Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What's Wrong Wednesday.....with My Knee!!???

****Before I begin today...just a quick note...please take a look at my medical disclosure on the left hand menu. To sum it up...I am not a physician - Please only take what I say for informational purposes. If you have a serious injury, please see your personal physician. I will try to answer any questions you have though! ****
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Alrighty..now that we got all that hocus pocus out of the way, let's get down to the serious business - What's Wrong Wednesday???! I am hoping everyone will enjoy this little series each Wednesday! I would love for it to turn into answering all of your questions because I can't possible guess what is wrong with everyone that reads this! But I would love to help! So send me your injuries, illnesses, aches, and pains either through a comment or through my contact button on the left side (if you would like a little privacy:)


Today I am going to give you some info about what may be wrong with...your knee!!! I am going to try to make this as informative as possible without boring everyone! If you don't have the time to read all of this (no one does until it is them that is hurting, right?), just scroll towards the bottom of the page where I give a quick recap.


I decided to start with the knee because through my experience with non-athletes the knee seems to be one of the most common body parts complained about. I usually find that people have no clue what they did or how they did it... or they know what they did and it really hurt! So let's begin...


The knee is one of the most complex parts of the body, which sadly makes it one of the hardest to explain or help with. Let's start with a couple questions to ask yourself which will break it into 2 categories - chronic or acute


Chronic: Has it hurt for a long time? Do you remember this hurting before? Is it the same pain in the same spot as before?


Acute: Do you remember doing something recently to it? Did something happen to it where you said "OWW!"? Is it swollen? Bruised? Can you walk on it without limping? Did you fall on it awkwardly with your leg turning to either side?


Alright, if you answered yes to most of the acute questions, you should probably go get it looked at. Any blunt trauma (besides a common bruise from maybe running into a corner of the cupboard or something) can be very harmful - especially the older you are. You could have meniscus damage (the cushioning for your knee), ligament damage (what holds your knee joint together) or a muscle strain(which makes your knee move). If you have any specific questions about blunt trauma or a fall, let me know!


So let's move to chronic knee injuries. If you answered yes to any of the above chronic questions you probably have a chronic or recurrent injury -  mostly likely tendinitis (where the tendon- that attaches the muscle to the bone- is irritated or inflamed). This occurs from doing the same motion over and over again such as bending down to pick up a baby, squatting, walking, jumping, running, starting an activity while not in shape for it, pushing in the recliner with your legs (seriously) - any activity that you have done over and over for a period of time. Somewhere in that time you started to feel some pain doing it and then the more you did that activity the worse the pain got.


The most common form of tendinitis in the knee is patellar tendinitis. This is your patellar tendon (the big white strip down the middle of your knee) 
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It is what makes the lower leg extend out. It is what gets inflamed and angry when you do that too much!


Alright let me simplify it now for you: Check out the causes, signs, and what you can do for it


Cause: as I said before, repetitive jumping, kicking, running, and other similar motions


Signs that you might have it: pain/tenderness over the front or top of the knee, pain gets sometimes better after doing the activity for awhile (early stages), pain gets worse until activity must be stopped because of pain (later stages), feels like pain is right under kneecap and if you could reach under there you would


What to do, what to do:

-Ice, ice, ice! Let me clear up a common question of when to heat or ice: heat before activity, ice after - that is the general rule. NEVER heat after activity if you have an injury - it will increase swelling!

-Anyways back to fixing your ailments. Ice as much as you can - 20 min on ice, 40 min. off ice if possible every hour (yes seriously)

-Stretch - GENTLY. Check out this picture to the right and do it gently until you feel a slight stretch WITHOUT pain. Don't give yourself more pain than you already have! Always hold it for at least 30 sec and do it 3 times or you are just wasting your time and you might as well not do them!

-Rest - refrain from(stop!) the activity that has caused this pain in the first place until the pain has seized then slowly work back into it

-Ibuprophen(Advil and the generic brand are the same thing - save some money)- Take this as prescribed on label. This will help with the inflammation and the pain.

Recap:

Let's recap quickly:
1) Ask yourself the questions above to whether your injury is chronic or acute

2) If it is acute and does not feel better after a few days, see a orthopedic MD

3) If it is chronic, figure out what activity is causing it -- and stop it!

4) Rest

5) Ice

6) Ibuprophen

7) Stretch

8) Return to activity when pain does not come back all day for at least 3 days

9) Thank me! :) J/K


Hope this helps! Let me know if there is anything you need clarification about or have additional questions about. I want to help so don't be shy!

And for those of you who made it through this whole thing...I have a bonus trivia question!!! Woohooo!!  You will look so impressive in front of your children and husband tonight at the dinner table! Just answer in a comment below and I will let you know who is right and what the answer is tomorrow! Ready...(don't be afraid..I will start with an easy one)

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What is the longest bone in your body?

3 comments:

tracyo said...

Thanks for the great post! I have been experiencing knee issues for along time. I over abuse my body!!

btw...is it femur?

Take care,
Tracy

Marissa O. said...

Did this article help at all? What did you think? I would love some feedback! and btw...you will have to come back tomorrow for the answer! :)

LuLu said...

Ouch! Following you back from MBC...thanks for the follow.

~Lauri
http://knitsandreads.blogspot.com

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