There are two main categories of treatment used to treat athletes with knee injuries, the first is the use of a knee brace or support while the other is surgery to reconstruct the knee. With effective knee therapy, athletes report almost no pain in their knees and are able to participate in sporting activities for long periods without any restrictions. Knee pain is often related to a specific sporting activity or posture, such as landing from a jump, changing direction after jumping or changing direction after pivoting. Other causes can include inflammation, ligament strain and meniscal tears.
Knee pain results when the protective cartilage lining is damaged, causing friction between the bone and the smooth knee cap surface. When this happens, the body cannot heal itself and must rely on a source of lubrication to protect the bone. Athletes often experience pain after participating in sports activities, but with effective knee therapy, most report pain is greatly reduced. With advanced physical therapy, many find that the combined method of these treatments are the key factors in their successful return to active sports.
Knee pain can be very difficult to treat and can even be life threatening in extreme cases, which is why many consider the use of a knee brace or support to be one of the most effective forms of treatment. For most people, however, simple solutions such as viscosupplementation, physical therapy and anti-inflammatories are sufficient to manage most injuries. Knee pain sufferers who do not progress into surgery or who have limited damage should still take precautions to avoid further injury and damage to the knee. A good recommendation by a physician is to use a knee support or brace to avoid excessive forces that could further damage the knee.
Knee therapy consists of several treatment options. These include prevention techniques that attempt to limit the progression of injury by strengthening and stretching the muscles and joints surrounding the knee and improving flexibility. Initial treatment can be as simple as exercising the weak and tight quads and glutes muscles to improve knee movement. The use of a knee support or brace should be considered to strengthen the muscles around the outer aspect of the kneecaps and to reduce the potential for injury and damage to the inner quadriceps and the kneecap itself.
The wearing of a knee support or brace while one engages in athletic activities reduces the stress and tension on the bones and cartilage around the knee. This protective technique also provides a measure of comfort and stability during an activity and can reduce the need for an additional knee replacement after just one year of symptom-free health. However, in some cases osteoarthritis does require surgery to alleviate symptoms. When this occurs, Knee Therapy becomes very important to prevent additional complications.
Viscosupplementation is injected directly into the joint via the vein so that fluids are brought into the joint and the underlying bone and cartilage receive the nutritional support they need to heal. If Knee Surgery is required to relieve symptoms, the procedure should include both Viscosupplementation and Osgood Schlatter’s Technique (OSST). Viscosupplementation is typically used prior to surgery to control fluid levels and to decrease pain from the procedure itself. However, Osgood Schlatter’s Technique can be added to the treatment if more benefit is desired.