The knee is a complicated structure and a very common site of injury. However, with bones, meniscus, ligaments and cartilage all present there are a multitude of potential pathologies. Here are our top tips at Jon W Sports Injury to beat knee pain.
- Stop blaming your ‘dodgy knee’. The chances are your pain isn’t the fault of your knee. We often describe the knee joint as a ‘dumb joint’ that gets ‘beaten up by other areas’. The movement of the knee is commonly dictated by the actions of the hip or the foot. Therefore, you need to find out where the problem is starting from. You must correct the cause not just the effect!
- Assess and Improve your flexibility. A lot of ‘knee pain’ isn’t an issue with the structures of the knee joint. Several muscles cross and activate the knee joint. The tendons of these muscles are located around the knee and can be a common cause of knee pain. Assess your flexibility, if reduced, stretch! Muscles of close attention should be the quadriceps and hamstring muscles.
- Rest. However, you may not need to stop. If you are suffering with knee pain, we strongly suggest that you stop any weight bearing activities (e.g. running, squatting, lifting weights) until you are told it is safe to return. However, it is important to remember that you may not need to stop. There are many non-weight bearing activities that it is quite possible you can continue with (e.g. swimming, cycling). Such non-weight bearing movements may even be beneficial to your pain.
- Support. Whilst we always try to emphasise that the use of supports should be short term and based on circumstances it may be that a knee support can help during the acute stages of your injury. Apply a support if required weight bearing activities (i.e. walking) are creating pain. However, remove the support when suitable rest and rehabilitation can be conducted. It is also important that the use of the support is removed as quickly as possible.
- Know your hots from your colds. The knee is an interesting joint as some of its structures are supplied by a blood supply and others aren’t. The importance of this is that certain pathologies may improve with heat and others with cold. Therefore, it is important any knee pain is correctly diagnosed and an appropriate rehabilitation program provided.