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The knee comprises a strong joint that is supported by large strong muscles spanning across the ankle, knee and hip. It is also supported by a set of strong ligaments to provide control against strain. This clever design enables the knee to tolerate strain and generate forces needed for activities such as running, jumping/hopping or kicking a ball across the field. 

Knee pain is a general term that can relate to any pain around the side, front and back of the knee. Specifically, it may relate to sensitive muscles, bursa, tendons and knee cap / joint. 

Common medical diagnostic labels include: patellofemoral pain, Hoffa pad syndrome, pes anserinus, patella tendinopathy, patella instability, quadriceps muscle strain, iliotibial band syndrome, knee osteoarthritis. It may also be related to damage structures from a traumatic injury. Some examples include ligaments tear (anterior/posterior cruciate, medial / lateral collateral), loose osseous body from avulsion or fracture, hamstring strain or tear and Baker’s cyst. Occasionally, it may also be a referred pain down the leg that can be associated with back or hip pain.

Our knee’s health depends on regular movements, lower limb muscle strength (hip, thigh and lower leg), and caring for general physical and psychological health. More specifically; this includes  participating in physical activity regularly, keeping a healthy weight, good sleep habits and managing stress and mood well (level 1 evidence).

Physiotherapists are key healthcare providers for conservative knee care, being tasked to prevent persistent pain and disability, and facilitating a pathway to wellness and functional restoration.