Here are a few things to think about regarding knee pain which is sometimes poorly understood by Medics. A recent large-scale study on knee pain in Australia finds, for instance, that torn cartilage that looks pretty abnormal, usually has nothing to do with the pain. People with pain-free knees have torn cartilage too. If you went in for surgery to repair torn cartilage, it would not do anything for your painful situation. They think the benefit is that the surgery ” washes” out inflammation that is locked in the knee capsule (synovial fluid). The problem is the inflammation will creep back if the rehabilitation does not normalise the knee. A tear in an old person is not the same thing as one in a young person. In an older person, a tear of the knee cartilage is just a part of growing old. The same applies to the spine. Doctors used to look at scans of the spine and look at a lot of structures that looked abnormal; there would be herniated discs, degenerative changes and so on. The doctors would worry that they needed to operate on everything they saw like that.
It turns out that all these are normal in old people, and are usually pain-free i:e it’s normal. Usually, because herniated discs can sometimes self-repair. The doctors now are beginning to rethink the way they look at these things ( but not all of them !!!). They need to focus on arthritis pain relief, spinal pain relief, backache relief; they need to look at the specific reason behind it. Osteopaths have known for a long time that many of their patients have quite significant degenerative changes. Really through palpation and reduction in segmental movement of tissue fibrosis etc… MRIs don’t really help with that but they can often find “accidental” pathologies like cancer etc. so that makes them priceless as they save lives. So the medical community is proposing a new way in which to study MRIs and other scans. If an abnormality shows up in one, the radiologist is supposed to place it in context by providing information that speaks of how many times it’s been found that the abnormality in question is actually known to cause any pain. So really there are many causes of knee pain meniscus, ligament, muscle wasting, bakers cysts, bruised cartilage, back pain, reflex autonomic nerve pain, cysts, chronic protective inflammation that does not resolve and inflammation often from trauma, weight, lack of flexibility etc….