The knee joint is made up of bone, cartilage, ligaments and fluid. Muscles and tendons help the knee joint move. When any of these structures are injured, there will be knee problems, specifically pain and difficulty moving. Common knee conditions include patella femoral pain syndrome, IT band friction syndrome, and ligament sprains. Tears to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are caused by a sudden twisting motion in the knee.
If you have pain in your knee either from overuse or through a sudden injury, your physiotherapist can work with you to minimize long-term damage and help you to heal faster. Correcting muscular imbalances and following the Physio-4 for Knee Injury can prevent further knee problems and keep you moving for life.
1. Correct muscular imbalances. Most overuse injuries of the knee develop gradually due to muscular imbalances and poor movement patterns. Your physiotherapist can show you corrective exercises to address the muscle imbalances and improve the way you move.
2. Strengthen your hips. Strengthening your hips and improving core muscle strength will reduce the risk of adversely loading your knee joints. Stretching the muscles that attach into your hips/knees/ankles will also minimize compression of these joints. Your physiotherapist can show you how.
3. Protect your joints. If you have any degenerative changes in your knees (e.g. osteoarthritis) your physiotherapist can show you how to protect your joints during activities of daily living, prescribe exercises to improve the strength of supporting muscles, advise you on safe forms of exercise, and assess your footwear.
4. Correct movement patterns. Poor movement patterns during sports (e.g. incorrect landings during jumping) greatly increase the risk of traumatic knee injuries. Your physiotherapist can teach you how to move properly and minimize this risk.