Knee overuse injuries are exactly what they sound like when you injure your knee because of using it too much, like when engaging in a repetitive motion.
Overuse Knee Injury Symptoms
Because there are several types of overuse knee injuries, the symptoms you experience will depend on the specific injury you have. Pain is among the most common symptoms. Others can include numbness, swelling, and tingling.
Common Overuse Knee Injuries
Some knee injuries are more common when you are highly active or engage in repetitive motions during work-related activities. Your doctor can let you know which injury is causing your pain or other symptoms. It is likely to be one of the following common injuries:
Iliotibial Band Syndrome
IT band syndrome is a common overuse knee injury of runners, joggers, and anyone involved in sports with lots of running, like soccer. The IT band runs along with your knee and thigh. Its rubbing motion against your knee’s bony prominences can lead to inflammation.
You can typically treat this injury with physical therapy, ice, stretches, and changing your activities.
Patellar Tendinitis (And Quadriceps Tendonitis)
This injury affects the tendon connecting your shinbone and kneecap. This tendon lets you stretch out your knee. Patellar tendinitis is more common among those who run or jump regularly.
You can usually treat this injury by changing your activities, resting, physical therapy, and taking anti-inflammatory medicine.
Although it is less common, you may also develop quadriceps tendonitis from overuse of the knee.
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
At some point in their lives, 25% of people will experience patellofemoral pain syndrome, affecting you no matter how active you are. This syndrome occurs if you have pain in the front of your knee. Examples of pain can be when you use stairs or sit with bent legs for a long time.
This is another injury you can typically overcome with home exercise and physical therapy, along with other at-home treatments.
Pes (Anserine) Bursitis
Called either pes bursitis or pes anserine bursitis, the bursa is a fluid-filled sac that sits on top of your hamstring’s tendons. If you develop this injury, expect swelling and pain inside the knee when you are active.
You can typically treat this particular injury by changing your activities, visiting a physical therapist, applying ice, and resting. Sometimes, you may also need a cortisone injection.
Tibial Plateau Stress Fracture
Although it is much less likely than most of the other injuries on this list, you may still fracture the tibial plateau. This is the top portion of your shin bone by your knee. Stress fractures on this bone are particularly common among runners.
If you develop this fracture, you will need to stop running until you heal.
Can You Treat an Overuse Knee Injury Yourself?
In the case of mild overuse injuries, you may be able to treat it yourself. Basic self-care, such as using ice, compression, and rest, will help. Rest is essential, as you do not want to stress the injured knee as it heals. You may also want to try over-the-counter medications to help with pain relief and inflammation. Just be sure not to overuse nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen, which can cause side effects. If you find yourself needing to use them too frequently, see your doctor for an alternative treatment.
You can also compress your knee with sleeves, straps, or elastic bandages. This should provide support while also reducing swelling. Elevating your knee will also reduce swelling, thereby promote healing.
How Will the Doctor Treat Your Overuse Knee Injury?
The treatment your doctor will suggest for your overuse knee injury will depend on the injury in question. The following are some of the possibilities:
Wearing a knee brace will provide your knee some extra support to help it heal.
Your doctor may suggest physical therapy, as the stretches and light exercise can encourage healing. It can also help you maintain or regain your range of motion.
In the case of severe knee injuries, your doctor may suggest orthopedic surgery.
Reducing the Risk of Knee Overuse Injuries
Some activities leave you more prone to overuse injuries than others. Running is particularly bad in this respect, with 42% of running injuries affecting the knee due to overuse.
In many cases, overuse injuries occur due to mistakes when training or in your technique. An example of a training mistake would be pushing yourself too hard. An example of an error in technique would be running with poor form that puts unnecessary stress on your knees.
To help yourself avoid overuse knee injuries, as well as injuries from overuse to other parts of your body, you should:
- Pay attention to your form.
- Wear the appropriate gear, such as the appropriate running shoes.
- Not push yourself too hard; instead, build up your endurance and abilities slowly.
- Cross-train, instead of focusing solely on a single activity.
Call Us Today For a Consultation
Our medical staff is experienced in treating overuse knee injury and pain and includes the following specialists: orthopedics, neurology, pain management, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and more.
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