Tag Archives: bones

knee injuries physical therapy

Common Causes of Knee Injuries

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While most of us take our knees for granted, injuries can occur quite easily and for a variety of reasons. Only when you suffer a knee injury, do you realize how much we rely on these joints on a day to day basis. Knee injuries cause discomfort and pain, but that’s not all. They can also be extremely debilitating and in serious cases, result in dramatically reduced mobility. So let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of knee injuries, and what to do in case you experience one.

What Are the Most Common Knee Injury Causes?

Well, there are a number of them – some more serious than others. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones!

  • Fractures: Fractures are very common knee injuries and can affect the patella, which is the most commonly fractured bone around the knee. Fractures can also affect the ends of the tibia and femur in the area where they come together to form the knee joint. Incidents such as serious falls and road traffic accidents are common causes of fractures. And sometimes even the best knee brace for running or other sports won’t be able to prevent a fracture.
  • Dislocated knee: Knee dislocation is another common knee issue and it occurs when the knee bone is either partially or totally out of place. This could include the patella slipping or the femur and tibia sustaining injury that forces them out of alignment. Various different sports activities as well as falls and other high impact trauma can cause this injury.
  • Torn ligament: Tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament is also a common type of knee injury. This is more common among those that take part in athletics and sporting activities. Some of the common causes of this injury include a rapid change in direction when running or incorrectly landing from a jump. In many cases, this sort of injury also comes with additional injuries to the cartilage.
  • Torn tendons: This type of injury is more common among older people, particularly those who are active runners or do any sports that require a lot of running. The tendons of the patella can become stretched and then torn during this type of activity. Direct force to the front of the knees, falls, and incorrect landing following a jump are all common causes of a torn tendons.

There are many different causes of knee injuries, but usually they involve some sort of high impact trauma. This is why these types of injuries are often sustained by athletes as well as people who are keen on physical activities. Falls, incorrect landings following a jump, and the twisting of the knee can all cause various different knee injuries.

The knees are among the most easily injured joints in the human body, and also one of the most common reasons for people seeing their doctor. So in the event of a knee injury, no matter what the cause, it is important to seek medical advice because a knee injury can escalate from simple twisting of the knee to a dislocation or worse pretty quickly. Because the treatment for a knee injury varies based on the severity as well as the type and cause of the problem, ranging from medication and physical therapy to even surgery, consulting a medical professional is the first step to treating your knee successfully.

More information about common knee injuries can be found in the PTandMe injury center.

hockey upper body images

Most Common Hockey Upper Body Injuries

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Hockey season is getting ready to start and the sport of hockey can be quite dangerous. It is important for players to know how to prevent and treat injuries that occur during games. Unfortunately, these injuries leave us with some questions with descriptions such as “lower-body” and “upper-body” injuries. These injuries are purposely vague to leave some question as to the exact nature of the injury.

The accompanying infographic gives players an assist by listing off some common “upper body injuries.” It features tips and tricks to remain healthy both on and off the ice. The following should ease the minds of players who want to play the game as safely as they possibly can.

Click arrows in the bottom right corner to expand full screen

Upper Body Injuries by Pro Stock Hockey, an online resource for authentic pro stock hockey equipment (https://www.prostockhockey.com/)

Protect, Stretch & Rest: General Tips

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These are some general healthy tips to remember during your day-to-day activities.

• If you are doing strenuous, household or outdoor work protect your hands with gloves in order to prevent injury and/or loss of moisture.
• Take frequent breaks or switch to a new activity. Overuse of repetitive motions, such as pressing buttons, can cause tendonitis of the elbow or lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
• If you find yourself sitting at your computer for hours each day, stop each hour and stretch your fingers, arms and the rest of your body to help prevent injury to your bones, joints and muscles.
• If you have pain during your activity, stop. Pain is one of the ways your body is letting you know that you are overextending a particular muscle group.

bone health

Exercise and Bone Health

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Bone is living tissue that is constantly undergoing a process called remodeling. In remodeling, cells called osteoclasts are breaking down old bone, as cells called osteoblasts are replacing it with new tissue. Many factors can affect the remodeling process and leave you with bones that are less dense and more fragile.

Some factors that interfere with bone health and remodeling are:
• Increased age
• Low vitamin D—The body makes vitamin D in response to sunlight. You can also get vitamin D by eating certain kinds of food or by taking a supplement.
• A diet low in calcium
• Smoking
• Lack of exercise—especially weight bearing and resistance exercise

Why Exercise Is Good for Bone Health
Regular weight-bearing and resistance exercise helps build muscle, as well as maintain and increase bone strength. Exercise causes the muscle to contract against the bone. This action stresses or stimulates the bone, and the bone becomes stronger and denser. The 3 main types of exercise are (some activities can be more than 1 type):

Aerobic (Cardiovascular) Exercises to Improve Bone Health
In aerobic exercise, you continually move large muscles in the legs, shoulders, and buttocks. This action causes you to breathe more deeply, and your heart to work harder pumping blood, thereby strengthening your heart and lungs. Examples include:
• Walking
• Jogging
• Running
• Aerobic dance
• Bicycling
• Swimming

Weight-Bearing Exercises to Improve Bone Health
In weight-bearing exercises, your bones and muscles work against gravity, and your feet and legs bear the weight. Your bones adapt to the weight and pull of the muscle during weight-bearing exercise. Examples of weight-bearing exercises include:
• Jogging
• Walking
• Stair climbing
• Dancing
• Soccer

Resistance Exercises to Improve Bone Health (Strength Training)
Resistance exercises use muscle strength to improve muscle mass and strengthen bone. Examples include:
• Weight lifting, using:
• Free weights
• Weight machines
• Elastic tubing

• Calisthenics such as push-ups and chin-ups

tennis guy

Tips for Beginning:
Aerobic or Weight-bearing Exercises to Improve Bone Health
• Warm up for 5 minutes before activity. This can consist of dynamic stretches that involve movement and a light walk.
• Start the activity slowly for the first 5 minutes.
• Slowly increase your intensity so that your heart rate increases. A person doing moderate-intensity aerobic activity can talk. A person doing vigorous-intensity activity cannot say more than a few words without stopping to take a breath.
• Gradually increase your workout until you are working out at least 150 minutes a week at moderate–intensity or 75 minutes a week at vigorous intensity.

Resistance Exercises to Improve Bone Health
• Begin each exercise with light weights and minimal repetitions.
• Slowly (over weeks) increase weight, never adding more than 10% in a given workout.
• Do these exercises 2-3 times a week. Allow for 1 day between each workout for your bones and muscles to rest and repair themselves.
• Gradually increase the number of repetitions to 2-3 sets of 8-10 repetitions with a rest period of 30-60 seconds between sets.
• Although stiffness the day after exercise is normal, if you are in pain, you did too much. Decrease the intensity or the duration of your exercise.

Before starting any type of exercise program, check with your doctor about any possible medical problems you may have that could limit your ability to exercise.

by Mary Calvagna, MS

RESOURCES:
National Osteoporosis Foundation
http://www.nof.org

The President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
http://www.fitness.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
http://www.canorth.org

Public Health Agency of Canada
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

REFERENCES:
2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. US Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx#toc. Published October 2008. Accessed January 21, 2016.

Bone remodeling. University of Washington website. Available at: http://courses.washington.edu/bonephys/physremod.html. Updated March 30, 2007. Accessed January 21, 2016.

How much physical activity do adults need? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html. Updated June 4, 2015. Accessed January 21, 2016.

Osteoporosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 13, 2015. Accessed January 21, 2016.

Skeleton keys. Smithsonian Museum of Natural History website. Available at: http://anthropology.si.edu/writteninbone/young_old.html. Accessed January 21, 2016.

Last reviewed January 2016 by Michael Woods, MD

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