In almost any sport where running is involved, the knees often take the brunt of the strain, and can sustain some serious damage if pain is ignored.
As the main joint in the leg, the knee takes a huge amount of impact during activity, and so knee injuries are incredibly common in professional and amateur athletes. Knee pain can come about from a range of causes, both long and short term, so it’s important any knee pain following exercise is taken seriously.
Pain in the knees pops up in a number of different contexts and for a number of different reasons, the most common of which just being general wear and tear. As life goes on, because of the pressure and strain put on them, the knees are one of the first parts of the body to feel the strain of age. So whatever sport you’re doing, your knees should always be looked after, to avoid problems in later life.
Who suffers from knee pain?
Anyone can suffer from knee pain, from world-class athletes to couch potatoes. Though the most serious knee injuries do come from repeated strain through activity, and certain activities increase the risk.
Running is one of these activities that really increases the risk of knee pain and knee injuries. The strain on the knees, from the constant heavy impact of your entire bodyweight, is incredibly prominent during running, and overdoing it could cause long-term problems. Most knee pain stemming from running will be down to general soreness which is easily fixed through rest. Occasionally though, the pain could be a sign of something more serious, such as tendonitis, so it’s important to keep an eye on it.
Anyone who’s worked in an office or warehouse has been trained to lift boxes, but while we were all sitting bored and not listening, we were missing some important information. So many knee injuries stem from incorrect technique when lifting, whether you’re a warehouse worker or a professional powerlifter. Excessive jerking or twisting of the knee joint during heavy lifting can cause damage to the meniscus (the cartilage in the knee) which is a serious injury.
Of course, knee pain can happen to anybody no matter their occupation or level of physical activity. As we get older, the general wear and tear of everyday life takes its toll on our knees. So we should always look after our knees and other joints to avoid further problems down the line.
What are the causes?
The knees are where the brunt of the impact is taken during sports such as football or running, and often pain centred in these areas is nothing to worry about. But there are a few causes of knee pain it’s important to keep in mind to avoid long-term damage.
Knee Sprains & Strains
As with many body pains, pain in the knees could be caused by a simple strain or sprain to the muscles and ligaments. These could come about in any number of contexts, including while running, playing sports such as football, or through normal, every-day movement.
As with most injuries, the remedies for knee sprains are relatively well-known. Namely: rest and recuperation. With thorough application of ice packs and taking it easy for a while, most strains should recover in around a fortnight, but some may take longer.
Anywhere there are tendons, there’s the threat of tendonitis. Tendonitis of the knee manifests itself in joint pain, stiffness and lack of mobility following an injury. Tendonitis can arise any time the knee joint is used excessively, for example in sports such as football or cycling.
The symptoms of tendonitis come about because of the swelling of the knee joint following an injury, and can be completely healed after a few weeks if all the correct steps are taken. But rest and support are absolutely essential in combating tendonitis, and Bearhug’s knee support is a great addition to helping heal tendonitis.
One of the more serious forms of knee injury, a meniscus tear can be incredibly painful and take a long time to heal. The menisci are two pieces of cartilage which act like a cushion between your thigh bone and shinbone.
These pieces of cartilage can sometimes tear when the knees go through forceful twisting or rotation with the whole weight of the body. These injuries are especially common in people lifting heavy weights such as while squatting or those whose jobs involve manual labour, and can cause further complications in the future if the injury isn’t properly treated.
If, when lifting, you feel a popping sensation and your knee giving way, followed by swelling, pain and stiffness, then you may have a meniscus tear and should contact your GP.
Arthritis is usually associated with those of the older generation, and does become more common with age, but arthritis can strike at any point. Especially in areas which take a lot of strain and impact, such as the knees. Osteoarthritis in the knees can be a complication of injuries such as meniscus tears, so it’s important these injuries are allowed to fully recover.
Arthritis of the knee varies from person to person; for some it can be mild and come and go, while for others it can be far more painful. While arthritis is a long-term condition once it surfaces, there are lots of ways to avoid it and to alleviate the symptoms if you do suffer from it. Joint supports are one of the most effective ways of avoiding serious arthritis, as they provide extra support to the joints. This means the usual wear and tear of high impact sport will be lessened.
As effective as most remedies out there, herbal or otherwise, thoroughly resting a knee injury can hugely shorten recovery time. It’s very frustrating having to stop doing exercise when injured, but allowing your knee time to heal means you won’t have more problems further down the line.
Knee supports are effective in underpinning the knee’s integrity during strenuous exercise. Bearhug’s knee supports provide an extra layer of protection for the knee joint, helping to avoid injuries such as meniscus tears and reduce the likelihood of arthritis developing.
Regular exercise is one of the best ways of avoiding injuries in the first place. Maintaining a regular level of activity strengthens joints and muscles, meaning they will be less likely to sustain an injury.
Following any injury, the application of an ice pack is always helpful in reducing swelling.
Bearhug offers knee supports, providing compression and support to help avoid pain and injury.