Knee injuries are becoming increasingly common amongst active people. Accidents cannot be avoided but the majority of injuries occur due to weakness and poor preparation for an event or sport.
Assessment is very important as biomechanics and muscle imbalance play an important role in injury management and preventing injuries.
- Ultrasound and/or other electrotherapy modalities to reduce inflammation, swelling and pain. Some modalities can also be used to stimulate muscle contraction in severe cases.
- Soft tissue therapy to assist with ligament healing and restructuring/remodelling of sprained/torn fibres.
- Specialised home exercise programme to stretch tight structures and strengthen weak ones.
- Pilates is very beneficial for knees as it helps with alignment, posture, correction of biomechanical issues and prevention of further injuries.
- Pilates can slow down the deterioration process with OA knees.
- Pilates can be useful for many specific sports such as running, skiing, golf and tennis.
Common types of injuries
- Ligaments sprains and tears - anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament and lateral collateral ligament.
- Meniscus injuries - injuries of two small cushions within the knee joint (could be tear or contusion).
- Osgood Schlatter’s disease - a painful swelling of the bump on the upper part of the shinbone, just below the knee. It occurs during adolescants as the patellar tendon is overused before bone growth has peaked.
- Osteoarthritis (OA) - wear and tear in the knee joint which causes inflammation and pain.
- Patella-femoral (anterior knee) pain syndrome - mechanical pain that is not caused by any significant damage to the structures in the knee such as the ligaments, tendons and bone.
- Patella fracture - fracture of the knee cap, normally after a fall or direct blow to the patella.
- Patella tendonitis - inflammation or degeneration of the tendon at the base of the knee cap leading to pain and discomfort in the area.
- Ilio-tibial band friction syndrome - lliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is the result of inflammation and irritation of the iliotibial tendon as it rubs against the bone at the outer part of the hip or knee. It commonly causes knee pain in long distance runners.