Knee Pain

Written by Dr. Marcus Wong

The knee is a very complex structure of our body leading to a lot of pain after increase exercise or motions.  This is due to the fact that not every individual train their knees properly which can lead to problems even with everyday activities.  As we age our knees become weak and/or tight over time, therefore, even simple activities as running or walking in the park can lead to discomfort and long term chronic knee issues.  Certain parts of the knee is strain and other parts of the knee must over compensate leading to unbalance muscle groups in the knee.  When this happen several treatment options and rehabilitation exercises are available.

First lets describe the basic anatomy of the knee.  The knee is made up of 4 major bones: the femur, tibia, fibula, and the patella.  There are four major ligaments the hold up the knee:  medial collateral ligament, lateral collateral ligament, anterior cruciate ligament, and posterior cruciate ligament.


Knee- Diagram


Several muscles surrounds the knee.  The major ones consists of the quadriceps femoris, hamstrings, and calf muscles.

The anterior portion of the knee is made up of the quadriceps femoris muscle.  This group of muscles comprise of 4 individual muscles consisting of the rectus femoris which is the middle portion of the thigh, the vastus medialis which is the inner portion of the thigh, vastus lateralis which is the outer portion of the thigh, and the vastus intermedius which is the portion underneath the rectus femoris.


Quadriceps Femoris Muscle

The posterior thigh of the knee is made up of the hamstring muscle group.  This group of muscles comprise of 4 individual muscles as well: biceps femoris long/short head, semitendonosis, and semimembranosus.




Lastly the calf muscles which forms the lower posterior portion of the knee consisting of mainly the gastrocnemius and the soleus.


Achilles -tendon


Majority of the patients who comes in with knee pain are usually the ones that have over used their knee.  This will result in certain parts of the knee being too tight (usually the rectus femoris and vastus lateralis) and certain parts of the knee being too weak (vastus medialis).  Muscle imbalance results and knee discomfort and pain are the symptoms.  If this is the case chiropractic treatments made be done.  Such treatment options include:

  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Muscle stretching of the knee muscles using Active Release Technique®
  • Proper taping of the knee during acute stages for support
  • Active range of motion and tubing/strengthen exercises
  • Balance/proprioception exercises


In some more serious cases the ligaments of the knee are partially torn or fully torn, in this case medical consultation or surgery are required.  After re evaluation and/or surgery conservative care with chiropractic treatments can be rendered.

In the older population cartilage in the knee may deteriorate and decrease.  When this happens surgery may be need, but conservative chiropractic care may be used at first as well.  Proper supplementation of glucosamine sulfate may also be used.

If you have any more questions about knee injuries/prevention or treatment options please email Dr. Marcus Wong at