Knee injuries and knee pain is one of the most common sports related complaints. Whether its an awkward twist playing soccer, or niggly pain from running, most knee injuries can be avoided!
Anatomy of the Knee
The Knee joint is comprised of the tibia (shin bone) and Femur (thigh bone) and the Patella (knee cap). The meniscus, sometimes referred to as cartilage works as a shock absorber for the knee and provides lubrication to the joint so it can move freely through their range. The knee also has large ligaments which help control the motions of the knee and prevent against abnormal movements.
Common Injuries include:
- Ligament injuries (ACL/PCL/MCL/LCL)
- Ligaments connect bone to bone. The Anterior cruciate Ligament is probably the most talked about and feared knee injury due to the lengthy time spent away from sport.
- Meniscal Tears
- Common during sports where the knee is twisting, pivoting or during high impact such as a tackle. It can also occur as a degenerative tear and can happen during day to day activities. Symptoms can include, pain, swelling, stiffness, locking and a reduced range of motion.
- Patello-Femoral Pain
- Occurs when the knee cap rubs on the knee joint due to poor knee cap alignment. This friction can create and irritation of the articular cartilage underneath the knee cap.
- Playing a sport with external contact – Such as a tackle
- Women – Females are 4-6 times more likely to rupture their ACL
- Poor rehab from a previous injury
- Poor Warm up
- Inadequate muscle strength &/or length
Overall it’s important to understand that many injuries can be prevented. It doesn’t matter whether you are training at the elite level or just playing a social touch football comp on a Tuesday night. If we can identify what injuries you are likely to be susceptible to and biomechanical imbalances we can work to decrease those risks. Focusing on improving biomechanics and neuromuscular control will be key!