Injuries affecting the knees are one of the most troublesome affectations that can befall any would-be athlete. Instant Knee Pain Relief here. Participating in any type of strenuous activity that emphasizes leg movement makes you a prime candidate for post-exercise knee pain. Whether you train running sports, combat sports, or even high-intensity walking, these activities can potentially trigger bouts of painful sensations in the knee after exercise.
Your knees function as the primary shock absorbers of your body, and any deterioration to their function will have a potentially severe impact on the quality of your life, both in the short term and the long run. Therefore, it is imperative that we learn to evaluate the severity of any post-exercise pain we experience, its potential causes, and its future treatment.
POTENTIAL CAUSES OF POST-EXERCISE KNEE PAIN
- Chondromalacia Patella: One of the most insidious causes behind post-exerc
- ise knee pain, chondromalacia patella is an intra-articular lesion caused by a pathological softening of the articular cartilage underneath the patella. When this cartilage wears down the knee-cap will begin to rub against the femur bone and cause pain.
- Weak Quadriceps: Quadriceps weakness is a primary risk factor for the development of knee pain and a progressive deterioration of the knee joint, which can potentially develop into osteoarthritis of the knee. The kneecap is held in place by a set of ligaments that are attached to the anterior face of the quadriceps muscle. When the quadriceps muscles weaken they cause a misalignment of the kneecap which results in discomfort and pain.
- Flat Feet: Also known as Pes Planus, flat foot is a postural deformity that results in the complete collapse of arches of the feet; this results in the entire surface of the sole of the food coming into contact with the ground. When the foot is flat, excessive loading of the knee results in a significant increase in the compressive stress on the tibiofemoral and patellofemoral compartments of the knee.
- Overuse: Repeated motion generates compounding stress that irritates and inflames the tissues of the affected joint, and if left unchecked results in pain. Repeatedly flexing your knee joint during exercise and other forms of physical activity are perhaps the most common reason behind the sudden appearance of knee pain.
HOW TO IDENTIFY EXERCISE INDUCED KNEE PAIN
If you notice the presence of at least one of the following symptoms it is highly likely that your knee pain is being caused the mechanical activation of your knee joint.
- Pain is mostly localized around the anterior, or front, of your kneecap. However, in some cases, the pain can be felt in the posterior, or back, of the kneecap.
- Pain is most intense during any type of bending motion. If you feel pain when you bend the knee to walk, run, kneel, squat, or get up from a sitting position, your pain is most likely caused by one the factors outlined above.
- Pain intensifies as you move down an incline. Climbing down a set of stairs is especially painful.
HOW TO TREAT EXERCISE INDUCED KNEE PAIN
Once correctly identified and diagnosed by a medical professional, there are a few ways in which to treat your pain. In the vast majority of cases, exercise-induced knee pain will subside on its own if given enough time. However, if your pain causes enough discomfort to reduce mobility, you can apply any of the following treatments.
- Cryotherapy: There seems to be a lot of therapy about when to apply cold or heat as a therapeutic agent for pain. In the case of exercise-induced pain, you should apply ice to ease discomfort and reduce pain. Cryotherapy should last for at least 30 minutes and applied between 4 to 5 times a day or until the pain subsides.
- Compression: Wrap the affected knee using an elastic bandage or patellar support straps. Compression wraps will help to reduce swelling as well as provide a modicum of stability to aid during exercise and flexion movement. Wrapping too tightly will be counterproductive to reducing pain and should be kept in mind at all times.
- Orthotics: insert orthotic support into your shoes to receive added support for the foot. If your pain is being caused by flat feet syndrome or misalignment of your stride, merely redistributing the misaligned stress forces on the foot joints will reduce pain while standing, walking or running.
- Pain Medication: Taking moderate amounts of over the counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAID’s, for exercise-induced inflammation is an effective pain management method. Ibuprofen and Naproxen can help to significantly reduce inflammation of the affected tissues and reduce pain rapidly. Acetaminophen or aspirin can further aid in the reduction of pain.
- Rest: By far, the most effective pain relief method for any exercise-induced discomfort is rest. Consequently, as much as possible, try to keep the activities inducing pain, to a minimum. Running and weightlifting can be especially irritating and exacerbate your pain.
- Regimented Stretching Exercises: Perform isometric quadriceps sets, straight-leg raises, short-arc quadriceps sets, single-leg bridges, Hip abductions, and Hip raises, to significantly strengthen the muscles that support the activation and flexion of the knee joint to help reduce the probability of developing exercise-induced knee discomfort.
- Exercises to help Knee Pain in Pictures WebMD
Numerous studies have proven that after a disciplined progression of physical therapy and daily therapeutic activity, patients experience a significant reduction in exercise-induced pain. Ironically, the amount of secondary knee dysfunction experienced by a patient is almost always related to the total amount of physical activity.
In one recent study, eighty-seven percent of the patients observed reported immediate pain relief after a physical therapy program. Sixty-eight percent of the patients believed their symptoms were improved to a moderate degree after 16 months of continuous therapy. At the end of the study, 57% of observed subjects reported that their level of physical activity considerably increased from their initial activity levels.
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- Witvrouw, Erik, et al. “Intrinsic risk factors for the development of anterior knee pain in an athletic population: a two-year prospective study.” The American journal of sports medicine 28.4 (2000): 480-489.
- O’Reilly, Sheila C., et al. “Quadriceps weakness in knee osteoarthritis: the effect on pain and disability.” Annals of the rheumatic diseases 57.10 (1998): 588-594.
- Cowan, David N., Bruce H. Jones, and John R. Robinson. “Foot Morphologic Characteristics and Risk of Exercise-Relatedn Injury.” Archives of family medicine 2.7 (1993): 773.
- Knight, Kenneth L. Cryotherapy in sport injury management. Human Life Press, 1995.
- Clark, D. I., et al. “Physiotherapy for anterior knee pain: a randomised controlled trial.” Annals of the rheumatic diseases 59.9 (2000): 700-704.
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