Do you have knee pain and don't know what to do? Here are some tips and solutions in this article. Among athletic or simply active people, knee problems seem to be as widespread as doping in the Tour de France (what bad language, this Stéphane…).
From a simple discomfort or nagging pain to unbearable pain, almost every runner, athlete and weekend sportsman has experienced knee pain in one way or another. However, this is not necessarily inevitable.
In this article, you will discover the 3 most common causes of this problem: patellar syndrome, a torn meniscus or patellar chondropathy. See if one of the 3 matches you. If so, follow the simple exercises I'll show you below to find relief.
Knee pain – The most common causes
In most cases, it is good to consult a specialist if the knee pain has lasted for more than 2 weeks. See a doctor as soon as possible if your pain is severe and has come on suddenly, because it may be a sign of a serious injury.
Here are the three most common knee problems that physical therapists see in active people:
1. Patella Syndrome
Pain level: Mild
Patellar (or patellofemoral) syndrome is the number one knee problem for runners due to friction between the kneecap and the surface of the femur. It is also called “runner’s knee”, which means…
Besides running, this type of pain can also be caused by other repetitive forward movements such as lunges and squats. The problem manifests as pain under the patella, around the middle of the knee.
Patella syndrome is the most bearable of the 3 types of knee pain. In addition, he reacts quite well to physiotherapy sessions. A little rest and exercise will go a long way in healing you. If you are used to running and you suffer from this symptom, I encourage you to read this very good article on the Runastic site .
2. Lesions or tears of the meniscus
Pain level: Mild to moderate
Common in athletes, a meniscus tear is often caused by pivoting and twisting movements. Meniscal injuries usually occur following a sudden movement.
For example, an athlete may make a sudden change in direction, as in soccer or tennis, and that may be enough to tear a meniscus. You'll know you have a meniscus tear if you feel intense, painful popping sounds in your knee while squatting or climbing stairs.
Although the pain will be worse when running, you may also feel it just by crossing your legs or while lying down. Contrary to what many people believe, a torn meniscus does not necessarily mean that you need surgery. In most cases, rest and physical therapy are sufficient.
You will learn more about this problem and the possible treatments by reading this article from the Osteoarthritis Clinic in Paris .
3. Patellar chondropathy
Pain level: Mild to severe
Patellar chondropathy is characterized by a painful breakdown of the articular cartilage of the patella. It is usually due to the constant shocks experienced by the knees of runners. Most people who engaged in intense athletic activity when they were younger have a mild form of chondropathy.
There are several levels of pain associated with this problem. It can range from simple discomfort when squatting to pain so intense that it is impossible to run. Knee pain is felt below the kneecap , but over a larger area than in patellar syndrome. You may sometimes hear cracking sounds, as in the case of a meniscus injury.
In mild cases, physical therapy can correct the problem and relieve pain, while severe cases usually require cortisone injections or surgery. If this is your case, the following exercises are not the solution.
For others, the following can really help you.
Knee pain – Exercises that can relieve
The way to treat any knee problem is to address the cause of the problem. Any knee pain stems from a biomechanical weakness. If you suffer from severe pain, you should first consult an orthopedic doctor or a physiotherapist .
But if your pain is mild to moderate, specialists recommend the following exercises:
Exercise 1 – Leg lift to the side
Start by lying on your side with your legs resting on top of each other and the arm on the floor side under your head, as in the photo. Flex your top foot as much as possible and lift your top leg as much as you can, while keeping your heel slightly back and your toes pointing forward.
Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions per leg, twice a day.
Tip: bend the bottom knee if necessary to provide greater stability.
Exercise 2 – Static mini squat
Spread your feet shoulder width apart. Hold a railing or the back of a chair with one hand. Go down a little like you want to do a squat, but stopping a quarter or a third of the way through.
Hold the position for 10 seconds, then stand up. Perform at least 5 blocks of 10 seconds 2 times a day.
Exercise 3 – Crab walk for sore knees
Wrap a resistance band around your legs just above the kneecap. Start by standing with your legs shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Move in small steps on the right side then return to the starting point by taking small side steps on the left. Repeat at least 3 round trips in a row. Do this exercise twice a day.
To help you understand these explanations, you can watch this short video (I recommend placing the elastic band above the knees, however):
Relieve your knee pain during sports
Often, knee pads do a great job of relieving your joints during exercise. When I was playing tennis several times a week at 40, I had to resort to it for my left leg. It's not super comfortable, but the knee pads have come a long way anyway.
- Modern colors
- Targeted compression
- Targeted heat for effective relaxation
Conclusion on knee pain
Do you have knee pain? Have you found ways to relieve yourself?
I sincerely hope this article helps you find relief during your sports activities and strength training sessions . Following the exercises in this article will probably prevent the pain from getting worse, and you must take this problem seriously so as not to injure yourself more seriously later.
Remember that prevention is always better than cure 😉
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Last updated on 2023-10-01 / Affiliate links / Some images come from Amazon Product Advertising API