Knee pain is a common complaint affecting patients of all ages. Knee pain can be caused by structural problems, such as sprained ligaments and meniscus. However it can also be caused by medical conditions such as arthritis, gout and infections. Most cases of knee pain can be improved by physical therapy, however in rare cases may require orthopaedic procedures.
The severity and location of knee pain can vary, however you should consult one of our specialists if you suffer from any of the following:
Types of Knee Pain:
A number of factors can increase your risk of having knee problems. Excess weight increases stress on the knee joints during every day activities and can increase knee pain. Lack of muscle flexibility and strength can increase the risk of injuries, as the same areas of the knee will have to absorb load during tasks. Certain sports such as basketball, skiing and soccer place increased demand on the knee joint and are a factor in causing knee pain.
Prevention and Treatment
It is impossible to completely prevent knee pain, however a few strategies can prevent recurrent knee injuries.
One of the most common questions we receive in our office for injuries: 'Do I use heat or ice?'. We treat everything from arthritis to muscle muscles with ice and heat, but what do they actually do?
As a general rule of thumb you use heat therapy for muscle pain and stiffness, and you use ice therapy for acute injuries and pain. However, it is sometimes more complicated which you type of therapy you use.
Heat Therapy works by improving the blood flow and circulation to an area and increasing its temperature. Increasing temperature has the effect of increasing muscle flexibility and relaxing tight muscles. We usually recommend 10-15 minutes for heat therapy to be applied. In cases where the client has diabetes, skin conditions or vascular conditions we do not recommend heat therapy.
Cryotherapy or 'Cold Therapy' works by decreasing blood flow to an area which can act to reduce inflammation and swelling which causes pain. We recommend applying no more than 15 minutes at a time for cryotherapy, as longer can sometimes cause skin irritation. We cannot emphasize enough, although cold therapy can help with pain for acute injuries, in many cases simply getting the area moving is the most effective way of recovering from an injury.
Maybe the most common question we get in the office: 'How can I strengthen my core, and have abs?' Hut do most individuals actually understand what 'the core' really is? Do they understand how to train it properly, and why it plays a pivitol role in physical health?
Most people's idea of the core comes from gym class: doing 30 sit-ups in a row, holding a plank as long as possible. But as you can guess it's more complicated than this. From a functional standpoint your core is much more than your six-pack. It essentially includes any muscle that moves and stabilizes the trunk. This includes what has been described as the core 'engines' which include:
Quite simply this entire area of the body serves as the center of your kinetic chain universe. It's the foundation and the 'engine' of all limb movement. If you have great control of this anatomical powerhouse it has awesome consequences from MLB pitcher, to grandpa:
The key term we use is 'Control'. From the shoulder to torso to hips, we want that nice combination of 'strength and flexibility'. Being able to co-ordinate these components into one fluid act is the true 'CORE.' It allows the transfer of kinetic energy from one part of the body to the other.
❗️I was at the gym this week and saw one of my top 10 incorrectly done exercises ( that I see 👀). @fitnessiq put up the correct form a month ago, check it out:
✏️Note this movement should target the Rear Deltoids. But a lot of the time we see people shrug their traps, and use their biceps for the movement.
❌Avoid elevating the scapula and driving the elbows straight back
✅If your goal is to truly hit the rear deltoids:
🔹Keep the scapula depressed/protracted
🔹Drive back and OUT with your elbow towards your face
Maintain tension through the entire movement. And try to keep neutral head position throughout. Keeping these points in mind will prevent neck pain and shoulder impingement 👌
⬆️⬇️💥DO YOU BOUNCE TOO MUCH WHEN YOU RUN?
We’ve all seen rabbit-like 🐇runners out there. More than anything you can hear them down the road 📢. Runners who bounce a lot up and down 〰️ typically don’t convert as much energy forward ↗️. This is why you hear them clunking on the treadmill, there is more vertical energy being released as sound!
That being said, everyone will have a bit of vertical movement when running. Typically 5-12cm is noted when you film a lot of people running. So when would vertical bouncing be a red flag? 🚩
🔻Injuries (I.e. Shin Splints)
🔹Vertical bouncing (oscillation) when running is more of a symptom, rather than a cause of non-ideal running mechanics. Simply put vertical bounce is related to higher ground reaction forces, and slower cadence. But I like being aware of it because if someone LOOKS 👀 and sounds like they are bouncing a lot, they probably are.
✅So my Tip: If you’re getting shin splints (any impact injury) or not improving your times, record yourself on your phone📽. Do an eyeball test and watch for the vertical movement of your head 🙇stride to stride, and listen to the impact of your feet. My cue is usually just to ‘run more quietly’ 😅which sometimes increases cadence and decreases the bounce.
📈Advanced Core Exercises
If you’re tired of the usual forearm planks, the above vid will be useful ⬆️. Remember core strengthening is more than holding planks for 5 minutes at a time 🔄
🔹Plank Reaches - start in normal plank position, and using a frictionless surface (like a towel or glider) reach forward with one arm into flexion and return to start position.
🔹Bear Crawl with Gliders - Start in ‘bear crawl’ position (on hands and toes). Using gliders with hands, work different directions with your shoulders 🔀
🔹Spider Man Planks - start in straight arm plank position. Slowly bring each hip into flexion and abduction. Make sure the pelvis is as stable as possible during the movement
🔹Straight Arm Plank Reaches - Start in plank pose. Slowly reach each arm into full flexion, I added a lacrosse ball to my Lower back to cue myself to be neutral pelvis
➡️Try these out, and hope these challenge your core workouts more 👍
💥FOOT PRONATION and RUNNING INJURIES💥
✅Foot pronation is NOT an Injury Risk Factor for Novice Runners 🏃🏼 wearing a neutral shoe! We always hear patients in Clinic say ‘I think I have really flat feet’. But if there is no foot pain, does it matter?
Great post by @rehabscience reminding me of a great study a couple years ago:
▫️N = 927 novice runners (1854 feet)
▫️Baseline: foot posture on each foot was evaluated using the foot-posture index and categorised into:
1) highly supinated (n=53)
2) supinated (n=369)
3) neutral (n=1292)
4) pronated (n=122)
5) highly pronated (n=18)
▫️Participants then ran in a neutral running shoe without replacing the insole they were provided and used GPS to track running distances over a 1-year period.
✨ NO DIFFERENCE IN INJURY RATES BETWEEN ALL FOOT POSTURE TYPES!
✔️This study really questions the notion and importance of foot pronation as a strong predictor of injury among novice runners in a neutral shoe.
👟 Having a comfortable shoe may be a more relevant factor for healthy persons trying to choose a running shoe.
📚Nielsen RO, et al. Foot pronation is not associated with increased injury risk in novice runners. Br J Sports Med. 2014.
⛹️♂️Knee Pain in Jumping Sports
🗣’I think I have Jumper’s Knee Doc’...a common phrase I hear in clinic. Especially with the high-profile Kawhi Leonard Injury in basketball, everyone is more aware of this overuse type of knee pain. But did you know there are different types? :
🔻Quadriceps Tendon Pain
🔻Patellar Tendon Pain
🌌Quad Tendon pain is generally less common, but typically presents above the knee-cap after a lot of exercise, after a long period of rest (like the off-season). It’s frustrating to clients and teams because it won’t hurt at rest, but then will flare-up mid-activity 💢and be unbearable
🌠We’ll see the quad tendon variant more with:
🔹Sports needing a lot of knee flexion (basketball, skiing)
🔹Patients with diabetes or metabolic problems
➡️ Rest and Ice rarely solves the problem,
It takes a lot to be successful in a health practice. We believe in the 3️⃣A's. I think it applies to a lot of health careers:
🔴Ability - this is obvious. You need to always strive for the highest level of skill and service in your profession. Never be complacent, always be learning
🔴Affability - aka 'Like-ability'. This is frequently lost with professionals. It doesn't mean being a 'friend', but being respectful, empathetic, and generally in a good mood. Clients can divulge a lot of crucial information on their case if they feel more open to communication. If you bring your own personal problems to the job no one will want your service.
🔴Availability - the most underrated. We all want vacations, normal working hours. But if you can't make small sacrifices: working a Saturday once in a while, working late once per week...you're under-serving the clients who can't make it 'normal times'.
♨️ LOW BACK REHAB - Dead-Bug Exercise Variations
⚠️The ‘Dead bug’ exercise is one of my favourite foundational exercises for core control and stability. The whole idea is to maintain a neutral spine (maintain contact between back and floor) while moving your arms and legs at the same time. The basic version can get easy so try these tougher variations….
1️⃣Banded Dead-Bug (attached to rig or sturdy object)
2️⃣Weighted Dead-Bug (10lbs overhead)
3️⃣Single Arm Weight Dead-Bug (Challenges Oblique Sling)
4️⃣CLX Band Resisted Dead-Bug
➡️Some of these variations challenge your rotational control, and others challenge you with more weight into extension. Try them out, as always consult someone first if you have low back pain!
Milner Chiropractic and Sports Injury Clinic