Massage Therapy for the Injured Knee

The collateral ligaments of your knee hold your leg together by connecting your thigh bone to your shin bone. These ligaments form their attachments at the medial and lateral sides of your knee. Their importance of these ligaments stems from their role in preventing your knee from buckling inward and outward and keeping it on track during forward-backward movements. Rest, ice, compression and elevation is usually recommended at the earliest stages of a knee injury, but in certain cases, massage therapy has a place in the healing process.

About Knee Injuries

An injury, called a “lesion,” in medical terminology, might manifest itself as:

  •  A swelling in a bursa sac or a joint
  •  A pinching of a nerve or tendon
  •  A series of micro-tears in a muscle, tendon, ligament or fascia
  •  A major disruption of tissue,  like a broken bone or a ruptured tendon.

Depending upon the severity of the injury, the therapeutic process might involve knee surgery, physiotherapy, or a combination of the two. In some cases, the patient might occasionally experience  sharp, albeit fleeting pain, long after the therapeutic process has ended.

Medial and Collateral Knee Injuries

Tears and strains of the medial and collateral knee injuries rarely require surgery –except when they occur in conjunction with an ACL tear. Improper healing of these injuries, however, can trigger chronic knee pain. Reasons for this pain include:

  • Faulty alignment of the knee and shin
  • Overstretched ligaments from contorted yoga postures
  • Scar tissue development

About Scar Tissue

Improper healing of an injury often triggers the formation of adhesive scar tissue, which forms by    binding the originally damaged tissue to the adjacent soft tissues. Scar tissue is not always a bad thing. During the healing process, it serves as the biological glue that holds torn tissue fibers together. If, however, the healing process occurs in random fashion, without the guidance of a physiotherapist,  the scar tissue creates a mass of disorderly lesions, which interfere with functional movement patterns.

Scar tissue usually forms primarily in ligaments, tendons, muscles, fascia and joint capsules. If it forms in the fascial tissue, it will bind your skin to its underlying fascia, and limit your movements. Placing abnormal scar tissue under pressure stimulates the nerves and produces an OUCH response. Even worse than the pain is the fact that unhealed scar tissue leaves you vulnerable to re-injury. Re-injury, in turn, creates more scar tissue, which exacerbates the problem.

Some methods of self massage, such as foam rollers, might temporarily relieve pain, but true healing only occurs after removal of the abnormal scar tissue. Your massage therapist might be able to help, but the next time you injure your knee, take a proactive approach. In some cases, getting regular massages at the right point of the physiotherapy process might prevent the formation of scar tissue.

Call us on (08) 9272 7359 today to speak with our expert massage therapist.