Total Care PT: How Bad Posture Affects You

Health &Wellness The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body

WHY DOES MY KNEE HURT?

There are several knee injuries that can result from running. Some of the most common ones include: • Hamstring strain. Hamstring strains are common in athletes and can cause pain around the thigh or knee. Your hamstring is a group of three muscles that run along the back of your thigh and help in allowing you to bend your knee. One or more of these muscles can become strained, or even torn, through excessive use or injury. You can avoid hamstring tears by doing strengthening exercises of both the hamstrings and glutes, as they work together to bear weight. Stretching your hamstrings and quadriceps (the muscles at the front of the thigh) and doing warm-up exercises before a run will help in keeping them warm and loose, thus decreasing your risk of straining them. • Meniscus tear. A meniscus tear is one of the most common knee injuries. It occurs when the knee is twisted or rotated in a way that it shouldn’t be, especially when your full weight is put on it. Both knees have two menisci, which are C-shaped pieces of cartilage that cushion your tibia and femur. When a meniscus is torn, the surrounding areas can become painful, swollen, or stiff. The movement in your knee may also be limited, making it difficult to bend or extend the knee.

• Patellar tendinopathy. This injury specifically affects the tendon that connects your patella to your tibia. That tendon is known as the “patellar tendon.” The patellar tendon works together with your quadriceps to allow you to run, jump, and kick. However, when the tendon experiences excessive overuse, it can become torn and inflamed, resulting in patellar tendinopathy. Those with patellar tendinopathy typically experience pain between the patella and tibia. You may only notice the pain while running or working out at first, but over time it can become more frequent and severe, interfering with daily activities. You can prevent patellar tendinopathy by strengthening your thigh muscles and improving your running technique with the help of a physical therapist. • Iliotibial band syndrome. Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome occurs frequently in runners, since it is caused by an excessive repetitive bending of the knee. The IT band is made up of a thick clump of fibers that run from the outside of the thigh, down the knee, and to the top of the tibia. IT band syndrome occurs when the IT band becomes too tight, making it difficult to glide smoothly over the knee, and resulting in pain and swelling. IT band syndrome can be avoided by doing thorough stretches before a run, preventing the band from becoming too tight.

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