The Knee - How does it work?
The knee has articulations between the femur to tibia and patella on femur. Between the femur and tibia is cartilage called meniscus. These are 2 crescent moon shaped cartilage that act as shock absorbed and allow for flexion and extension of the knee. The patella does not have any cartilage between it and the femur but moves in a groove that runs in the middle between the medial and lateral condyles.
Iliotibial band syndrome - This occurs when a portion of the ITB rubs against the lateral condyle of the femur, causing a burning pain on the outside of your knee. Often caused by long-term use, such as long-distance running.
Bursitis - Similar as discussed in bursitis of the hip. It becomes inflamed and can lead to swelling, warmth, pain and stiffness.
Meniscal Injuries - Menisci can be torn when the knee is bent and then a twisting action is applied. Such as a tackle in football or a tennis shot when stepping for the ball. Some Meniscal injuries can heal themselves depending on the severity and location of tear. But if the tear is severe and left untreated there is an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis later in life.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and Posterior Cruciate Ligament(PCL) - A sudden change in direction or a twist can lead to injury of the ACL and often happens in sport when no contact has been made. The PCL is more likely to be damaged from direct impact, such as being tackled in football. Medial cruciate ligament injuries are often the result of a direct blow to the outside of the knee. The anterior cruciate ligament is the ligament most commonly injured.
Tendon Injuries - Ranging from tendinitis to complete ruptures. These tendon injuries can result if you overwork, perform repetitive activities or over-stretch your tendon. Activities that can injure tendons include running, jumping, dancing and squatting, especially to lift heavy items
Exercise is one of the best things you can do to help your knees by helping maintain range of motion and strengthening the muscles that support them. Exercise can be helpful for arthritis too, because it strengthens the muscles that support the joint. These muscles include the quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteal muscles. Improving strength in these muscles help with correct knee movements and stabilisation.
For acute pain in the hip and knee these are some
steps to follow:
•Rest from aggravating exercises and movements until you can do them pain free
•Once pain free to do so, start gentle stretches. If the tear is severe see a physio for further advice and help with exactly what stretches to do as can vary depending on which muscle has torn.
•Strengthening can start as long it is pain free to do so not long after the injury. Again, seek professional assistants with this as can vary depending on the severity of the tear.
We hope you found this article helpful for your long term health and fitness success. Check out our other blogs for more articles or email us at Prahran@visionpt.com.com for any tips, advice or assistance.