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Top 5 Knee Problems: How to Fix Them and How to Avoid Them
3. IT Band Syndrome
No, this isn’t a new Techno band; this is a knee problem that is common with tennis players, cyclists, and runners. This injury happens when the tissue that runs from the top of the hip to the outside of the knee, (called the IT band) becomes tight or develops inflammation. This causes pain on the outside of the knee, usually just about a mile or two into a run or a bike ride.
This is caused from overuse. When people cycle or run for several days in a row and do not allow their body’s sufficient time to rest and repair itself, the IT band often becomes inflamed. Training errors sometimes cause this problem, such as running on a sloping road for long distances where one leg is lower than the other.
How to avoid this? Allow your body sufficient time to rest. Cross training is always good as it gives the muscles you use for running a time to rest. If you are feeling this type of pain, give your body the break it needs. Ice, rest, and some anti-inflammatory medications for a week or two are usually all that are needed to correct this problem. Read also how to stop chronic pain naturally.
4. ACL Tear
This is usually what happens when people talk about their knee just “giving out”. Sometimes you hear a loud pop as the ligament tears. That noise is the anterior cruciate ligament tearing and it’s no joke. Swelling of the knee and some intense pain usually follows.
This often happens during a sudden change in direction when moving such as when playing soccer, or when you are hit on the side of the knee, such as when playing football.
What can you do? This is a tough one. You should see your doctor or an orthopedic specialist to determine exactly how much damage has been done. Sometimes physical therapy is sufficient, for other, surgery will be needed to avoid a lengthy recover period. See your doctor if you believe you have torn this ligament.
5. Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Osteoarthritis is what happens when the cartilage in the knee breaks down. This leads to limited range of motion, stiffness, pain, and localized swelling.
Arthritis can happen from a previous knee injury. Being overweight can also bring this on. Genetic predisposition, tears, and fractures that affect the alignment of the knee, or repeated strains can all bring on osteoarthritis.
What can you do? See your doctor. Treatment generally includes anti-inflammatory medications, sometimes injections of hyaluronic acid helps. Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance that is part of the connective tissues, it helps to lubricate and cushion the knee joint.
The number one way to keep your knees happy and healthy is to maintain a healthy weight. Every extra pound you carry puts 4 pounds of added pressure on your knees when you walk or climb a flight of stairs. Losing even just 5 percent of your body weight often leads to less knee pain and greater flexibility of the knees.
Another thing that helps keep your knees healthy is movement. Although this might seem counterintuitive, knees need to be active to stay strong and healthy. When your knees aren’t used, they stiffen up and the muscles that support your knees begin to weaken. So stay active, even if your knee hurts, but take things easy until your knee heals.