A Guide to Common Knee Injuries
The knee problems that threaten to derail your fitness, and how to prevent them.
Symptoms: Source of pain is at the bottom and front of the kneecap, and you may feel stiffness in the area after a workout. Pain is also felt when flexing the thigh muscles. There are four grades of injury, ranging from pain only after training to pain during everyday activities.
Common Causes: As the name suggests, jumper’s knee is generally brought on through excessive jumping, usually from sports such as basketball and volleyball. Another knee problem that stems from overuse and lack of keeping the necessary muscles strong enough to avoid injury.
Rehab/Prevention Tips: Once again, go ahead and use the RICE method to help you treat this one. Several serious athletes tend to brush jumper’s knee aside so long as their symptoms remain along the lines of the first grade of injury (as in only feeling pain right after working out), but things can, of course, worsen and it may require surgery some day. Watts says the best thing to do is to go about workouts using as proper technique as possible while avoiding exercises that put stress on the knee. Patella tendon straps can also be a good idea.
“They actually do help and work,” he says. “They will take some pressure off of the tendon because it alters the mechanics, but it’s not actually solving the problem per se. It’s just alleviating some of the symptoms so that you can build the quad and hamstring musculature up enough so that it can take some of the pressure off the patella tendon.”