: may injure the ligaments and cartilage of the knee.
Ligament sprain or tear
: Ligaments stabilise or strengthen joints. Over-stretching can cause tears to the ligament fibres, resulting in bleeding, pain, swelling and instability.
: The knee cartilages also provide stability to the knee joint. They are mostly torn during weight-bearing activities that involve twisting and turning. A torn cartilage results in pain, swelling and locking or catching of the knee joint.
: To the knee are much more common that acute injuries usually affecting the patellofemoral (kneecap) joint or patellar tendon. If left untreated they usually get progressively worse. Early diagnosis and treatment may result in a quicker recovery.
Patellofemoral (kneecap) pain
affects approximately 20% of the population, and is associated with activities that increase the load on the knee, such as bending, squatting or stair climbing.
The patellar tendon
joins the thigh muscle to the leg bone. Injury to this tendon may be known as “jumper’s knee,” because it commonly occurs with repeated jumping and landing activities (basketball, volleyball etc).
Knee joint osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a chronic localised joint disease characterised by degeneration of hyaline cartilage with secondary changes on bone and soft tissue giving rise to pain, stiffness and functional disability. The knee is the most common lower limb site for osteoarthritis. Patients with knee osteoarthritis report pain and difficulty with everyday activities such as prolonged sitting, ascending and descending stairs, squatting and kneeling.
The main cause of injuries such as knee joint osteoarthritis is as a result of a weakness of the lower limb muscles. Individuals with knee joint osteoarthritis are often overweight and obesity is a major risk factor for development and progression of the disease.
You can reduce the chance and severity of knee injuries by:
This information has been provided by The Australian Physiotherapy Association.
- warm-up and warm-down before and after exercise;
- build up your exercise program by gradually increasing the frequency, duration and
intensity, but don’t work through pain;
- maintain good general fitness and lower body strength and flexibility (especially calf, quadriceps and hamstring);
- Practise standing on one leg to improve your balance and leg muscle strength.