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joint pain

There are many types of joint injuries that cause joint pain.  The most common type of joint injury being a sprain for example rolling your ankle.  Athletes are the most susceptible for sprains and ligament tears due to the shear forces impacting on the joints.  Ligament damage within a joint structure may arise due to changing direction with extreme acceleration or sudden deceleration.  Another way joints can be injured is by external forces or direct impact from an opposing player.  If external forces push a joint pass its full range of motion this can cause dislocation or displacement of the joint.  This will cause extreme pain, swelling and ligament damage and may need reconstructive surgery.

Joint Pain

Repetitive use of joints can also cause pain and may lead to conditions such as Bursitis or Tendonitis.  These types of repetitive or overuse injuries are often associated with poor posture and muscle imbalance (biomechanics).

Frozen shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis) another popular joint condition causing pain will generally occur post a traumatic event. In these cases, structural changes within the joint for example tendon injuries, chondral lesions and fractures will likely be seen.  Scarring following a tissue injury is also another cause. It is coined ‘Frozen Shoulder’ due to the shoulder’s inability to function within a normal range of movement because of a reduced volume in the capsule or the capsule itself becomes tight.

Examples of Joint Injuries;

Knee

  • Fractures (The most common bone broken around the knee is the patella)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
  • Collateral Ligament Injuries
  • Meniscal Tears
  • Patella Tracking Syndrome

Ankle

  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Achilles Tendonitis / Tendinitis
  • Anterior Ankle Impingement
  • Heel Spur
  • Ankle Sprain
  • Peroneal Tendonitis
  • Pes Planus – Flat Feet
  • Severs Disease
  • Stress Fracture
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Shoulder

  • Shoulder instability
  • Dislocations
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Rotator cuff disease
  • Frozen shoulder
  • AC Joint Separation
  • Bursitis
  • Biceps tendinopathy/tendonitis
  • Overuse/strains
  • Arthritis

For an acute joint injury for the first 2-3 days it is very important to rest and apply RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation).  Ice should be applied for no longer than 20mins and not reapplied for 2hours.  Do not over ice. The repair phase of a joint injury can take anywhere from 2 days to 6 weeks.  Treatment advised for joint injuries may include orthopaedic assessment, joint stress tests, dry needling, deep tissue massage, scar tissue massage and stretching, joint mobilisation, trigger point therapy, tendon releasing, myofascial release, strapping and sports specific rehabilitation.

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