WEST ACTIVE

KNEE INJURIES

Knee pain is a common symptom arising either through a direct injury, such as twisting playing football, or presenting more gradually over time.

At West Active our physios have experience in diagnosing and treating both acute knee injuries and those that have been long standing.

We can also help you regain your normal range of movement, strength and balance in your knee following surgical intervention.

WHAT CAN CAUSE ACUTE KNEE PAIN?

Ligament Sprain – You can injure your knee through a sharp change in direction with a fixed foot. Another common mechanism is landing poorly from a jump – common in netball, basketball and football. A blunt force hit to the knee, such as in football tackle, is probably the most common cause.

Patellofemoral Pain and ITB Syndrome – As the knee bends, the knee cap glides up and down in a groove on the end of the thighbone.
The knee cap can come out of alignment if there is abnormal muscle imbalance of the quadriceps and poor alignment of the lower limbs especially when walking or running. This can eventually lead to degeneration of the surface of either the back of the patella or the groove the knee cap sits in.

Patella Tendinopathy

Patella Tendinopathy can be caused by some of these reasons:

  • Sudden changes in training volume and intensity
  • A change in training surfaces (ie running on pavement as opposed to grass)
  • Flexibility deficits in the lower limb, particularly quadriceps and hamstrings
  • Poor hip control
  • Poor foot control

TYPES OF KNEE INJURIES

Many injuries may be successfully treated without surgery by physiotherapy treatment and supervised rehabilitation. If damage is severe, surgery may be required.

West Active physios work closely with medical practitioners, sports physicians and orthopaedic surgeons to assist recovery and rehabilitation. Physiotherapy treatment is essential to reduce the pain and disability associated with overuse knee injuries.

In addition, West Active physiotherapists for knee injuries are well trained to address potential aggravating factors that may have contributed to the development of the overuse injury.

CAN KNEE INJURIES BE PREVENTED?

You can reduce the chance and severity of knee injuries by:

  • Warming up and warming down before and after exercise.
  • Building up your exercise program by gradually increasing the frequency, duration and intensity, but don’t work through pain.
  • Maintain good general fitness and lower body strength and flexibility (especially calf, quadriceps and hamstring).
  • Practise standing on one leg to improve your balance and leg muscle strength.
  • Snow Skiers – get a qualified ski technician to check your binding settings (bindings must be set to weight and skill level).

HOW PHYSIOTHERAPY CAN HELP?

Your West Active Physio will examine your knee to determine the type, extent and cause of your knee injury, and can refer you on to a sports physician or GP for scans or medication if needed.

Early treatment will reduce any pain or swelling. This treatment could include:

  • Massage and Mobilisation techniques to improve the movement of your knee joint
  • Exercises to improve the strength of the knee and other lower limb muscles that may be contributing to your problem
  • Taping to improve the stability of the knee joint or improve the function of the muscles that support the knee
  • Dry Needling to reduce pain and muscle tightness around the knee joint

WHAT TO DO AFTER A SPRAIN?

As soon as possible, and for 72 hours after injury, use the RICE method:

  • Rest – Take it easy and only move within your limit of pain.
  • Ice – As soon as possible, and for 20 minutes every two hours, apply ice or a frozen gel pack wrapped in a damp towel. This helps to control bleeding and pain and reduces secondary tissue damage.
  • Compression – Firmly bandage the injury. This helps to control swelling.
  • Elevation – As much as possible, elevate your injury higher than the level of your heart to reduce swelling.

CAN KNEE INJURIES BE PREVENTED?

You can reduce the chance and severity of knee injuries by:

  • Warming up and warming down before and after exercise.
  • Building up your exercise program by gradually increasing the frequency, duration and intensity, but don’t work through pain.
  • Maintain good general fitness and lower body strength and flexibility (especially calf, quadriceps and hamstring).
  • Practise standing on one leg to improve your balance and leg muscle strength.
  • Snow Skiers – get a qualified ski technician to check your binding settings (bindings must be set to weight and skill level).
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