Common Knee Ailments
How Conditions Develop
Knee pain or injury may result from a number of conditions and situations, including:
- Congenital foot abnormalities such as pronation
- Congenital knee abnormalities
- Excessive flexing and bending of the knee against heavy resistance.
- Sharp, twisting motions
- A force that pushes the knee out of its normal position
- Improper posture
- Improper body mechanics when running, jumping or walking.
- Muscular imbalances in the areas of flexibility and strength
- Exercising on a non-resilient floor surface.
- Improper daily or exercise footwear.
The anatomy of the knee is quite complex. The following injuries and ailments may be sports related. Chondromalacia—softening of the cartilage under the kneecap; more common in women. Cartilage Tears—tearing of the meniscus (a cushion at the top of the lower leg bone) causing pain “inside” the knee.
The health of your knees can often be improved through healthy lifestyle habits including learning proper body mechanics, exercise and healthy eating. The following guidelines may be used to reduce the risk of injury when exercising, but are no way meant to replace your own physicians (or other health professional) advice.
Physician approval is required for participation if you have injured your knee or if you have a chronic knee condition. If you are experiencing knee pain on any given day, consult with your physician before coming in for a workout.
Protect your Knees
Immediately discontinue any exercise that causes pains or discomfort. Exercise on a resilient floor surface that provides cushion and stability. Select an exercise shoe with good shock absorption, lateral support and stability, flexibility, arch support, width and comfort.
Maintain proper posture and alignment throughout all movements and exercises. Do not lock your knees. Knees should be slightly bent with the tailbone pointing straight down towards the floor. Concentrate on pulling your abdomen in to provide support for your spine. Maintain alignment between your hips, knees and ankles to avoid stress on those joints.
Always bend your knees in the direction of your toes. Do not do extreme knee bends in which your hips drop below your knees. Squats and lunges are not recommended.
Warm up adequately to be sure you do not place any demands on your knees until they have been thoroughly prepared. Low impact or non-weight-bearing activities (no bouncing) are preferred because they exert less stress on the knees.
- Avoid any fast, uncontrolled movements as well as any uncontrolled twisting and turning.
- Avoid any fast, uncontrolled movements as we as any uncontrolled twisting and turning.
- Avoid high resistance lower extremity exercises.
- Avoid exercises in which the heel in brought in close to the gluteus due to stress on the knees.
Include strengthening exercises for the quadriceps muscles that help stabilize the knee.
- Avoid exercises which require you to balance or “sit” on your knees.
- Avoid the hurdler’s stretch. Stretch slowly and gently without bouncing.
Please notify your trainer and your physician if you experience any pain before, during or after your workout.
© SOF Publishing, 1997
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