Knee pain is a very common condition observed in athletes. Runners Knee, Jumpers Knee, Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), anterior knee pain are all terms that define pain in and around the knee joint. This article aims to introduce you to your knee to help you understand your knees a little better
The knee joint is a junction of three bones, the thigh bone (femur) and the leg bone (tibia) which make up the upper and lower part of the joint and the kneecap (patella) which is the small bone located in the front of the knee. The kneecap sits in a small groove on the thigh bone; it can glide upwards, downwards, sideways and also tilt in all these directions. Muscles attach themselves on these bones through tendons and make motion possible at the joint. The bones connect with each other through ligaments (ACL, PCL, MCL and LCL). The C-shaped Menisci on the joining surface of the bones gives cushioning and acts as a shock-absorber at the joint. Knee 2 Anatomy of the Knee
Normal movement at the knee occurs if all these joint surfaces move freely and without any inhibition. Most muscles at the knee are two joint muscles i.e they cover either both hip and knee or knee and ankle. So you can imagine that, if your hip joint is not mobile enough then the shortened muscle that travels from your hip down to your knee will also restrict the motion of your knee and vice-versa. Similarly impaired movement at the ankle will also contribute in abnormal movement at the knee joint.
How do I prevent knee pain?
People tend to not pay enough attention to pre-game warm ups. Dynamic stretching of the thigh and calf muscles help to keep those muscles warm before they are placed in high- demand situations like the game. This keeps the microtrauma to a minimum and gives the muscles the optimal length to perform the task.
Knee 4 Unequal Force Distribution causing extra load on the knee
It is necessary to get your run or game mechanics (technique) analysed by an expert in order to correct and minimize the forces acting at the knee joint in order to reduce any imbalances.
3. Muscle Recovery
After a good workout, just like any other part of the body the muscle also needs it's time to recover and recharge. A good post workout static stretch for the thigh and leg muscles is very helpful. Foam rolling and an ice bath will help reduce and recover from any quick stretch to which the muscle may have been exposed.
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