Knees are one of the most complained about joints in the body. Athletes, both professional and amateur, sustain a myriad of injuries due to overuse, the onset of osteoarthritis, poor body mechanics, and more. Let’s look at ways to take the best care of your knees, as well as potential injuries you can develop while playing sports.
Starting, Stopping, and Pivoting
Your knees do all three, particularly during sports such as running, basketball, dancing, and tennis. Accordingly, your knee joints, including the bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage, absorb tremendous stress. Add excess body weight, poor physical conditioning, or inadequate warm-ups before work-outs, and injury and pain will likely result.
Sadly, knee pain and dysfunction usually progress when not treated properly. The ability to walk, work, perform ordinary household tasks, play sports, and even be independent can all degrade – either suddenly, with an acute injury, or over time, as with osteoarthritis.
Your knee may improve with simple care measures at home. Or, you may need more advanced care with an orthopedic specialist. Physical therapy and joint replacement surgery are effective treatment options – all of which are offered at Movement Orthopedics in Clinton Township.
Frequent Knee Injuries
If you injure your knee often or experience pain symptoms on a regular basis, it’s probably a problem. You’ll know you’re in trouble if your knee is persistently:
- Tender to the touch
- Weak and wobbly
- Unable to bear weight
- Looks deformed
- Noisy–either grinding or popping as you move it
Any one or a combination of these symptoms could indicate one of the following:
- ACL tear, an overstretching or rupture of the connective tissue between your thigh and shin
- Patellar fracture, a broken knee cap from a hard fall
- Torn meniscus, the pad of cartilage between the thigh bone and shin bone
- Dislocated knee cap, typically due to loose connective tissue and lax muscles
- Bursitis, inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs which cushion the knee
Also, athletes and the general over-50 adult population tend to develop osteoarthritis. Nicknamed “wear and tear” arthritis, this painful chronic ailment sidelines many people due to joint stiffness, weakness, and continual pain.
Taking Care of Knee Injuries During Sports
Minor knee ailments or injuries can respond well to over-the-counter pain relievers and the tried and true RICE protocol:
- Ice (20 minutes on and 20 minutes off to relieve swelling)
- Compression with an elastic bandage or brace
- Elevation of the impacted limb above the level of the heart
However, persistent pain, swelling, and tenderness should be examined by your orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Jeffrey Carroll is the board-certified knee expert at Movement Orthopedics. He can evaluate your symptoms, take digital images, and uncover the reasons for your knee pain. For many patients, he recommends a consistent program of care and prevention, particularly when they wish to continue participating in sports.
Advice can include:
- Losing weight to de-stress the knees, hips, and ankles
- Working with a trainer or physical therapist to build leg muscles and endurance
- Practicing or working out wisely, following your trainer’s instructions
- Stretching before a game or workout, focusing particularly on the large quadriceps in the thigh
- Varying your routines to include gentle exercising, such as swimming, cycling, and walking
- Using the right exercise equipment, including well-fitting, quality footwear, and bracing, as needed
Personalized Care For Your Knees
At Movement Orthopedics in Clinton Township, our board-certified knee surgeon, Dr. Jeff Carroll, encourages all his patients to see him at the first sign of knee dysfunction and pain.
Call us today for a knee pain consultation and individualized treatment plan which really works. Call (586) 436-3785, or use our online appointment request form.