Knee pain

It is not unusual to see people who have been informed that they have changes in a joint related to osteoarthritis. Two cases I have come across recently were handled completely differently. The first was informed that, yes there were signs of osteoarthritis but don’t worry you don’t need to stop running. The second was similarly told that there were signs of arthritis but that was about it. No other advice was given or suggestions made. Not surprisingly their point of view about the pain they were suffering was a bit different

I injured myself in mid November last year. Nothing serious just a mild grade 1 tear in vastus lateralis, one of your quads, when doing some heavy squats. I took it easy for a couple of weeks and gradually worked back into things. I then tore it again in the first week in January! To say I was not happy would be an understatement.   man squatting

What went wrong?

Are you missing ankle mobility? Having sufficient range of movement in your ankle is important. If you want to run fast or jump high having good ankle range of movement in dorsiflexion is essential. This is not just in the sporting environment but simply to walk well we need good ankle mobility. The movement that important is the ability to pull your toes towards you. A lack of dorsiflexion is linked with increased injury risk with achilles tendinopathy and patella tendinopathy having been shown to be impacted by a lack of ankle mobility in dorsiflexion.

The first step in any injury assessment is what previous injuries do you have. The biggest predictor of future injury lies in your injury history. As a result looking into your injury history will play an important roll in deciding on what needs to be done. If you have previously injured your ankle, knee or hip these are areas we need to investigate in the injury assessment. We do this becasue of the scale of the impact they have on the way you move. Two of the more important things that we are looking out for in the clinic are asymmetries and pain.When we are assessing movement we are looking to see both how good it is and does it cause pain.

Runners' Knee is a common complaint with runners. 10% of runner's will experience some sort of knee pain in any given year. Given it's so common what causes it and what can you do about it? Generally most injuries runner pick up are of a "repetitive strain" nature and runner's knee is no exception. Given the nature of running, this isn't really that big a surprise. There aren't really many demands in terms of changing direction or speed. It is very much about simply putting one foot in front of the other.