bcz f this get troble to move my leg and strain in muscles.
I have had a “scope” six weeks ago, for torn miniscus. Unfortunately have Bakers Cyst at back of the knee and that gives me lots of discomfort in moving the joint at times. Does one have to have the cyst surgically removed?
I am 25 years old when I was 17 and 18 junior and senior I tore my ACL first one knee then the other. I had surgery to repair the ACL’s in 2003 & 2004. They used the patella to repair the ACL. I have had paid under my knee caps ever since. I can’t kneel on my knees if I work standing all day my knees are swollen and I have to tape ice bags to them to finish working. I have two little children 3 & 6. I have gone back to the original surgeon every year at… Read more »
Hello, My knee was aching for two months then this past Saturday, I took my dog (medium size) for a walk. After a walking only 2 blocks my right knee did a “pop” sound and I felt hot liquid through my knee. I had to call my husband to come and get me and I hopped home. I went to see a top Orthopedic at the HSS Hospital which is suppose to be the top hospital in the country and am waiting to have an MRI. On my visit, the doctor did not see anything unsual in the X-ray. (haven’t… Read more »
Dear Bill, First of all, thank you very much for creating such a website and I am impressed by you approach to “the problem”. I first found out (accidentally) your “The Simplest Knee Therapy In The World” video, and maybe the first time in 15 years of injury that I have, I felt full of hope. making the “alphabetical” exercises really helped me, and very quickly… But…I would like to ask you how to start my definate healing process..I had a skiing accident 15 years ago, and my right knee’s frontal cross ligaments teared off some part of the tibia… Read more »
I had minor knee surgery and I am now virtually a cripple. It is stiff and painful and I can hardly stand and I am in week 15. I am trying to build up quad wastage with an aim of revisiting with a new OS. Mri shows only a bakers cyst and It is believed I have scar tissue. I am desperate and can hardly leave the bed. It has destroyed my family’s happiness and my sanity as well as my knee. Please help me with any advice.
I am doing this on behalf of a friend. She had pain and fluid in her knee and
went to a rheumatologist, who drained the fluid. After the treatment, the
knee was MUCH WORSE; even more painful and stiff than before the
treatment. Why? Please reply ASAP.
I had arthroplasty surgery to my knee 6 weeks ago and I am very dispondent with the progress to date. I have done excersises that were given to me in hospital and continue to do so. I can bend my knee to about 80 deg. Yesterday I went to a physio and she bent my knee, I was lying on my stomach, right up to my shoulder almost. I screamed in agony and she just continued. Today I can hardly move my knee and it has become inflammed again and is hot to the touch. What am I doing wrong… Read more »
Hello again. I had “arthoscopic” knee surgery to “repair” a torn meniscus on October 22, 2010. That was over 8 months ago…shouldn’t I be better by now? As it goes, I am sorry that I had it done because the discomfort I had before wasn’t so bad..now, even though I have a good day here and there, the pain is worse when it occurs. Yikes..what should I do? I will probably go back to the doctor..but, I have been putting it off because I don’t want more surgery. Any suggestions? May I speak with you or someone? I don’t have… Read more »