In January, USA Today asked roughly 300 football players about their concerns on injuries. Almost half of them feared a hit in the knee because this could ground them for months compared to a concussion. This has happened before; in 2005, former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper tore three ligaments and never got his old form back.
However, knee injury doesn’t always mean taking a hit; a mismatch between workout regimen and build can be just as worse. It’s like giving the newbie at work a ton of paperwork and a deadline of yesterday.
Fortunately, studies are being done to help athletes steer clear of the imminent career-ending knee injury. Researchers at the University of Calgary studied 25 runners divided into two groups. One group, comprised of 15 runners with a knee injury called patellofemoral pain syndrome, or runner’s knee, was asked to do hip abductor exercises for three weeks. The other group, composed of uninjured runners, was not asked to do the exercise.
The results were encouraging. They established a link between weak hip muscles and knee pain. Fitness author Matt Fitzgerald, in his Competitor.com article, reports:
After the intervention, strength was increased, stride-to-stride knee joint variability was reduced, pain was reduced and no change in knee genu valgum was observed in the injured runners.
Hip Abductor Exercises
Experts believe the hip’s poor control over leg motion puts undue stress on the knee. As such, strengthening the four hip abductors—gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and tensor fascia lata—can result in improved motor control. In fact, the hip muscles are responsible for providing agility in most sporting activities.
This highlights the effectiveness of physical therapy in treating knee pain among Bergen County athletes. Fitness writer Crystal Lombardo of 8abs.com says squat walks, leg raises, and bands are among the best hip abductor exercises. A licensed physical therapist would be in the best position to determine and design an exercise program that would be appropriate for each case, including the type of exercises that should be performed.
Aside from strength exercises, physical therapists, such as those in MedWell Spine, OsteoArthritis, & Neuropathy Center, can also recommend pain reduction regimens. This part of a Bergen County knee pain treatment plan may include relaxation techniques and chiropractic care. Overall, a physical therapist can help keep an athlete going even through knocks and bumps, for as long as possible.
(Source: Weak In The Knees? Strengthen Your Hips, Competitor.com, July 30, 2014)