Hiking and Knee Pain
The summer months are a great time to escape the heat and head up to the mountains for a scenic hike.
Regardless of whether you “bag a 14er” or simply enjoy a leisurely hike on a local trail, it is important that you protect your knees so you can enjoy hiking for years to come. Some of you may have even stopped hiking because of knee pain. This article will help those of you without knee pain maintain healthy joints and prevent knee pain.
We also want to provide encouragement to those who may have given up hiking because of knee pain. You don’t need to stop hiking or live with the pain, there are strategies to get you back on the trails.
While you can experience pain while climbing up a trail or descending down, it is more common to experience knee pain on the way down. This is due to the greater impact on your knees while hiking downhill.
So how can you reduce the impact on your knees and decrease your pain? A good place to start is to ensure you have good quadriceps strength. Your quadriceps, or your thigh muscles, help control the bending of your knees as you hike downhill. If your quadriceps are weak, you won’t be able to control your knee bending as much, and this can increase strain on the knees leading to pain.
To read the full article: http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20120730/LIFESTYLE/307300001/Health-Fitness-Hikers-need-not-live-knee-pain?odyssey=nav%7Chead
Running Tips: Avoid Knee Pain
Pain in the front of the knee is medically termed patellofemoral pain syndrome. Pain on the lateral or outside part of the knee commonly results from a condition known as iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome.
This article is going to focus on ITB syndrome.
» Warm-up by performing active stretches prior to running. Save stretching for AFTER the race.
» Take a break from running. Add cross-training, such as biking, elliptical or swimming to your weekly routine in place of some of your runs. This will allow you to continue to improve your cardiovascular endurance and fitness level while giving your legs a much-needed rest. Any activity that you choose must be pain-free!
» Watch your stride. Can you hear your feet hitting the ground? Do you consider yourself someone who takes long strides? Over-striding results in significant stresses to the muscles, bones and soft tissues of the lower body. This can result in various injuries, including ITB syndrome. Shorten your stride to reduce impact on your joints and improve your running efficiency.
» Replace your shoes. Depending on what you read, it is recommended you change your shoes every 400 to 600 miles. But don’t get too caught up in the exact number. Listen to your body. Pain can be a sign your shoes are wearing down. It’s also important to purchase your shoes from a reputable shoe store that understands how to assess the right type of shoe for you.
To read the article in full: http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20120626/APC0212/120626041/Marathon-training-tips-want-run-my-knee-hurt
No more knee pain:
The number-one secret for happy knees? Stay at a healthy weight. Every extra pound you pack on puts about 4 extra pounds of pressure on your knees when you walk or take the stairs.
“Women often come in complaining of knee pain, and it turns out it started after they put on just 5 or 10 pounds,” said Dr. Sara Edwards, an orthopedic surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Once you shed that excess weight, though, symptoms improve—and sometimes even disappear.
Read on for more great knee-saving tips.
Don’t bound up and down stairs:
Unless you’re in great shape, his puts serious stress on your kneecaps: “If you weigh 150 pounds, that can mean as much as 600 pounds going through your knees,” said Robert Gotlin, DO, director of orthopedic and sports rehabilitation at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Walk, and hold onto the railing for added support.
Read the full article for more knee-saving tips: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/06/10/how-to-avoid-knee-pain/#ixzz1yLmGvQC
Knee Pain 101
Knee pain is the most common musculoskeletal complaint that brings people to their doctor. With today’s increasingly active society, the number of knee problems is increasing, as well.
The knee relies on a number of structures including bones, ligaments, tendons and cartilage.
The knee joint involves four bones. The thigh bone or femur comprises the top portion of the joint. The tibia provides the bottom weight-bearing portion of the join. The knee cap or patella rides along the front of the femur. The remaining bone in the calf, the fibula, is not involved in the weight-bearing portion of the knee joint.
Inflammation is the body’s physiologic response to an injury. In treating many types of knee pain, a common goal is to break the inflammatory cycle, which starts with an injury.
After an injury, substances that cause inflammation invade the knee, which causes further injury, which leads to further inflammation, and so on. This cycle of inflammation leads to continued or progressive knee pain. he cycle can be broken by controlling the substances that cause inflammation, and by limiting further injury to tissue.
To read the article in full: http://www.azfamily.com/news/health/Knee-pain-101-157018785.html
Knee Pain Facts:
The knee joint has three compartments: medial, lateral, and patellofemoral.
Causes of knee pain include injury, degeneration, arthritis, infrequently infection, and rarely bone tumors.
Ligaments within the knee (cruciate ligaments) and on the inner and outer sides of the knee (collateral ligaments) stabilize the joint.
Surgical repair of ligament injury can involve suturing, grafting, and synthetic graft repair. Some patients require total knee replacement.
Routine X-rays do not reveal meniscus tears but can be used to exclude other problems of the bones and other tissues.
Arthroscopy and MRI studies are used most frequently to diagnose knee ailments; occasionally, a needle aspiration of fluid is done.
The knee joint is one of the most commonly involved joints in rheumatic diseases (over 100 disease types). Rheumatic diseases are immune diseases that affect various tissues of the body, including the joints, by causing arthritis (pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited joint movements)
For more information and to read the article in full: http://www.medicinenet.com/knee_pain/article.htm
A Common Cause of Childhood Knee Pain
One of the most common causes of knee pain in active adolescents is the condition known as Osgood-Schlatter. The most common symptom is pain located at the front of the knee that is made worse with running, jumping, and climbing or descending stairs.
There is usually no specific injury or event that is identified as the initiating cause. One or both knees may be affected. Although the incidence of Osgood Schlatter is currently higher in boys, the frequency in girls has risen along with their increasing participation in sports. The usual age range of the two genders varies, based on their respective timing of skeletal maturation. In boys, it is most frequently seen between the ages of 10 and 15 years, while girls between the ages of 8 and 13 years are more often affected. The good news is that although the condition is common, it will usually respond rapidly to appropriate conservative care provided by your doctor of chiropractic.
The course is chronic and tends to recur over a period of months to several years, but usually clears by the age of 18. In some cases, the symptoms may persist into adulthood, or will recur when the adult begins a new recreational or athletic endeavor.
A major contributing factor in this scenario is the element of growth. During a growth spurt, significant muscle-tendon imbalance commonly develops when the bones lengthen more rapidly than the muscles and connective tissues. This imbalance often results in tight and inflexible muscle groups. The relative inflexibility increases the traction forces on this site, and any repetitive athletic activity adds to the imposed stresses.
Children with a high kneecap appear to be at higher risk for developing the Osgood-Schlatter condition, since the higher position of the patella increases the tension in the patellar tendon and at the tibial tuberosity, especially when forcing the knee into full extension (such as during kicking or jumping maneuvers).
To read the article in full: http://www.toyourhealth.com/mpacms/tyh/article.php?id=1573
A Pain That Won’t Quit
If osteoarthritis were a color, people with severe degeneration and bone-rubbing-against-bone pain might paint the disease as an incandescent, fiery red. In some cases the pain is so debilitating and unrelenting, it needs treatment by a health care professional.
For others, who have mild degeneration or intermittent or occasional discomfort, a pale pink palette might be more apt. They can often manage the disease themselves with rest and over-the-counter medications.
But what exactly is osteoarthritis?
It is a chronic degenerative joint disease that affects some 27 million Americans and results in approximately 632,000 joint replacements each year.
It is the leading cause of disability in the U.S, and it is expensive, not only in human terms, but in monetary ones as well. Osteoarthritis costs the U.S. economy nearly $128 billion dollars a year in medical care and indirect expenses. It is common to all races and backgrounds. Men, however, under age 55, are more likely to have it than women in the same age range, but, after age 55, women take the lead and are more commonly affected.
Osteoarthritis is a disease that mostly affects cartilage, the rubbery tissue that covers and protects the ends of bones in a joint and forms a cushioning space between them. When osteoarthritis is present, the cartilage loses its elasticity and is more easily damaged by injury or excessive use. Healthy cartilage allows bones to glide over each other and to absorb the shock of our movements. In OA, the top layer of cartilage has broken down and worn away, leaving a narrower or nonexistent space between the bones under the cartilage. The bones can then grind against one another, and that friction can cause pain, inflammation, swelling and, often times, loss of motion in the joint.
Additionally, as cartilage breaks down, changes occur in the underlying bone. Bony growths called spurs can develop along the bone surface at the margins of the joint which can also be sources of pain.
Adult cartilage has no blood supply, which makes regeneration virtually impossible. The changes are, therefore, irreversible.
“Osteoarthritis is very common,” says osteopathic physician Carina O’Neill, medical director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Spaulding Rehabilitation Outpatient Center in Braintree. “If people live long enough, most will develop some form of osteoarthritis in at least one joint. It is a chronic condition and has no cure. The goal is to manage the symptoms.”
To read the full article: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120517/NEWS/120519848/-1/ENTERTAIN
Knee pain, though common, can signal several ailments
Q: Is pain directly under my kneecap anything to be concerned about?
A: Knee pain is fairly common and can affect people of all ages. Your pain could be the result of an injury or could be a more serious medical condition.
Runner’s knee: Pain directly under the kneecap can be attributed to one of several conditions. Among the most common is chondromalacia, also known as runner’s knee.
It usually happens to people who participate in high-impact exercise, such as running, or sports that require a lot of stopping and starting. Chondromalacia is a softening or thinning of the cartilage under the kneecap.
Often, people with chondromalacia may feel a crunching sensation when placing their hand over the kneecap and bending the knee or when climbing down stairs.
To read the article in full: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-04-25/health/sc-health-0418-knee-pain-20120425_1_knee-pain-chondromalacia-osteoarthritis
How is the knee designed, and what is its function?
The knee is a joint that has three compartments. This joint has an inner (medial) and an outer (lateral) compartment. The kneecap (patella) joins the femur to form a third compartment called the patellofemoral joint. The thigh bone (femur) meets the large shinbone (tibia) forming the main knee joint.
The knee joint is surrounded by a joint capsule with ligaments strapping the inside and outside of the joint (collateral ligaments) as well as crossing within the joint (cruciate ligaments). These ligaments provide stability and strength to the knee joint.
The meniscus is a thickened cartilage pad between the two joints formed by the femur and tibia. The meniscus acts as a smooth surface for motion and absorbs the load of the body above the knee when standing. The knee joint is surrounded by fluid-filled sacs called bursae, which serve as gliding surfaces that reduce friction of the tendons. Below the kneecap, there is a large tendon (patellar tendon) which attaches to the front of the tibia bone. There are large blood vessels passing through the area behind the knee (referred to as the popliteal space). The large muscles of the thigh move the knee. In the front of the thigh, the quadriceps muscles extend the knee joint. In the back of the thigh, the hamstring muscles flex the knee. The knee also rotates slightly under guidance of specific muscles of the thigh.
To read the article in full, Visit: http://www.medicinenet.com/knee_pain/article.htm
Knee Pain: Is it arthritis, tendinitis, bursitis?
Have you been told that you have arthritis because you experience knee pain? Is the pain on the side of your knee rather than within the knee joint? If so, you may actually have pes anserine bursitis or medial or lateral collateral tendinits.
The knee joint, which links the thigh and shinbone, is stabilized by strong cords called tendons. Strategically placed to prevent the knee from moving side to side, the medial collateral tendon is located on the inner side of the knee to prevent it from collapsing inward, and the lateral collateral tendon, on the outer side, to prevent outward twisting. The pes anserine bursa, a sac-like, protective cushion, is located beneath the tendons on the inner side of the knee.
Medial collateral tendinits usually occurs as a result of trauma associated with falls such as skiing or football injuries. Lateral collateral tendinits happens less frequently and heals more easily because it is less vulnerable to injury due to its location on the outer side of the knee. When direct trauma, overuse or misuse occurs, not only can the tendons become injured but the bursa can also become inflamed and irritated, meaning bursitis.
Long-distance runners commonly develop pes anserine bursitis because of stress placed on the knees. Misalignment of the lower extremities due to osteoarthritis can stress knee tendons and bursas causing tendinits and bursitis.
The most common complaint with medial collateral tendinits and pes anserine bursitis is constant aching of the inner side of the knee with increased pain on rotation of the knee. Activity, especially flexion and external rotation of the knee, increases pain, while resting and heat relieves it. Often, patients wake up at night due to pain and are unable to kneel or walk down stairs. Physical examination may reveal tenderness along with pain upon flexion and rotation.
Treatments for these conditions are similar, but are obviously location specific: analgesics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, use of a knee brace to prevent reinjury, physical therapy and heat application. Local cortisone injections at the affected site (anserine bursa or medial or lateral collateral tendon) are crucial to decrease inflammation for a successful outcome.
As in many circumstances, other conditions can show similar symptoms that must be differentiated prior to beginning treatment. Knee pain can be caused by arthritis, tendinits, bursitis or meniscus tear. The coexistence of knee osteoarthritis and tendinits, bursitis or meniscus tear is quite common, particularly in the elderly, which makes diagnosis much more difficult.
Don’t just accept the answer that “You’re getting older and you have arthritis.” Know what the important differences are, and get the treatment you need and deserve.