Knee health: Ways to identify and manage knee health (Part 1)

Knee health: Ways to identify and manage knee health (Part 1)

The knee is oftentimes a very innocent but injury-prone bystander between the hip and the foot. It is very common for everyone to experience some level of knee discomfort or injury no matter what the cause.

We frequently hear of middle aged to elderly individuals requiring knee surgeries and even replacement after never having an actual injury to the joint.

In the next two blogs ill cover general knee health (part 1) and basics of some specific knee injuries and focal points as it relates to therapy and surgery so stay tuned for those as it will also segment toa knee specific ebook in the future as ill dive in depth on how to strengthen, and even “rebuild” the knee to prevent a surgery or recover from one and minimize having another down the road. 

    1. Prolonged Sitting and Standing
      1. Can cause forms of arthritis or degeneration 
      2. Can limit and prevent range of motion
      3. Can cause adhesions and swelling in the muscles connecting 
    2. Joint stiffness and swelling
      1. Gout
      2. Water retention
      3. Poor joint mobility 
      4. Lack of nutrients and “lubrication” in the joints
    3. Strains or tears in the knee itself
      1. Poor GAIT 
        1. Caused by bad posture
        2. Musculoskeletal deficiencies/ abnormalities
        3. Foot problems or arthritis
      2. Damaged muscle or tendon in connection with the knee
        1. To include Quad and Hamstring complexes 
      3. Physical ailment or injury during a specific range of motions 
        1. Jumping/ landing 
        2. Turning or changing directions
        3. Heavy load bearing under no control
        4. ALL OF WHICH can be prevented drastically with a sufficient core and balance routine discussed in the PREVIOUS BLOG

The anatomy of the knee

    1. Strains or tears in the hamstring complex 
      1. Adhesions and tightness in the hamstrings can cause much discomfort in the knee and inhibit range of motion
        1. Caused by lack of stretching, prolonged sitting, heavy lifting with minimal emphasis on recovery
          1. THE CONCEPT OF RECOVERY is also discussed in a previous blog
      2. The hamstrings are responsible for the knee BENDING and a damaged muscle in that complex can affect the ability to do so
      3. The hamstrings are also responsible for stability of the knee especially in regards to the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament)

    1. Is to identify and relate with the source
      1. Was it injury related?
      2. When was the last time you frequently and consistently STRETCHED?
      3. Did you recently run a lot or train legs (specifically hamstrings)?
      1. Back or sides of the knee?
        1. Typically hamstring related
      2. Front or deep within the knee?
        1. Can be hamstring related, ACL, 
        2. Can be impact damage
        3. Can be restricted range of motion and our poor nutrition and “lubrication” to the knee
          1. Excessive sitting (limited range of motion)

An example of a person squatting with good and bad form.

      1. Inside (medial part) of the knee?
        1. Quads can be excessively tight 
          1. Heavy training, bike riding, running
          2. Cartilage damage or arthritis 
          3. Possible meniscus damage or ligaments that tie into it
      2. Outer portion of the knee
        1. Possible LCL/ Meniscus damage
        2. Strain from impact or tripping, maybe a quick twist or change of direction 
          1. Strain or tension in the Patellofemoral joint
        3. Tight hamstrings and or calves 

Jesse using a foam roller to relieve tension off of the knee.

    1. NOW WE KNOW WHERE and HOW what do you do?

In this part one I will wave top the basics and go more in depth in the future to include the ebook as this can become very extensive and is specific to its conditions. 

  1. Stretch the posterior chain
    1. Calves, hamstrings, hips/glutes, lower back

A simple stretch to relieve back pressure

  1. Increase range of motion with dynamic exercise techniques, stretching, and self myofascial release (foam roller, lacrosse ball, etc)
  1. Seek a massage therapist and stretch specialist 
  2. Alternate ice and heat as necessary
    1. Ice for injuries and swelling
    2. Heat for muscle adhesions and tension 
  3. Take supplements that help with the joints such as
    1. Chondroitin 
    2. Glucosamine 
    3. MSM
    4. Omega-3 
      1. Fish oil, flexseed, 
    5. Curcumin/ Tumeric
    6. Green tea
    7. Vitamin D3
  4. Conduct knee joint rehab techniques discussed in part 2 and examples, demos, and specific programming in the Ebook to come. 

As we know the knee can be caused by many issues, we also know that it takes a diligent approach and appreciation to ensure that it is safe and strong. Having a good balance of foods and supplements can make a big difference on the strength and function of muscles and joints. Having a good stretch and recovery program can help alleviate many of the causes of knee pain with the exception of a traumatic injury. Knee health is VERY VERY important as any injury to the knee and specifically to the meniscus will put you in a near guaranteed position to HAVE A KNEE REPLACEMENT later in life.