What You Need To Know About Knee Injuries
From ligament, tendon and cartilage tears to runner’s knee and various pain syndromes, most everyone has known someone who has had a dreaded knee injury.
In fact, knee injuries are the second most common sports injury accounting for more than five million patient visits per year according to the Myers Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Institute. This is due to the fact that the knee is the largest and most complex joint in the body with movement in all planes of motion.
The most common knee injuries come from overuse injuries such as tendinopathy, patella-femoral syndrome or iliotibial band syndrome.
Overuse injuries are most often a result of people going too hard, too soon, which is why it is critically important to slowly increase frequency, intensity, and duration in a training program. Like any tissue in the body, if the tissues supporting the knee receive too much stress too soon, they cannot adapt. When the body’s ability to adapt is compromised, overuse injuries occur.
Less common but still of consequence are knee injuries caused by trauma, such as a collision or a fall. This is exacerbated when coupled with a twist or rotation of the joint.
Anatomically speaking, women are between two and eight times more likely to suffer a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). As a result, women need to pay extra special attention to strengthening and stretching their hamstring and quadriceps muscles as well as the muscles that stabilize and support the pelvis as the pelvis helps control the knee.
People carrying extra weight are also at an increased risk of knee injuries. Overweight people put more stress on their joints and the soft tissue that supports them.
Older adults can also be at a higher risk, particularly of pain associated with osteoarthritis. Low impact activities and strength training exercises, as well as yoga, tai chi, and pool-based exercises are most appropriate for older adults with knee pain.
So what can be done?
Exercise for healthy knees. However, not just any exercise will do.
Focusing on correct exercise technique is a major way to prevent an injury and should be central in every fitness session. Appropriate exercises should focus on corrective alignment, chiefly in the hips and core.
Working through injury
For athletes suffering from an existing injury, it behooves you to follow doctor’s instructions and work closely with a physical therapist to assist in your recovery.
People with knee injuries who try to “heal on their own” are at risk of over-compensating or favoring one side over another creating a whole host of new problems with pelvic alignment.
Most people with knee injuries can stay active with an upper body and core program while keeping their knee protected. Lower body conditioning that focuses on proper alignment, balance and core strength, in conjunction with a proper physical therapy program will get you back on track and on your way to healthy knees for life.
At Eastside Medical Group we don’t simply address the symptoms of your knee pain and discomfort. Instead, we take an integrated approach to treatment so that you can eliminate your pain permanently.
OUR DYNAMIC THERAPY IS HELPING MANY PEOPLE SAFELY AVOID MEDICATIONS & EVEN SURGERY FOR THEIR PAIN!
Our techniques are proven to be much better than simply masking your pain with drugs or using invasive surgical procedures that take weeks or even months of recovery and downtime from your daily life.