You don’t have to be an expert to know and agree that pain and injuries suck.
I’ve had them, clients have them and chances are, you have had the odd injury too. And that’s okay because it’s life and nothing to be ashamed of! What’s not okay is living with pain to the point where it stops you doing the things you love. But don’t fear I’m sharing my fave tools that have helped me.
I tried a number of things to overcome my back and knee injury years go and once gone (aka managed), it opened up so many doors again for me – hello life!!! Luckily I know what triggers, so it helps me prevent future damage.
Seeing the right practitioners is paramount, let me say upfront that not all are created equal. Shop around and don’t settle for anything but the best! For me, that is the team at Health Space Potts Point who are beyond amazing. I don’t have an affiliate with them but I continually to recommend them to everyone as they’ve helped me through injuries, pregnancy and illness!
Other must haves in my life as pictured (see end of article for more on these) include a foam rollers, my FUTURO™ Precision Fit Knee Support, and a roster of stability and strengthen exercises which all help me move freely in my day to day life and also when working out.
Of course, prevention is always key, followed by managing and treating the pain and injury – now this IS where the experts come in. We’re spoilt with two such people to give us the lowdown on all things KNEES, as it seems one of the most common issues for people training a lot, and well, also a little!
Jesse Thurlow is a Chiropractor (Sports and postural rehabilitation) at Health Space, accredited with Sports Medicine Australia, Level 2 Sports Trainer, Dry Needling, Active Release Technique, Myofascial Release Accredited – see, expert!
Knee injuries are the most common in athletic cohorts, with up to 33% of all injuries being attributed to the knee. (Kay MC et al, Feb 2017). If you haven’t had knee injury keep reading my friend, as Jesse tells us that this article is even more important for you in prevention as education is essential to the maintenance of our joint health, which takes us into the first primary topic; injury prevention.
Talk us through prevention in knee pain:
A sound warm up is essential before a workout. Apart from improving your training potential and output for various reasons, a warm up and thorough stretching routine will reduce the viscosity of the synovial fluid inside your joint space, which will provide greater lubrication for the joint.
Be sure to stretch out the big muscle groups surrounding the knee, the quads, hamstrings and calves as this will increase mobility and functional performance. Dynamic stretching has been shown to increase the isokinetic strength of the knee muscles and those affecting the knee throughout resistance training. (Fekhfekh et al. April 2016)
The most specific strength training to reduce knee pain, specifically attributed to patella-femoral pain syndrome, is a mixture of eccentric and isokinetic strength training. These training variations have been shown to provide clinically significant improvement in pain, function, and anterior, posterior and lateral core. (Bahnaz Tazesh et al, BMJ 2016)
Let’s not forget to focus above and below. Yes, the knee is our primary concern, however, lack of hip and ankle mobility can lead to knee pain and also problems with the lower back.
So what about treatment?
As a chiropractor, this is very relevant, I aim to stabilise from the ground up and this means analysing the ankle, knee, hips and lower back as one moving kinematic chain.
After analysing the lower limb kinetic chain and performing functional and orthopedic assessments, a diagnosis should be clear. As a sports and postural chiropractor I would aim to change and support any surrounding structures that need it. This can be anything from implementing heel lifts, feet/ankle/hip/lower back support, protective braces and strapping. A common treatment schedule would involve trigger release, active release, lengthening of musculature, activation of musculature and of coarse adjusting any joints that are in need of extra functional movement.
The take home message:
Warm up, stretch and strengthen. Make sure you target the large muscle groups we have spoken about. Use braces or support when advised to and get a check up if you have any concerns before it is too late.
Now from Isaac Serhan who’s a Physiotherapist located at Healthspace Clinics across both Pott’s Point and Kingsford, has a certificate 3 and 4 personal training, a Bachelor of Exercise Physiology from University of New South Wales, and a Masters in Physiotherapy from the University of Sydney. ‘I have been playing soccer all my life and love to keep fit and strong through regular strength training at the gym. I have had my fair share of injuries, in particular my knees – and have experienced personally the benefits of Physiotherapy and how it has helped me.’
Top tips for knee pain/injury prevention:
One of the best ways we can prevent knee injuries is by reducing the load going through them. If we can maintain a healthy lifestyle through exercise and nutrition; keeping within an optimal body will help prevent the risk of cartilaginous related knee injuries. Being a physio, I deal with a great amount of sporting injuries around the knee joint. I cannot stress the importance of a strength and conditioning component to all athletes pre season enough! All the studies show that if we have stronger hamstrings; our risk of injuring our ACL is much less. They also show that those with weak quadriceps have a strong correlation with anterior knee pain and cause the kneecap, or patella, to not sit well within its groove and lead to tracking issues.
Not only do I deal with sporting or unfortunate injuries; but also with the more chronic, arthritic cases. Strength training in these cases is particularly important to offload the knee joint as much as possible and optimise function. Now, I am not saying that we can ‘fix’ an arthritic knee however we can definitely help reduce the need for surgery through a specifically tailored exercise program in a lot of cases.
What is the best treatment for knee pain?
As much as I do hands on work in the clinic and offer techniques such as deep tissue trigger point therapy, active release therapy, and dry needling, I am also a great believer in prescribing exercise / rehab. I do not have any patients who will walk out of a consult without an exercise of some sort – whether it be to correct motor control concerns or stretch certain areas.
Why would people seek treatment with a physio?
Not only are we awesome! But we are trained professionals who love to empower the patient at getting better. We are here to provide your body with the best / safest environment for it to heal and through identifying certain weakness’ in the body – do so.
Isaac’s take home message: Keep moving. Keep exercising, stay strong. Not only can we prevent injuries by doing so, but will allow you to live a happy and healthy life style.
FUTURO™ Precision Fit Knee Support
I use the FUTURO™ Precision Fit Knee Support which provides support to my lil weak and injury prone knees. You can wear during activities, which lead to discomfort such as working out.
- Patella shield provides extra kneecap support
- Contoured shape is designed for optimal comfort and support
- Antimicrobial treatment inhibits growth of odour-causing bacteria on the support
- Flexible comfort straps adjust for a personalised fit
- Easy to put on and take off
- Comfortable material wicks away moisture and provides enhanced breathability
If you have other injuries be sure to check out their full range as they are designed to help prevent pain and injury – more here and possibly the cutest video here on their facebook page, seriously watch it the lil kids seriously pulls on the heart strings!
Using this beast may be a tad painful but super effective for tight IT bands.
Magnesium rich foods:
Magnesium strengthens bones, maintains nerve and muscle function, regulates heart rhythm and blood sugar levels and helps maintain joint cartilage, so eat those greens y’ll.
All the oils!
Aka inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acid in fish, oil olive is loaded with heart-healthy fats, as well as oleocanthal, which has properties similar to non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. Avocado and safflower oils have shown cholesterol-lowering properties, while walnut oil has 10 times the omega-3s that olive oil has.
What about you? What’s your go to for injury prevention?