Knee Pain


The knee is a complex joint that relies heavily on ligaments and muscles for stability and strength. It prefers front to back movement but rotatory or side to side movements are challenging!

Knee trauma can come from falls or car accidents as well as many sports. Poor alignment, over use, weaknesses and imbalances can lead to chronic condiitions.

Knee pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal complaints that we encounter. People are becoming more active and taking part in more events such as running, cycling and skiing. The knee a very bony structure, doesn’t have a lot of muscle or fatty tissue to absorb impact. It relies heavily on the muscles and joints above and below to keep it healthy.

Often, the knee is no longer able to cope with the demands of both sport and the normal stresses of daily life such as walking and sitting. It is important that we can get up off the floor if we fall.... another reason to keep healthy knees and hips.

Signs and symptoms can include:

  • pain inside and around the joint 
  • swelling
  • popping and instability - if the knee gives way, it may sometimes suggest an injured cartilage but often it is due to muscle imbalances
  • heat and swelling
  • reduced range of motion e.g. can't straighten the knee or it hurts to pull the knee into your chest
  • pain on bending the knee suggests a problem in the quadriceps at the front or it may be overtight hamstrings at the back ..... 
  • Ligaments inside and outside the joint of the knee itself can become inflamed and painful.

  • Knee joints can become misaligned. The femur may rotate more than it should causing uneven pressures. This may cause the patella not to run in its track as it should. 

  • Other imbalances occur with muscular pain and pain in the surrounding tissues including the joint cartilage causing arthritis.

  • Once the knee has become symptomatic, it will affect the hip and pelvis.

  • Pain in the knee can also result from structural imbalances around the hip and ankle joints brought on by repetitive stress, overuse, trauma and poor posture.

  • Limited range of motion in the hips or a tight lower back can place excessive strain on the knees,causing pain.

  • The nerve supply to the knees comes from the lower back area so are linked. Osteopathy and manipulation of the lumbar spine can help here.

  • The body continues compensating so the effects can be far reaching.

  • Hyperpronation of the feet can lead to pain and instablity of the knee


In the acute stage, the joint needs to be rested preferably above the heart with compression and an icepack. However, the sooner the joint is mobilised the better to prevent long term weakening of ligaments and muscle wastage. Just doing gentle little movements in the painfree zone will help healing.

The next stage is the sub-acute stage where healing has started, pain and swelling are lessening. This is where massage comes in. In the sub-acute stage, we massage the joint above at first and then gently over the painful area. This should encourage a reduction in pain as well as an increase in drainage - both absolutely essential for good healing to occur. We will encourage you to move through your painfree zone and do gentle stretches – pain allowing and then improve rehabilitation.

Chronic knee pain can occur when the healing hasn't been complete.

 Remedial and Sports Massage will ease painful muscle spasm so that it can move with less or preferably, no pain.


People who don't exercise may also experience knee pain. This is due to muscle imbalances and usually, a lack of flexibility. Sitting for long periods often encourages bad posture with more weight on one hip than the other, leading to muscle imbalance.

If the muscles that you use to ride a horse are tight, this can throw off the mechanics even if you don't go near a horse.

Regular Remedial and Sports Massage is the best treatment for maintenance of healthy knees any kind of knee pain.

Osteopathy is a great tool to get the knee checked including the joints above and below. An osteopathic check ensures that there are no other factors causing or contributing to your knee pain. 

Pain from arthritis or after a knee replacement can also be helped with Remedial and Sports Massage i


  • warm up before you start any activity
  • check your posture – relax! Don’t hunch your shoulders or slouch
  • work at the right height – BREATHE – it’s easy to forget!
  • take frequent breaks – a quick stretch and shake
  • change activity or at least position when you can – even a few minutes will make a difference
  • don’t bend too far – it’s best to squat or kneel to reach low things
  • lift carefully – bend from the hips and knees. Hold heavy items close to you
  • reduce weight – if you have pounds to lose
  • learn how to look after your back with stretching and mobilising exercises see our video
  • keep moving, walking is great exercise - stretch before and after

If you feel pain in your knee – even if it doesn’t seem too bad – get it treated as soon as possible


  • reduces muscle spasm so encourages balance in joints.
  • relieves pain
  • with less pain, joints can be used more
  • increases movement ensuring that synovial fluid is secreted, which is essential for a healthy joint as the articular cartilage does not have a blood supply.
  • keeps joints mobile which helps to prevent arthritis.
  • increases blood flow to the structures of the joint
  • increases drainage.
  • also helps via the special sensory receptors around the joint telling the brain where the joint is, in terms of space and the movement it is capable of producing.

A regular Swedish Massage will relax, increase awareness and reduce stress – wonderful and excellent prevention:swedish


  • to reduce pain and encourage relaxation so that you operate at a lower level of excitement
  • to relieve tension in back muscles that are then likely to distort structure with far reaching effects on health
  • to balance muscles that are causing problems and to detect and remove trigger points that may be preventing the body from healing itself
  • to improve overall body functioning especially circulation to chronically inflamed areas thus speeding up repair
  • to cause a release of the body’s own painkillers.


Osteopaths use palpatory  techniques and testing to discover what is causing your knee pain. They use a variety of techniques, some may cause clicking sounds others are more like stretching and specially applied movements.

The Osteopath will also want to check your whole structure looking for the cause of the problem. Advanced Remedial Massage and/or Muscle Energy Techniques may be included.

By improving the condition of the back many other conditions often disappear or reduce. The pain of osteoporosis or arthritis may well be eased as muscle spasm is reduced. Anyone who has experienced angina knows that muscle spasm is very painful!!


  • Similar to acupuncture, Shiatsu works to regulate the flow of energy or ‘qi’ thus maintaining health in all ages. Qi is the vital energy in the body that underlies all functions.
  • Qi flows in specific pathways known as meridians
  • Shiatsu practitioners can detect which meridians are too energised and those which are lacking in energy. Either imbalance can lead to blocks to healing and also to what we call disease.
  • Specific points relative to the presenting pain are pressed on the major meridians of the body to cause energy to flow more easily. This combined with acupressure, trigger points and Thai style stretching makes this a is very effective treatment.
  • This explains why so many are delighted with the improvement in constipation, painful arthritic joints, headaches, overwhelm, anxiety, obsessing about work, memory problems, period pain, nausea, asthma and so on. 


  • to balance, relax and re-energise,
  • to work the spine reflexes to reduce muscle spasm,
  • to reduce tension in the pelvic girdle,
  • to improve circulation to all joints especially arthritic ones,
  • to improve nutrition bringing the body’s healing agents to damaged areas,
  • to improved elimination in inflamed areas and generally,
  • to reduce pain