Pain in the front part of the knee or around the patella (knee cap) is a common complaint. Although direct trauma can cause knee pain, it is most often related to overuse or a cumulative injury. Common diagnoses include patella-femoral syndrome or runner’s knee, and patellar tendonitis or jumper’s knee. The knee is designed to be stable and requires muscular strength and control.
Repetitive strain occurs if sports activities involving running are engaged in over many years. Overload due to underuse occurs when the muscles around the knee are deconditioned from leading a sedentary lifestyle and even everyday activities like walking are eventually too much for the knee. Being overweight can also precipitate either of the above two situations.
If the knee pain is acute use the RICE formula: rest, ice, compress, and elevate. Follow this protocol for up to 72 hours. Once the pain is under control you will be ready to perform these knee exercises. All three of these exercises are performed twice daily.
One of the most basic knee exercises to improve the ‘‘tracking’’ of the patella is called the pillow push. While lying on your back have a pillow under your knee. While keeping your hip and foot on the ground simply push the back of your knee into the pillow and hold it there for 5–6 s. Then release. Repeat 8-10 times.
Terminal knee extension
For this exercise the starting position is the same as the pillow push. Lift your shin and foot up until your knee is as straight as it will go. Hold this for a few seconds. Then relax the lower leg. Repeat 8-10 times.
This exercise is performed lying down with legs straight. Slowly drag one heel back towards the buttock as the knee bends. Then, slowly push the heel out until the leg is straight. Repeat 8-10 times.
No pain should be felt during each exercise. Assuming there are no serious structural problems with the knee these exercises can be very effective. Remember these are very basic exercises to strengthen the knee stabilizers. In many cases the weak links above and below the joint can the underlying cause and a more comprehensive exam may be needed.
For more information contact Shaw Chiropractic & Sports Injury Center at (515) 987-6332 or visit our website at www.shawchiroandsport.com.Social tagging: knee > pain