At Home with Chris Jessen 2018 - 139
J O I N T H E A LT H ▲
TOP TIPS to help prevent knee injuries
Being overweight puts a huge strain on your knees so keep at a
healthy weight to ease the pressure on those hard-working joints
Always warm-up before exercise
Avoid twisting your knees during stretches
When jumping, always land with your knees bent
When exercising, wear well-ﬁtting trainers with shock absorption
Avoid running on hard surfaces such as concrete - grass or a
treadmill is much more forgiving. Knee supports can be helpful
If you feel any pain in your knees, stop what you're doing!
Check your trainers for wear and tear regularly and replace them
when they wear down or after six months of regular use.
WORDS: TILLY HUTCHINGS, IMAGES: GETTY IMAGES
synovium), which produces small
amounts of synovial ﬂuid that helps
nourish the cartilage and lubricate the
joint. The synovium has a tough outer
layer called the capsule. This capsule
also helps to hold the knee in place.
Because the knee is such a hardworking, multifunctioning joint, it's
prone to problems. Here are some
of the most common ones.
its groove. This is usually due to a
muscle imbalance, which can pull
the kneecap out of its normal position.
The other main cause of pain is
patella instability, which commonly
occurs after injury.
If physiotherapy isn't suitable
or successful, injection therapies
or surgery may be needed (see
The Surgeries, opposite).
ANTERIOR KNEE PAIN
This is a general term covering a
number of conditions that cause pain
at the front (anterior) and centre of
the knee. Also known as 'runner's
knee' and 'jumper's knee', suﬀerers
often feel pain when they exercise.
It can be caused by overuse or
an incorrect balance of certain
muscles and muscle groups, causing
the knee and kneecap to be pulled
out of alignment during exercise.
If there's no damage to the
structure of the knee, physiotherapy
can increase ﬂexibility, rebalance
the muscle groups and redress any
hip or ankle problems that might be
contributing to the knee pain.
Resting the knee, using ice packs
and taking anti-inﬂammatory pain
medication can also help. In some
cases, orthotics - insoles in the shoes
- can be helpful. Injections of a longlasting anaesthetic can also relieve
pain in the joint.
If investigations reveal the cause
of the pain is structural damage to
the knee, the solution may be steroid
injections into the joint or surgery.
This is the painful inﬂammation of a
tendon, which can be caused by injury
or overuse. Mild cases often clear up
with ice packs and rest, but pain can
continue for weeks or even months.
Painkillers and anti-inﬂammatory
medications can help to alleviate
discomfort in the short-term, but if it
persists, is recurrent or due to injury,
your GP may recommend further
treatment or refer you to a specialist.
Pain around the kneecap can be
caused by patella maltracking, where
the kneecap isn't running smoothly in
Meniscal tears are often referred to as
torn cartilage in the knee. They're a
common sporting injury, often caused
by impact on a twisted knee.
In older people, tears can be caused
by everyday movements such as
walking, squatting or getting up
awkwardly - and that's because
the cartilage wears and becomes
thinner as it ages.
Treatment depends on the location
and size of the tear, as well as age, how
much and what kind of activities you
are doing and other conditions.
The level of blood supply in the
menisci diﬀers greatly, so some areas
heal much more quickly than others.
Tears can be repaired through
surgery and replacement of the
cartilage is possible, too.
www.athomemagazine.co.uk FEBRUARY 2018 | 139