There are many different causes of knee pain. It can be caused by issues related to muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and connective tissue. There can also be knee pain related to poor movement patterns and imbalances in the body such as muscular imbalances. This type of pain can also be acute, related to a mechanism of injury, chronic, as well as insidious onset (no mechanism of injury).
The First Steps:
Generally, if the knee pain is related to an injury or caused by a traumatic event such as twisting a knee or getting injured playing a sport, it is good to first get evaluated by an MD or Physical therapist to determine what the diagnosis is. It is also important to see a professional so they can give you a good care plan going forward. It is helpful to rule out surgical intervention or need for additional diagnostics before one goes to get a massage. With that, if the pain is severe and acute with excessive swelling and/or impacts your ability to walk properly, then seeing an MD first is a good idea and should be the first line of defense.
How Massage Therapy Can Help
Knee pain related to muscular issues such as tightness in the quadricep muscles can be relieved or lessened by massage therapy techniques, such as sports massage, to loosen up the muscles. This can also help to restore muscular balance in the body so that the muscles can perform effectively.
Swelling in the knee can often lead to pain and dysfunction. Massage techniques such as Swedish massage can also be helpful for relieving pain in the knee region. Effleurage and lymph massage can gently push out swelling and/or aid in the lymphatic flow of the body.
Massage can even help with pain in the knee related to joints or bony degenerative changes such as arthritis or osteoarthritis. Certain techniques can improve blood-flow to the area which can help bring in healing nutrients and cells. Massage therapy with gentle stretching can improve range of motion and flexibility in the knee as well.
Overall, massage therapy can be an effective treatment option for knee pain, especially after a diagnosis has been given.