This is part of a series on knee pain.
Knee pain mostly affects athletes, but really it can hit anyone for a number of reasons. However it happened, you’ll want to know what’s ailing you so that you can properly treat the injury. Here’s a list of the most commonly injured parts of the knee.
Cartilage injuries tend to have to do with a torn meniscus attached to the knee’s ligaments that is best described as a sort of natural shock absorber. It might be the most common knee injury that hits athletes, but it can hit anyone. Enough contorting and flexing or twisting can wear down the meniscus and get shredded.
At first the knee gets inflamed and swells up. If it gets to be stiff, that’s because fluid’s accumulated from the swelling. But it’s an injury someone might forget about if the symptoms start to go away. Sufferers should be certain to strengthen the knee once they get the chance by focusing on the muscles around it that will stabilize the joint.
Common exercises to work the knee in this situation include knee circles, leg curls, chair balance and straight leg raises.
The Iliotibial band (IT band for short) is a strong, thick band of tissue that starts from underneath the knee runs along the outside of each knee and extends up to the hip.
Injuries from this area can be vexing and might give the injured person somewhat of an “empty” feeling in the knee. It can actually occur pretty often with pregnant women as the extra weight from the midsection can weigh down on the knees and even a buckling effect – IT Band Syndrome (ITBS) commonly comes about because the knee is turned inward persistently. To be certain that it is ITBS, bend your knee at a 45-degree angle and if the outside of the knee erupts in pain, it’s likely this condition.
Changing direction rapidly, slowing down when running, and landing from a jump may cause tears in the ACL. Athletes who play games with cleats might get their legs locked if the cleats get stuck in the mud.
For exercises to prevent swelling and fight off atrophy as you’re recovering from an ACL injury, check out this video:
Keep reading about common knee injuries and simple exercises to get back in the game with Part II.