Being the largest body joint, the knee is crucial for every athlete or anyone who actively takes part in repetitive movement activities. The knee contains structures that distribute forces to all parts of the body. Thus, there are numerous factors that cause knee pain but the main ones are knee trauma and overuse.
How knee pain occurs
Often, knee pain does not result from changes in the knee itself but changes in other body parts. For example a tight hip flexors, iliotibial band or quadriceps muscles contribute to excessive knee straining that in turn causes knee pain. Moreover, if you have an unstable core, the body tries to gain stability form the knee hence pain.
Most minor knee pains, respond well to home self-care such as massages and exercises. In advanced cases, knee braces and physical therapy helps to relieve the pain. In extreme cases knee surgery may be recommended.
Where do different knee pains come from?
Front knee pain can manifest above the knee, under and below the kneecap. Pain above the knee occurs when the quadriceps muscles are subjected to tension, and the quad tendons are inflamed. Pain under the kneecap occurs when the knee cap is subjected to excessive compression while pain below the kneecap results from changes or tension in the patellar tendon that links the lower leg’s top to the knee cap.
Back knee pain results from poor joint mobility when bending the knee, arthritis, knee sprain, bakers cyst or hamstring tendinitis among other conditions that cause inflammation. In case of inflammation, increasing blood flow reduces pressure and prevents compensation injuries.
Inside and outside the knee
Inside knee pain is caused by inflammation of the tendon from the groin muscles or straining the medial collateral ligament. Outside knee pain results from irritation of the outside meniscus or inflammation of the tight iliotibial band.
Dealing with knee pain
Exercising is the best way of dealing with knee pain and avoiding further complications. Strengthening the knee muscles reduces the amount of knee stress and pain during exercises and allows the knee to absorb shock better. Some exercises that reduce knee pain are; hamstring curls, wall squats, straight leg lifts, step ups and single leg dips. Additionally, it is advisable to perform some gentle stretches after every workout. This keeps the muscles flexible and eliminates soreness. Do not let knee pain stop you from enjoying what you love doing.