Osteopathy for Knee Pain

Written by Stephen Sacks – Medically reviewed by Stephen Sacks – Last updated May 20, 2024

As the largest load-bearing joint in the human body, our knees take a lot of punishment in our lifetimes. Every time you get up from bed or a chair, climb a set of stairs, bend down to pick something up, or even just take a casual stroll, you put strain and pressure on a complicated joint that is critical for normal mobility and life. This builds up over time, and only a lucky few live a lifetime free from knee pain. 

With up to 1 in 10 adults in the UK suffering from clinically diagnosed osteoarthritis (OA) with pain specifically in the knee (Swain et al.), knee pain is one of the conditions I treat most frequently as an Osteopath. In addition to osteoarthritis, my practice also addresses knee injuries and mechanical issues that disrupt normal activities such as walking, sitting, standing, and playing, all of which require pain-free movement.

Osteopathy offers highly effective diagnosis and treatment options for many of the most common causes of knee pain. It combines the benefits of conventional medical practices with proven alternative approaches such as acupuncture, dry needling, and electrotherapy to reduce inflammation and pain. Even a handful of osteopathy sessions can bring long-term relief to persistently sore knees. 

If you’re suffering from knee pain, contact Stephen Sacks Osteopathy at 020 3865 9044 or make an online booking. I provide effective and affordable treatment for knee pain stemming from:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout or pseudogout
  • Meniscus tears
  • Ligament injuries (ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL tears)
  • Tendonitis (including patellar tendonitis)
  • Other pain or injuries that affect pain-free movement

Please feel free to contact me in Harley Street or Highgate to discuss your knee pain.

Understanding the knee and knee pain

The knee consists of three bones: the upper joint of the tibia (shinbone), the patella (kneecap), and the lower joint of the femur (thighbone); four major ligaments; and uses ten muscles to function. Between these major components you’ll also find connective tissues, blood vessels, and nerves. 

Some of the most common causes of knee pain include:

  • Osteoarthritis is the most common source of knee pain, especially in adults over the age of 50. This degenerative condition wears away at the cartilage in between the bones in the knee, slowly causing them to start grinding against each other when walking. This becomes increasingly painful with time, and if more acute on one side, could easily cause the patient to constantly shift their weight and cause further damage. Rheumatoid arthritis and gout are two other arthritic (promoting swelling and tenderness in the joints) conditions that often present as knee pain. 
  • Injuries from contact sports and other high-intensity activities often lead to knee sprains, ACL or other ligament tears, meniscus tears, fractures, and dislocations. Addressing sports injuries early on can both promote a speedy recovery and help prevent poor posture or gait, which cause long-term damage to the knee, hip, and back. 
  • Tendonitis is the painful swelling and inflammation of the tendons that connect muscle to bone. Repetitive action or overuse of the knee may trigger tendonitis, making it a common disorder among those practising activities that involve repetitive use of particular joints, like tennis, golf, or running. Left untreated, tendonitis may lead to torn tendons, which are significantly more painful and difficult to treat.
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease is common in young adolescents. During growth spurts that typically occur between the ages of 9 and 14, a child’s bones, muscles, and tendons all grow at different rates. During rapid growth spurts, the OSD tendon, which connects the shinbone to the kneecap, pulls on the growth plate at the top of the shinbone, making it difficult to bend the knees and causing pain. 

While there are other causes of knee pain, those listed above represent the majority of clients that I see who are looking for comfortable and pain-free mobility. 

Finding effective treatment for knee pain

With knee pain being so prevalent, there are a number of places to turn when looking for effective treatment. Depending on the nature of your complaint, a GP is likely to suggest a short course of anti-inflammatories and some rest. If this fails to deliver, they will most likely request some sort of imaging or refer you to a specialist. While in a worst-case scenario you would require surgery, Osteopaths, physiotherapists, and rheumatologists all provide non-invasive treatments and therapies that address knee pain. 

Regardless of who you end up turning to for help, it’s important to not ignore persistent knee pain. Left untreated or simply treating the symptoms with non-prescription medications may cause further internal degradation, complicating later treatments and extending the timeline to a full recovery. Knee pain that causes you to favour a specific leg or side may later lead to hip, spine, and other mobility issues.

Looking for a Knee Pain Osteopath in London?

Contact Dr. Stephen Sacks at 020 3865 9044 or through his online portal for an obligation-free discussion about your knee pain and treatment options. 

Why choose an osteopath for knee pain?

Our body and its many parts are intricately connected. Osteopaths spend a lot of time learning how these connections work and how a problem or disorder in one area of the body can result in pain and discomfort in another. When visiting an osteopath, you might notice that they ask questions seemingly unrelated to your knee pain; however, this allows us to identify and diagnose underlying or co-existing conditions that affect your overall well-being. For example, an osteopath is more likely than other medical practitioners to detect that the root of your knee pain might be a condition in your foot or hip.

Knee injuries or persistent pain change how we stand and walk. Over time, this causes a shift in how we use the major muscles in our legs, often leading to a condition called patella-femoral pain syndrome. PFPS is the result of a weakening Vastus Medialus (inner quads) and a tightening of the Vastus Lateralus (outer quads), pulling the knee cap off-centre and resulting in discomfort and a painless but uncomfortable clicking. Osteopaths can address this painful side effect of knee pain through deep tissue massages, needling, and other techniques that bring immediate relief. 

It’s also not uncommon for osteopaths to team up with other specialists for comprehensive and holistic care. A rheumatologist might prescribe medication to soothe the pain of arthritis, while an Osteopath provides further relief for pain and swelling through manipulation and massage.

Stephen Sacks osteopathy for knee pain

The knee is one of my favourite areas to treat. Whether I’m seeing a runner keen to hit the road again, a grandparent looking for arthritis relief, or a post-operative patient trying to get back on their feet as fast as possible, I find that my treatment is generally successful and provides effective pain relief. Many of my patients report a significant improvement in mobility after only a single session. 

I take great care when recording my patients’ medical histories, ensuring that I have a complete picture of everything that could be a cause or result of your knee pain. Alongside this holistic approach to treatment, I’ll also walk you through exercises and movements that you can do at home to strengthen and support your knee. You wouldn’t believe the good that you can do with a rolling pin to the outer thighs and a couple of daily squats performed with the right form.

I’m confident that I can help you find relief from back pain and address its underlying cause with only a few sessions of balancing the quadriceps to treat PFPS and maybe some dry needling to promote mobility and recovery. I’ll also make sure to cover a wide range of practical steps that you can take at home to prevent future knee pain. 

For proven and effective knee pain treatment, contact Dr. Stephen Sacks

Affordable, accessible, and effective osteopathic treatments with a holistic view of health and recovery.

Works cited

Swain, S., et al. “Trends in incidence and prevalence of osteoarthritis in the United Kingdom: findings from the Clinical Practice Research.Osteoarthritis and cartilage, vol. 28, no. 6, 2020, pp. 792-801. National Library of Medicine, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32184134/. Accessed 13 May 2024.