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5 Things You Need to Know About Flat Feet and Knee Damage

If you have flat feet or fallen arches, that can be linked to knee pain and cartilage damage. However, the
damage can vary based on several factors. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Flat Feet Create a Chain Reaction Up Your Body

When you have flat feet, you typically won’t notice any other malformations up the rest of your leg.
However, the flat feet can create a chain reaction up your body, and that damage usually starts in your
knees. In some people, the pain and damage continues up to their hips and into their backs.

Essentially, when you have flat feet, your feet don’t support the weight of your body correctly. The
misalignment of your feet means that your knees aren’t properly aligned either. Basically, the kneecap is
surrounded by a v-shaped groove that allows the cap to move up and down naturally. When your knees are not
properly aligned, the kneecap doesn’t move as it should, and that starts to wear down the surrounding
cartilage. (more…)

Post-Traumatic Arthritis: Tips To Ease Your Pain And Other Symptoms

Although most knee injuries heal without too many problems, some injuries can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints later on in life. These symptoms usually develop as the cartilage in the knees wears down or becomes damaged. Collectively, these symptoms can be referred to as post-traumatic arthritis.

In some people, excessive joint damage eventually leads to osteoarthritis. Although you can’t cure posttraumatic arthritis, you can take steps to manage your symptoms and prevent it from progressing to osteoarthritis. Here are some things you can do to make life a little more bearable for you.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Post-traumatic arthritis can become worse if you place too much weight on your knees. Along with your hipbones and thighs, your knee joints support your body’s weight when you stand, walk, or run. Joints weakened by arthritis and old injuries lack the strength and integrity to support excessive body weight.

Lessen the extra weight on your knees by eating items from all five food groups. The amount you need to eat from each food group depends on your age, sex, and overall physical activity. For instance, if you’re an active 50-year-old male, consume 4 cups of vegetables. Inactive individuals should strive for 3.5 cups of vegetables a day.

If you can’t develop a meal plan yourself, speak to a dietitian. Some foods benefit your painful joints specifically. Many types of fruit, including oranges, papayas, and strawberries, contain vitamins and minerals that create, protect, or strengthen cartilage.

If you plan to exercise to lose or maintain a healthy weight, consult with an orthopedic specialist first. A specialist can examine your knees to see what treatment works best for your specific needs. For example, some people improve with physical therapy, while other individuals need […]

The Unhappy Triad of Knee Injuries and the Road to Recovery

The “unhappy triad” never means good news for an athlete. Indeed, the term, which is also known as the “terrible triad”, refers to a particularly debilitating set of knee injuries: tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and meniscus.

The good news is that modern medicine has become better than ever at healing and restoring full functionality for victims of the unhappy triad. Below is more information about the unhappy triad and how orthopedic surgery can assist with this unfortunate circumstance.

What Is the Unhappy Triad?

The pioneering orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Willis Campbell, first defined this combination of injuries to the ACL, MCL, and meniscus. However, it was not until 1950 when Dr. Don O’Donoghue, the father of sports medicine, coined the phrase “unhappy triad.” Dr. O’Donoghue estimated the unhappy triad occurred in approximately one-fourth of all knee injury incidents.

What Specific Knee Structures Are Involved and How Does Injury Occur?

The three structures involved in the unhappy triad are all important for proper functioning of the knee, especially for athletes who frequently run or rely upon their balance for performance reasons:

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Located on the front of the knee, the ACL provides stability for the knee by preventing hyperextension and keeping it from rotating.
Medial collateral ligament (MCL). Situated on the side of the knee by the inside of the leg, the MCL also stabilizes the knee and strengthens the joint.
Meniscus. The meniscus is a flat, disc-shaped cartilage structure that cushions the knee at the junction of the femur and tibia.

Injury types can vary depending on the incident itself, but the unhappy triad usually unfolds when the knee is struck from the side (laterally) and the foot is firmly planted […]

Active Women in Their 40s: Tips to Keep Knee Pain at Bay When You Exercise

If you’re a relatively healthy woman in your 40s, you might not expect to experience any problems with your knees. But if your knees hurt every time you exercise, you may wonder why and if there’s anything you can do to keep it from happening.

Learn below how to manage your pain before and after you exercise, as well as what to do if your pain doesn’t go away.

Relax Your Mind and Body

If you’re under a lot of stress from work or raising a family, it’s important to relax your mind and body before you exercise. Performing a move incorrectly or using the wrong body positions can injure your knees. Even exercising when you’re tired can create problems for you.

If you’re in the beginning stages of menopause or going through this change, you can experience some deterioration and pain in joints like your knees from a reduction in estrogen. These joints can take a lot of stress when you jog, perform aerobics, or play sports. The high impact associated with these activities may aggravate your joints until they swell or stiffen up.

You can do several things to relax before you exercise, including taking a warm bath, drinking decaffeinated white tea, or reading a good book. Take a short walk around the block and enjoy the scenery. Sometimes, walking can be just as beneficial to your health as aerobics, biking, or weight training.

Yoga is another option you can choose to unwind. Yoga not only clears your mind but it can also create harmony and balance in your body’s tissues, including your knees. It’s important to perform yoga moves that keep your body properly aligned to avoid injuries in your knees. If possible, take a beginner’s class […]

Stretches to Ease Knee Pain

You want to live an active lifestyle, but your knee pain makes that prospect difficult. Fortunately, there is a simple way to relieve daily knee pain. Stretching helps you stabilize your knees and the surrounding muscles and tissues. Stretching also helps you strengthen your knee to help you prevent knee pain and injury.

Here are some of the best knee stretches to try.

1. Wall Hamstring Stretch

The hamstring muscles overlap the knee joint, so stretching the hamstring will also stretch the knee. You’ll need a resistance band for this stretch.

To perform this stretch, lie on your back with your feet flexed. Connect one end of a resistance band to your right foot. Hold the other end of the resistance band and lift your right leg. You’ll feel the stretch in your knee and the back of your leg. Hold for several seconds before switching legs.

2. Straight Leg Raise

This stretch strengthens both your quadriceps and your knees.

Lie on your back with your right leg straight and your left leg bent. Lift your right leg about one foot in the air. Rotate your leg slightly outward so your toes point at a diagonal. Repeat the stretching movement several times before switching legs.

3. Heel-Slide Knee Extension

Here is a stretch that focuses exclusively on your knee. Lie on your back and bend your right knee. With your right foot on the floor, move your foot away from your body, sliding your heel along the way. When your feet are parallel, hold the pose for a few seconds and then repeat.

4. Calf Stretch

Work both your calves and your knees with this complete stretch.

Start facing a wall. With your arms straight and touching the wall, stretch your left leg out behind you. […]

Weak in the Knees: Why Women Are at Greater Risk for Knee Problems

Knee problems affect both men and women. Athletics, aging, injury, and posture all contribute to knee pain. However, women are more likely to experience knee problems-no matter how active or inactive they are.

Fortunately, if you know your knees’ weaknesses, you can take steps to prevent injury by being more mindful when lifting, running, or jumping during daily activities or when playing sports. Here’s why women have more trouble with their knees than men, and what you can do about it.

Increased Injury Risk

One of the most traumatic injuries to the knee is tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). This ligament stabilizes the knee, prevent the connecting bones in the knee joint from sliding forward or twisting too much. Females are eight times more likely to tear the ACL, which often requires surgery and several months of physical therapy to rehabilitate.

Why are women more at risk? It’s a question of anatomy and biology. Women generally have wider hips than men. Your hips are the starting place for the alignment of the rest of your leg. Where men have a generally straight leg alignment from hip to knee, women have an angled alignment, which places greater stress on the joint.

Also, active women tend to overdevelop the large quadriceps muscles while under-developing the hamstrings, creating a power imbalance. The hamstrings work in opposition to the quadriceps, relaxing the stress on the ACL. Your quads, on the other hand, continually “pull” on the ligament. During activities like running, jumping, or quickly coming to a stop, this imbalance increases stress on the ACL.

The final source of increased risk comes from hormonal differences. Women experience hormone cycles that affect the flexibility of muscles and ligaments. An extreme example is that when […]

Beginner’s Plyometric Jumps: How Can They Injure Your Knees?

Plyometric jumps help you build muscle and improve your cardiovascular health, as well as increase your strength, speed, endurance, and agility. But if you’re a beginner who chooses to learn the moves on your own, you can potentially injure your knees if you perform the exercises without taking the right precautions.

Plyometric jumps require you to use quick, powerful movements to receive the best results. Although you mainly rely on your thigh and hip muscles to complete the jumping moves, the stress and strain placed on your knees when you take off and land can damage them.

Below, we’ll discuss possible injuries you can experience in your kneecaps and the tissues connected to them, as well as tips to prevent those injuries.

How Can You Injure Your Knees?

Plyometric jumps, such as jumping lunges and broad jumps, require you to leap from the ground or floor as quickly and explosively as you can. You generally complete a certain amount of repetitive reps in a short amount of time. The explosive moves incorporate many muscle groups, including your thighs and calves. However, the moves can also cause issues with your kneecaps (patellas) and the tissues that support them.

Your kneecap is a delicate, movable bone that covers the knee joint. Repeated stress on the kneecap can possibly injure it and cause problems like jumper’s knee. Experts believe that jumper’s knee occurs when you repeatedly place stress on your kneecaps and the tendons that connect it to the thigh and shin bones. The large muscles in your thighs pull on the tendon whenever you jump. Repeated jumping can potentially cause wear and tear in the tendons and instability in your kneecaps.

Being overweight is another risk factor for jumper’s knee. Your knees already […]

What Patients Should Know About the Recovery Process After Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Arthroscopic surgery of the knee is one of the most important advances in orthopedic medicine. The use of miniaturized, highly sophisticated equipment helps make knee surgery a less cumbersome process for both the patient and the medical team. As a result, recovery times are often quicker with fewer complications.

However, it is important to keep in mind that arthroscopic surgery is still an invasive procedure that requires a carefully structured recover process. If patients don’t take recovery seriously, they can delay healing or experience medical complications. Below is more information on the recovery process from arthroscopic knee surgery and what patients should know.

Immediately Following Surgery

After surgery is completed and the patient is sutured and bandaged, the first place where healing begins is in the recovery area of the surgical facility. In the recovery suite, the medical team will monitor vital signs and help the patient awaken from their anesthesia. In cases where a local anesthetic is used, the immediate recovery process is less involved, but staff will still be on hand to see that things are progressing smoothly.

Once the patient is stable, and all vital signs are confirmed as normal, he or she will most likely be released from the facility with instructions for care and follow-up. To prevent complications, it is critical for these instructions to be followed exactly and for patients to make all required follow-up visits.

In some situations, such as when patients are older or have other complicating conditions, they may be held for an extended period of time in the facility. Most patients will be held no longer than 24 hours after the surgery, but an extended time in the facility provides the medical team with an opportunity to evaluate the patient before […]

Weightlifting: Common Knee Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Resistance training with weights can help with weight loss and muscle health, but you need to train safely. While weightlifting does not cause as many injuries as other sports, knee injuries are still possible when the joint is placed under a lot of stress. Here are the most common knee injuries and what you can do to prevent them while you lift.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) connects the tibia (lower leg bone) to the femur (upper leg bone). Its primary function is to prevent over-rotation in the knee. This ligament is usually damaged when an athlete moves at high speed while also overextending or twisting the leg. In weightlifting, the ACL is more likely to be torn if you have an improper stance while supporting a heavy load.

Whenever you bend down using your legs to support heavy weight, ensure that your knees are aligned with your hips and ankles. When using a leg press or another weight machine that bends the leg while pushing weight, never bend your leg to the point of discomfort.

ACL tears can be repaired through surgery. However, the healthiest ACLs are ones that have never been damaged or torn.

Posterior Cruciate Ligament Tears

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) also connects the tibia and femur on the back side of the knee. This ligament is more difficult to injure than the ACL but can be damaged when the knee receives a sharp blow to the front, extending the rear ligament to the breaking point. In weightlifting, this type of injury usually occurs when you ignore safety measures and spotters.

For example, while using a loaded bar to complete a set of lunges, muscle fatigue could cause you to lose balance. If you […]

Five Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis in Your Knee

Osteoarthritis is a condition where the cartilage on your joints wears away, leaving the bones rubbing against each other. Often caused by repetitive motions, this condition can be painful and even debilitating in some cases. Although it’s impossible to rebuild cartilage, you can address the condition’s symptoms with a number of treatment options.

1. Exercise

As a result of the friction caused when the cushioning cartilage wears away, bone spurs can develop in your knees, and bone spurs lead to swelling and even more pain. Additionally, you may notice a loss of flexibility.

Exercise can help increase your range of movement and strengthen the ligaments around the knee. However, you shouldn’t do just any exercise. Low-impact activities such as riding a bicycle or tai chi can work, but ideally, you should consult with a physical therapist, an osteoarthritis specialist, or an orthopedic surgeon to ensure you choose exercises that minimize rather than exacerbate your pain.

2. Topical Creams

Topical creams are easy to apply, and they can help to reduce pain flare-ups. For example, methyl salicylate and menthol, often sold under the brand names Bengay or IcyHot, provide pain relief with the soothing side effects of mint. Capsaicin, derived from cayenne peppers, can provide pain relief as well.

Alternatively, IcyHot and some generic brands make a product designed for sufferers of arthritis in particular. These products contain camphor, which also helps to alleviate pain.

If over-the-counter options don’t work, you may want to talk with your doctor about prescription lidocaine patches. In most cases, topical creams don’t have many side effects, but they aren’t strong enough to eliminate pain in all cases.

3. Acupuncture and Other Alternatives

If you prefer alternative pain relief methods, you may want to check out acupuncture or balneotherapy. […]