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knee pain and knee replacement
A huge reason for knee replacements is knee pain

Knee Pain

Knee pain is the worst. Well….. it can be. Knee pain is especially bad when it hurts every time you walk, or play your sport, or hinders you from doing what you love most. This article will briefly go over what to expect in the series of Knee Pain in the Zona Physical Therapy Blog.

Whether you’re 14 years old or 114 years old, knee pain doesn’t have to stop or dictate your life. If you are an ironman athlete or stay at home mom (or if you’re a turbo, you’re both), you don’t have to slow down. There is a way to get out of pain while remaining active.

A Case Study

I recently worked with a mom of 2 training for a half marathon. Everything was going great in her running program until she increased her mileage. She would have knee pain every time she hit mile 3. It would slow her down. Her pain was getting in the way of her training and stress-relieving activity. She came into the clinic in hopes of getting back into running longer because her half marathon was coming up. Within 2 treatments, she was discharged and back to running longer without having to decrease her volume or slow down.


While I see many types of knee pain generators in the clinic, there are a few that stand out as the most frequent. The top 4 we see are:

  • Acute Synovitis (Activated Arthritis)
  • Meniscal Lesions
  • Patellar Tendonopathy (or patellar tendonitis)
  • Referred somatic pain from the lower back

Other pathologies I also see are:

  • Proximal Tibia/Fibula arthropathies
  • Coronary Ligament sprains
  • ACL sprains/tears
  • Quadriceps/ Extensor mechanism
  • MCL/LCL/PCL sprains
  • Hamstring myopathies
  • Osteoarthritis

I know what you’re thinking, what about the IT band? Chondromalacia? At Zona Physical Therapy, we don’t see these as a huge pain generator, if ever. I see that those issues are often misdiagnosed and that’s why you may still be in pain. Many of the problems mentioned above can take 1-5 visits, max. Even ACL tears and meniscal lesions can be treated without surgery and have excellent outcomes. In the upcoming blogs of this series, we’ll cover more on our examination and treatment process.

Tyler Burton, PT DPT