Sports Massage for Knee Pain
What are the different types of Knee Pain?
Knee pain is common and more likely to occur in people who engage in high impact activities that put pressure on the knees, such as running.
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The knee joint consist of ligaments, tendons, cartilage and bone that helps it function. When any of these components are damaged, you will experience knee pain. Some of the more common knee injuries include:
- Knee Sprains – When there are tears to the ligaments that stabilize the knee and maintain alignment. ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is one of four ligaments that connect your shinbone to your thighbone. ACL injury is particularly common in people who play basketball, soccer or other sports that require sudden changes in direction.
- Knee Strains – When tendons or muscles surrounding the knee are stretched, usually due to hyperflexion or hyperextension of the knee. Runners, skiers, cyclists, and those involved in jumping sports and activities may develop inflammation in the patellar tendon, which connects the quadriceps muscle on the front of the thigh to the shinbone.
- Fractures – The bones of the knee, including the kneecap (patella), can be broken during impact collisions or falls. People whose bones have been weakened by osteoporosis can sustain knee fractures.
- Torn Meniscus – When the cartilage in the knee is damaged. It is caused by sudden force or twist of your knee and gradual overuse as one ages.
- Knee Bursitis – When bursae (small sacs of fluid that cushion the outside of your knee joint) becomes inflamed. The bursae act as shock absorbers that minimizes friction between muscles and tendons. It can be caused by overuse, arthritis and degenerative joint disease
Common Causes of Knee Pain
Knee pain can be caused by a sudden force to the knee, repetitive strain by overloading the knee joint over time or indirectly due to medical conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis. The common causes of knee pain include:
- High contact sports that require sudden change in direction such as basketball & soccer
- High impact sports that place pressure on the knee joints such as running, ballistic jumping, cycling, aerobics
- Weak leg, hip, butt and core muscles and inflexibility
- Hip or foot pain which affects your gait and puts additional stress on your knee
- Women may be at higher risk of sustaining ACL and patellar injuries due to the anatomy of hips and femur and the angle at which the knee is tilted
- Obesity – excess weight bearing on the knees
- Medical conditions such as Arthritis, Osteoporosis, previous knee injuries
Common Symptoms of Knee Pain
- Dull aching pain in the front of the knee, under and around the knee cap when you bend your knee, squat, run, walk and exercise
- Feeling of instability in the knee joint
- Swelling such as redness and tenderness in the knee joint
- Stiffness such as clicking sounds and locking of the knee joint
How to treat Knee Pain?
Knee pain that is not severe or acute can be treated without consulting a doctor or orthopedic specialist. Ways to relieve the symptoms and pain in the knee include:
- Limiting or stopping activities that apply pressure and strain to your knee joints until your knee recovers
- Applying a cold compress, eg. a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel around your knee for 20 minutes several times a day
- Wearing a knee brace to provide extra support to align the bones connected to the knee joint
- Taking painkillers like paracetamol, ibuprofen and steroid injections to reduce inflammation
- Performing sports massage on the affected area to accelerate recovery
How Does Sports Massage Help in Faster Recovery of Knee Pain?
Sports massages such as Myofascial Release, Deep tissue technique and Trigger Point Therapy are effective in relieving knee pain through applying focused pressure and long strokes on deep tissues that connect to the knee joint. This loosens the muscles knots and reduces inflammation and pain.
Benefits of Myofascial Sports Massage for Knee Pain
- Increases blood circulation to the ligaments and tendons to promote tissue growth
- Releases tight knee and frees-up friction between tendon and muscles
- Loosens tight muscles which relieves pain and increases flexibility
- Targets the deep tissues & massage the tendons connecting to the knee joint
- Breaks down scar tissue in injured area which improves knee mobility
Consult a sports therapist or qualified professional to diagnose your knee pain condition and determine the right sports massage for your situation.
Rehabilitation & Prevention of Knee Pain
Your sports massage therapist will be able to guide you on appropriate exercises to stabilize knee joint and perform massage to aid with healing.
Prevention is always better than cure, so practice good habits to care for your knee and reduce your risk of developing knee pain.
Footwear with support
Wear appropriate footwear for your activity with adequate arch support / heel support to correct alignment and protect knees
Stretching before & after exercise – Before & after strenuous physical activities, warming up and stretching will help increase flexibility in your muscles and decrease the risk of straining your ligaments.
- Ease up on your physical training when needed and increase your training slowly
- Reduce high impact sports or ensure you maintain flexibility in the knees or wear a knee brace when doing high impact sports.
- Keep a healthy weight to reduce additional stress on the knee
How to Get Optimal Benefits from Myofascial Sports Massage
Always look for a certified sports massage therapist to perform Myofascial Sports Massage. They should have accreditations and received formal training in Sports Massage to diagnose and treat your condition appropriately. Attempting to perform Myofascial Sports Massage on your own self may hurt your tendon/ligaments if not performed in the correct manner.
It is always best to talk to your sports massage therapist before the myofascial sports massage session. Remember to highlight your knee pain condition so that your therapist can assess and apply the most suitable massage techniques on you. Your therapist can also focus more attention on the cause of pain so that you get the most benefits from the massage session.
For professional myofascial sports massage to relieve your knee pain, book your service with Zen Room Myofascial Therapy today.