Here at Lake Effect Chiropractic, in Bay City, we have a passion for helping people who are dealing with knee pain.

Most people experience some sort of knee pain during their lives. Whether you are growing or starting to age and get older, your knees do a lot for you every single day. Knee pain will definitely have a negative impact on your day-to-day functions, and that is why it is so important to try to address pain as soon as it begins.

Our licensed chiropractors will find the perfect way for you to get rid of your pain. We will address the underlying issues that are causing your knee pain and come up with a game plan to relieve your pain for good.

Watch This!

Check out one of the ways we treat knee pain!

“Why do I experience knee pain?”

There are many ways for knee pain to form. Here is a list of some of the most frequent causes.

  • Overuse Injuries (repetitive movemnts)
  • Job Demands
  • Injuries from working out
  • Lifting weights improperly
  • Old injuries
  • Loose body in the joint
  • Hip or foot pain
  • Arthritis
  • Excess weight
  • Lack of muscle flexibility or strength

Knee Conditions

Knee pain can be extremely debilitating, but with proper treatment, the impact can be greatly minimized. The most common knee conditions we see include:

  • IT (iliotibial) Band Syndrome
  • Meniscal Tear/ Injury
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Patellar Tendinitis
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Chondromalacia Patella Syndrome)
  • Hip ABductor Weakness
  • Bursitis: Pes-Anserine
  • Ligament Sprain (ACL, MCL, LCL)
  • Osgood-Schlatter Disease

“What is the first step in treating your knee pain?”

The first step in your recovery is receiving a medical diagnosis from an experienced professional like our chiropractors.

The treatment and prognosis of your knee injury very on the severity of your pain and the extent of the injury itself, usually we will start with a thorough history and exam of your pain. Treatments that may be recommended by our chiropractors Lake Effect  Chiropractic include chiropractic care, soft tissue manipulation/treatment, rehabilitation exercises, and if more progressive treatment is needed we may use our painless Class IV Summus medical laser

We may start by icing your knee or using our Class IV laser, though we also give soft tissue treatments, work with the muscles around your knee, and much more. Often we use a combination of different therapies to help ease the pain and speed up the healing process.

Though many people believe that pain is a part of aging, there are many symptoms that will let you know that you should seek treatment. If you are in pain and your ability to move is being affected by your knee, you should schedule a consultation. If you notice that you are limiting your activity or taking medication on a regular basis, it may be time to see us. We will address the issues regarding your knee and help you get back on your feet pain-free.

If you have any questions regarding knee pain, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (989) 686-6808.

How We Treat Knee Pain

Chiropractic Adjustments

At Lake Effect Chiropractic we specialize in chiropractic adjustments that improve overall health and get you feeling great.

Compression Therapy

Compression therapy is designed to increase blood flow to speed up recovery from workouts or from injuries. This therapy involves NormTec Boots that help this process and increase recovery time.

Summus Class IV Medical Laser

Laser Therapy is the use of specific wavelengths of light (red and near-infrared) to stimulate the body's natural ability to heal. Improved healing time, pain reduction, increased blood circulation and decreased swelling are the major effects of laser energy. Summus Medical Lasers are designed to target the body's optimal light-absorbing complexes to treat pain and accelerate the healing process.

Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)

IASTM is another option to resolve pain and tightness in the body. This approach to fascia and muscle work reduces friction which allows for precision, sensitivity and depth that cannot be accomplished with the hands, knuckles, elbows etc.

Therapeutic Exercises

Here at Lake Effect Chiropractic, we specialize in assisting our patients through physical rehabilitation to keep them healthy after they experience an injury or pain in any way.

Active Release Technique

Active Release Technique (ART) is a soft tissue therapy designed to rid injured areas of scar tissue. Here at Lake Effect Chiropractic, we incorporate ART in our treatment of musculoskeletal disorders to remedy injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, rotator cuff injuries, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, tennis elbow, headaches, and back pain. All of these conditions tend to have one thing in common: the result of an overused muscle.

McKenzie Method

Without a full range of motion and proper use of joints, our backs, necks and joints become stiff and less mobile, leading to pain, greater loss of movement and dysfunction. The McKenzie method is a standardized assessment tool, defining and classifying movement problems and recommending appropriate treatment.


If you are uncomfortable with the more traditional manual adjustments, the PulStar is an amazing option for light force chiropractic adjustments.

When should I see a chiropractor for my knee pain?

This is an important question to ask and to answer! Many knee injuries may be treated with chiropractic treatment. Whether it's an acute form of a knee injury that's flared up or a chronic type of sports injury that you've been struggling with on and off for years.

It excites us to have new patients who have had other chiropractic experiences, what we do at Lake Effect Chiropractic is target the source of the problem and work to extinguish it! Getting the body moving, from the joints to the muscles, we know MOVEMENT IS MEDICINE!

Despite the fact that knee injuries are common, the seriousness of the injuries and the conditions that cause them to vary. What we do is different, your knee injury treatment is always individualized and we are here to help you with whatever pain you may be experiencing here in Bay City, Michigan.   

We work together with the medical community to make sure you receive the proper care no matter what your condition may be, new or old, minor or serious, we want you to get back to a pain-free life and enjoy it!

Causes Of Knee Pain

There are multiple reasons why someone might start experiencing pain in their knee. Here is a list of some of the most common causes.

IT Band Syndrome

  • Iliotibial band syndrome (aka Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome) describes an irritation of the tissues near the distal attachment of the iliotibial band. This overuse syndrome is particularly common in runners and cyclists.
  • ITB syndrome is common in populations exposed to repetitive knee flexion and extension while in a single leg stance. The problem is particularly prevalent in runners, where it compromises almost ¼ of all lower extremity injuries.
  • Ultimately, ITB syndrome affects up to 12% of all runners.
  • The condition is also frequently seen in cycling, weight lifting, skiing, soccer, basketball, field hockey, and competitive rowing. 

Meniscus Tear/ Injury

  • The knee menisci are shock-absorbent, fibrocartilage discs which conform to the femoral and tibial intraarticular contours (in the joint space). 
  • The outside 1/3 edge of a meniscus (near its joint capsule attachment) is vascularized and innervated for pain and proprioception. The remainder of the meniscus is avascular and lacks nerve supply.
  • Not surprisingly, healing potential diminishes in the less vascular inner region. 
  • Meniscal tears may be classified as “traumatic” or “degenerative”.
  • Meniscal injuries may occur at any age. In children and adolescents, the menisci are durable and rubbery so most injuries are “traumatic” as a result of a forceful rotational injury. 
  • As we age the meniscus grows weaker and “degenerative” tears become more likely, often resulting from simple or unrecognized insults.  “Degenerative” tears are more common.
  • The medial meniscus is damaged more commonly than the lateral meniscus with acute tears often involving the middle and posterior regions


  • Knee osteoarthritis is a slowly progressive, degenerative condition characterized by articular cartilage erosion, chronic inflammation and bony hypertrophy (osteophytes).
  • The condition is symptomatic in more than 1/3 of adults over age 65.
  • Osteoarthritic changes in the knee most commonly affect the medial (inside) tibiofemoral compartment, followed successively in frequency by the patellofemoral and lateral compartments
  •  Contrary to popular opinion, low and moderate mileage runners have no increased incidence of knee osteoarthritis as compared to non-runners. 
  • Knee mechanics are largely influenced by the function of the hip and foot. Biomechanical deficits that cause varus or valgus misalignment may lead to premature degenerative change, i.e. gluteus medius weakness and fallen arches of the foot.
  • Patients with flat feet are almost twice as likely to develop knee osteoarthritis involving the medial compartment. 

Patellar Tendinitis

  • Patellar tendinopathy results from micro-tearing or degeneration of the proximal attachment of the patellar tendon from its origin on the inferior pole of the patella. The damage most characteristically involves the proximal, posteriormedial fibers of the tendon.
  • The condition has been named “jumper’s knee” since excessive loading of the knee extensor mechanism during high frequency repetitive jumping is considered the primary risk factor for this condition. 
  • Pain is usually experienced upon landing!
  • Patellar tendinopathy is common, affecting up to 20% of skeletally mature athletes with a prevalence as high as 50% in sports which require repetitive forceful jumping and landing like volleyball and basketball. 

Patellofemoral Pain/ Chondromalacia Patella Syndrome

  • Any factor that alters normal patellofemoral mechanics is a risk factor for chondromalacia patellae.
  • This includes lateral tracking disorders, tightness in the lateral knee capsule, weakness of the vastus medialis or quadriceps, pes planus, hip abductor weakness, joint overloads/overuse, trauma, patellar hypermobility, and muscle imbalance, particularly quadriceps or iliotibial band hypertonicity and vasus medialis or quadriceps weakness.
  • Weakness in the quadriceps or hamstring muscles increases one's risk of developing patellofemoral pain three to five fold.
  • Weakness in the hip abductors is common in patients with knee pain and is a significant contributor to patellofemoral pain. 
  • Retropatellar (behind the knee cap) cartilage breakdown is the hallmark feature of chondromalacia.
  • Biomechanical tracking stressors are compounded through activities of daily living, causing irritation and eventually wear to the patellofemoral cartilage. 

Hip ABductor Weakness

  • The muscles of the hip provide not only local stability but also play an important role in spinal and lower extremity functional alignment. 
  • The body requires balance and strength in all plains for optimal performance. Hip abductor weakness forces the lower kinetic chain to employ various compensatory mechanisms– although these corrections do not come without a cost.
  • While the "functional" diagnosis of hip abductor weakness can present asymptomatically, it is also a well-known contributor to several painful "structural" diagnoses throughout the lower body.
  • In fact, hip weakness can be a useful predictor of lower extremity injury and low back pain. 

Pes-Anserine Bursitis

  • Pes Anserine Bursitis (also known as pes anserinus or anserine bursitis) is a painful irritation of the pes anserine bursa of the medial knee.
  • Due to the blended anatomy of the medial knee, it is often difficult to pinpoint and diagnose the pes anserine bursa as the source of the patient’s symptoms.
  • The disorder should be considered in any patient with pain inferior to the medial joint line of the knee.
  • The prevalence of pes anserine bursitis is higher among distance runners, breaststroke swimmers (kick) and athletes participating in sports that require cutting or rapid side-to-side movement including: football, baseball, soccer, and racquet sports.
  • Functional risk factors for the development of pes anserine bursitis include hamstring tightness, lack of knee extension, and improper or rapid changes in training. 

Knee Sprain- Collateral Ligaments (MCL/ACL)

  • Knee stability is derived primarily from the four major ligaments: the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and lateral collateral ligament (LCL). 
  • Ligament injuries are traditionally classified as Grade I (stretch with no macroscopic fiber disruption), Grade II (partial fiber disruption), or Grade III (rupture).
  • Significant knee trauma is capable of producing a multi-ligament injury. In fact, a Grade III MCL sprain results in concomitant ACL disruption in more than ¾ of cases.
  • A combined injury of the MCL, ACL and meniscus are termed an “unhappy triad” or “blown knee”. 
  • The typical presentation of collateral ligament sprain includes pain on the medial or lateral aspect of the knee following acute trauma, i.e. sporting event or vehicular accident.
  • Patients will often report hearing a “pop” with subsequent pain.
  • Complaints may include diminished range of motion from pain and swelling, or a feeling of “weakness” or instability. “Clicking” is possible, particularly with concomitant damage to a meniscus. 

Osgood-Schlatter Disease (OSD)

  • Osgood-Schlatter Disease (OSD) An overuse injury creating traction apophysitis of the tibial tuberosity.
  • The tibial tuberosity is an apophysis that serves as the attachment site for the patellar tendon.
  • In the developing athlete, this apophysis is a biomechanically weak point, which is predisposed to injury during periods of rapid skeletal development.
  • When training demands exceed the ability of the muscle-tendon unit to accommodate these stresses, this increased tension results in bony microtrauma and inflammation of the apophysis (very painful).
  • Osgood-Schlatter Disease is more common in athletes, particularly those who participate in soccer, gymnastics, basketball, running or track.
  • It is most common between the ages of 10-15.
  • It has a relatively equal prevalence between boys and girls

What Our Patients Have To Say!

I came in with knee pain that has affected me for years. The laser has helped tremendously after just a couple visits. I drive an hour up to their office because I have been welcomed by people who care and treatment that improves my quality of life. Highly recommend!!

-Katie S., Flint, MI

Lake Effect has been a staple for me in my recovery game with all the hard training it takes to compete in the sport of CrossFit. I came into Dr. Brittanys care with some injuries that had been nagging me for over two years. Within just a couple treatments she not only drastically improved my situation but boiled it down to the root cause of the injury. I highly recommend anyone from the serious athlete to anyone dealing with nagging issues to check them out!

-Jeremy G., Saginaw, MI

I went into Lake Effect Chiropractic with realistic expectations. Some of the problems I had went back almost a decade thanks to wear and tear from heavy lifting and endurance sports. I knew it would take time and multiple treatments to even begin to see a difference. I was wrong. Even after one treatment, long term issues began to clear up. The combination of knowledgeable staff, excellent treatment, and the rehab-style exercises that I was sent home with set me on the road to recovery much faster than anticipated.

-Dion M., Bay City, MI

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Contact us today.