We usually don't think much about our knees until they they hurt. At that a moment, people often start to panic or try to learn to live with the unrelenting pain. Rather than worrying and being in pain give your knees your full attention by exercising properly and regularly. Let's take a look at everything you should know about knee pain.
Most common cause of knee pain
Knee pain occurs in people of all ages and levels of activity. The knee is the largest and most complex joint in our body and has to deal with a great deal of stress. Unfortunately, this hard work for our knee can sometimes result in injury or chronic problems. The most common causes of knee pain include:
Bursitis Inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs (so-called bursae), which prevent excessive friction between the parts of the joint. Bursitis occurs due to frequent kneeling or a strong blow to the patella area.
Patellar tendinitis (Runner’s knee) Inflammation of the tendons due to overload of the quadriceps. These are often sports-related injuries, especially where there is frequent jumping, i.e., volleyball and basketball, but the cause may also be running, skiing or cycling.
Meniscus injury A rupture in the fibrous plates, which absorb shocks in the knee. The risk of meniscus rupture increases with age due to higher wear and slower regeneration of the cartilag
Strain or rupture of the cruciate ligaments Another injury very common among athletes, professional or amateur. Crossed ligaments play a crucial role in the overall stability of the knee and can be found in the middle part of the knee joint. Wome
Iliotibial band syndrome (AKA Runner's knee) As the name suggests, this injury can be found mainly amongst runners. It is caused by improper usage or straining of the muscle group which ensures the stability and flexibility of the knee. This muscle group starts with the large and medium gluteal muscles (Keep in mind that knee problems can also be caused by stress in other parts of our musculoskeletal system).
Knee pain prevention
To avoid knee pain, do not underestimate….
Regular exercise and strengthening of important muscles Weak muscles easily lead to injury and the knee is usually one of the first victims. Strength training, for example with the help of a resistance band, will ensure that your body is ready for a more strenuous effort. However, I highly recommend discussing any specific exercises and their frequency with an expert first.
Warming up before exercises Beginner amateur athletes in particular often neglect a proper preparation for a sporting effort. Do not forget to stretch and get the blood pumping in your muscles before each run, long bike ride or a match.
Weight reduction Body weight naturally has a big effect on our knees. Thus, if you manage to get your weight within healthy limits, the result will be much less worry around joint overload.
Choosing the right shoes Shoes are not just a foot decoration and a tool to keep your toes warm. Contact with the ground, especially during running or other sports activities, has a big effect on how much pressure your knee has to absorb and how it handles it. Proper fitting shoes in good condition are therefore a basic requirement for healthy knees.
What to do if your knees already hurt
Seek immediate professional help especially when knee pain is accompanied by these symptoms:
- Visible swelling
- Inability to straighten your knee without severe pain
- Knee instability
- Injuries obvious to the naked eye
- Fever and redness in the area of your knee
It goes without saying that you should not neglect your knee pain. Before you can seek help, you can ice, rest and elevate to reduce the knee pain.
Exercises that may be helpful if you experience knee pain
Would you like to relieve your knee from pain or strengthen it in a way that will prevent future injuries? Then you should try these 5 exercises with beneficial effects on your knees and surrounding muscles
Straight leg raise Bend one leg while lying on your back and straighten the other. With an exhalation, lift the straight leg towards your body and hold it in the highest position where you are not feeling any pain for a few seconds. Lift each leg at least 10 times. Between the raises you can let your straight let completely relax for a few moments
Sit to stand For this exercise, find a surface that you can sit on safely and that is also slightly higher than your knees, such as the edge of a couch. Sit on this surface with your back and feet parallel to your hips (your knees must not point in or out). Lean forward with an inhale and stand up from your seat, without using your hands for support. Then sit back again, repeat 10 times. This exercise should be relatively slow and controlled.
Bridging Lie on your back and bend your knees. Keep your arms along your body, your back supported full on the mat. Gently tuck your chin in. Push your feet into the mat and lift your hips as much as comfortably possible and then slowly return to the original position. Repeat 10 times.
Wall sits This exercise begins in a standing position with your feet hip width wide. Stand with your back about 1 step from the wall. Then bend your knees and assume a squat position so that your back stays in contact with the wall at all times (You are essentially sliding down). Hold the squat for about 10 seconds and then slowly return to the original position. Beware of any pain and position of your knees – they should never extend beyond the toes.
Lateral Band Walk For this exercise it is necessary to buy a resistance band. Put the band on in such a way that it encircles your feet in the area just above the ankles. It should not be twisted anywhere. The feet should be level with the shoulders. From this position move into a fairly shallow squat (again, make sure your knees do not exceed the tips of your feet). Move the weight to one leg and take a step aside, while constantly squatting. Take a few steps to one side (depending on how much space you have) and then repeat the same movement in the opposite direction. In total, you should take about 20 sidesteps.
Visit Prague Physical Therapy
Knee pain can have many causes and therefore needs to be approached on a case-by-case basis. At Prague Physical Therapy I provide personal and online examinations that will allow us to diagnose and alleviate your knee pain with a precise plan tailored to your specific needs. Schedule an examination and we can fight your pain as a team. Schedule your evaluation with Prague Physical Therapy.