This Month we wanted to do some Myth busting about knees!!! We have been really enjoying the responses from our Keep on Moving Program and so, we thought we would share some of the things patients have been told down through the years……Why not check it out and see if you can find any that you were sure was true!… So far, here are our Top 3 Myth busters for your knees brought to you this week by Fergal!
1) All Knee Pain Originates From The Knee:
This is not entirely true because knee pain can arise from other areas of the body, including the lower back, the hips, and more.
The lower back can spread pain through the lower limbs, often affecting areas like the knee, foot or even the calf, among others. Generally injuries to the knee itself do not cause other body parts to ache. If you are having knee pain, but the knee itself is not tender to touch or there is no pain with active movement then the lower back or hip may be the source.
2) All Meniscus Tears Need Surgery:
Surgery is not the sole answer, and it is not the only possible course of action to treat knee pain and meniscus tears. Most types of meniscus tears and related injuries can indeed be treated without the need for extreme measures such as surgery. The meniscus is made at of cartilage and shaped like a disc, meaning that it is more flexible than regular bone matter. The purpose of the meniscus is to act as a shock absorber, much like a cushion that reduces the pressure of impact and weight on the knee. We have two menisci in each of our knees, and when torn, they can irritate the joint causing pain.
Meniscus tears are very common in all walks of life, as they can be caused by multiple factors, including trauma, accidents, sports injuries, and even degeneration. Many recent research studies have shown that the outcomes of non-surgical treatment of meniscus tears are the same as surgical treatment. And in many cases, surgery to fix a torn meniscus can actually make the knee pain worse especially if there is any underlying knee arthritis. The only time surgical intervention would be necessary is if the torn meniscus has created a “locked” joint and keeping the knee from being able to bend or straighten.
3) Running and Squats are Bad for Knees
You do need to be careful running with a sore knee, because any weight-bearing exercise can potentially cause knee pain, but unless you're in acute pain, there's no reason why you should stop running.
If you run regularly, it is common to feel occasional twinges in your legs. Try to run off-road on gentler surfaces such as trails and paths.
Squatting is generally considered good for your knees. The main function of the knee is to be able to bend – so it's perfectly normal to keep on squatting.
If you feel discomfort with squatting you can tailor the movement to go through less of the movement. You could just do a quarter leg squat where your knee just bends a little bit – or a half squat where your knee bends half way. Or you could put a Swiss ball behind your back and do a wall squat. This is a great way to rehab people with knee problems.
For knees to get sore gradually with these exercises in both running and squatting it is often linked with poor biomechanics alignment and weakness in glutes and over-activity in the Quadriceps muscles.
Get advice on how to correct this if you are unsure if you are doing the wrong exercises. Speak to your Chartered Physiotherapist to find out what is really going on with your knees… if it is your knees 🙂 !!!