Knee Injury Stuff

I have taken the afternoon to work on a presentation that I am doing for a group of group fitness instructors.

It is called Exercises to Strengthen and Prevent Knee Injuries.

It is a custom presentation that I am creating for the group.

I am getting more and more requests to do private fitness education for various types of fitness facilities.  On Friday it is a wellness facility and next week it is a personal training studio.

Private Fitness Education for Fitness Facilities

CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.

While putting my presentation together, I wanted to share with you a few of the cool things I found while taking a look at the research while preparing for the presentation.

Is Physical Activity Bad for Knee Joint Health?

There is the eternal debate if physical activity is good or bad for the knees.  The researchers looked at things from the point of view of: physical activity is encouraged in school, but is this increase in physical activity leading to osteoarthritis?

What They Looked At:

They went back and looked at a lot of the research that was created on physical activity and knee health.

What They Found:

  • Strong evidence that physical activity lead to tibiofemoral osteophytes (bony outgrowth covered by fibrocartilage).
  • Strong evidence that there was no decrease in knee cartilage based on radiological joint space narrowing.

So What?

This research challenges the belief that if we get our kids to exercise in school, we are increasing their risk of getting osteoarthritis.

We need to get kids moving because the benefits of doing so are much greater than just improved knee joint health.

Where to get more information:  Urquhart DM, Tobing JF, Hanna FS, Berry P, Wluka AE, Ding C, Cicuttini FM. (2011). What is the effect of physical activity on the knee joint? A systematic review. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Mar;43(3):432-42.

How to Target the Gluteus Maximus Better During the Lunge

 What They Looked At:

They looked to see if trunk position (upper body) had an effect on the muscles in the lower body during lunging.  They got a group of 10 to perform an upright, trunk forward (hip flexion) and trunk back (hip extension) lunge.

What They Found:

  •  Something About Gluteus Maximus – Performing the lunge with the trunk forward (hip flexion) lead to greater gluteus maximus activation.

So What?

We talked about the lunge earlier this week in this blog post, where the researchers showed that females have greater gluteus maximus activity when performing a lunge compared to men.  If you need to get more muscle activation for gluteus maximus in your clients, then look at getting them to move the trunk forward.

Where to get more information:  Farrokhi S, Pollard CD, Souza RB, Chen YJ, Reischl S, Powers CM. (2008). Trunk position influences the kinematics, kinetics, and muscle activity of the lead lower extremity during the forward lunge exercise. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2008 Jul;38(7):403-9. Epub 2008 Apr 15.

How to Prevent Cartilage Damage and Osteoarthritis in the Knee

This was more of an opinion on preventing cartilage damage and osteoarthritis in the knee.

It does show how one injury can lead to another injury which is an important thing to remember.

They had some interesting observations:

  • Articular cartilage has a difficult time healing and often times progresses to osteoarthritis.
  • Athletes are at greater risk of getting osteoarthritis compared to the non-athlete.
  • Those with osteoarthritis often times report joint pain, decrease range of motion and joint stiffness.
  • The diagnosis of osteoarthritis is confirmed by the symptoms and the radiological findings (narrowing joint space, osteophyte formation and subchondral sclerosis).
  • There is no strong link between symptoms and what is found in radiographic findings.  This is a common theme with most injuries.
  • Risk factors for osteoarthritis are excessive musculoskeletal loading (at work or in sports), obesity (based on high body mass index), previous knee injury, female gender and muscle weakness around the knee (quadriceps, hamstring).
  • Cartilage injuries are often seen in young to middle-aged active athletes.
  • Cartilage injuries often predisposes someone to osteoarthritis.

Where to get more information:  Takeda H, Nakagawa T, Nakamura K, Engebretsen L. (2011). Prevention and management of knee osteoarthritis and knee cartilage injury in sports. Br J Sports Med. 2011 Feb 25. [Epub ahead of print]

Well that is it.  Thanks for reading and let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

If you are looking for a simple step-by-step guide that will finally help you improve the activation, endurance and strength in your Gluteus Maximus, then check out “The Best Gluteus Maximus Exercise Program” here:

The Best Gluteus Maximus Exercise Program by Rick Kaselj

Rick Kaselj, MS

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