Anyone know how to rehab a knee?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave_P, May 6, 2002.

  1. Dave_P

    Dave_P Stunt Coordinator

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    When athletes get a minor injury to the knee such as a pulled ligament, how does he rehab that injury? I mean, if they don't need surgery, how do they get their knee back into shape so that they can continue to play?

    The reason I ask:

    I want to play soccer this summer starting in about a month. I want to build strength in my knees. I don't have the best knees, but I don't think I need any surgery or anything. They don't bother me that much. I think if I build up my leg strength along with my knee strength, it will go a long way to keeping the possibility of injury to a minimum.

    So, does anyone know an specific exercises I can do to target the knee and the muscles in and around the knee?

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Andy Hardin

    Andy Hardin Stunt Coordinator

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    I rehabbed a knee, but it was after an ACL reconstruction, don't know if what I know will help you, I'm sure we have got some with training backgrounds here.

    My advice is to drop by a sporting goods store and pick up a few neoprene sleeves to help you with some extra support in the joint. They have various types and styles, see what you like and what feels the best.
     
  3. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    Another thing that should help is weight lifting. If you can increase the strength of the supporting muscles it will help. Focus on the major muscle groups of your leg, particularly the quads. Don't aim to lift a lot of weight, but instead just do more repetitions of a lower weight. Don't overdo it or hurt yourself and you should see improvement fairly quickly.
     
  4. Jeffrey Noel

    Jeffrey Noel Screenwriter

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    Try this exercise, except put a little bit of weight on your ankles. Works like a charm!
    Knee Exercise!
     
  5. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Well, first of all, the knee really has to really want to get better... [​IMG]
    Sorry, I was thinking about a different kind of rehab. Never mind. [​IMG]
    Joe
     
  6. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Yeah, strengthen the muscles around the knee which support it like the quad etc.

    My PE Teacher got surgery on his knee, and he always works on his leg muscles, because the more support there, the less likely they'll screw up
     
  7. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    In addition to weight lifting, investigate plyometrics. I use various routines to strengthen my joints as well as improve my quickness and jumping ability. This book has soccer specific routines that may interest you. Slowly work your way into these routines! If you do too much you can end up injuring the part you want to strengthen...
     
  8. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    I had my ACL replaced, and went through quite a bit of therapy. The things that can help you get going again pretty quick is the stationary bike and stepper. These will keep your joint moving and help retain strength in your quads, which usually suffer after a major knee injury.

    If you can do the basics,I would recommend trying some weights. Low weight leg extensions and press.

    J
     
  9. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I have too much experience with knee rehab. First suggestion, don't ever do free weight exercises like squat thrusts if you have had any knee problems. Exercise bike is a good way to get warmed up before the heavier work. Beyond that, stick with weight machines like leg presses, leg lifts (sitting and lifting weights forward) and leg curls (lying on your stomach and lifting weights backward.)

    The noeprene wraps do add a little bit of structure, but mostly they help keep the joint warm which reduces the risk of injury. Like others said, the stronger your leg muscles are, particularly the quads (upper front) and hamstrings (upper back) the less likely of an injury. You can also work on your calfs by standing on a step on the balls of your feet with your heels hanging off the step and lifting up and down with your ankles while keeping you knees straight. You can do that one at home, but you really need good weight machines for the others. Once again, NO SQUAT THRUSTS!
     
  10. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Oh yeah. Ibuprofen does wonders. If you ever feel pressure or stiffness in your knee after working out or when the weather changes, you will probably benefit from icing it. I can go into effective ways to do that if you need. You have to ice it thoroughly, which can be a bit painful, but a huge help in the long run..
     
  11. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    I guess it all depends on what kind of knee problems you have! If you are like me, the strength of the knee and all of the associated ligaments and muscles are fine but my cartilage is shot to hell.

    I've had surgery on each knee to remove crabmeat-like cartilage knees. There's not a whole lot anyone can do for me! Strengthing really doesn't do anything and wearing a neoprene sleeve just puts more pressure on my kneecap by forcing it to rub against the two leg bones. I used to have some pretty cool pictures of my surgery that showed the mangled cartilage and scar tissue.

    My first surgery was when I was 20. The doctor said I had the knees of a 70 year old. I'll be staring a knee replacement in the face when I am actually 60 or 70 more than likely. (I'm 30 now).

    I can walk around and do most normal things just fine, but I can't do any kind of leg exercise at the gym. Anything that puts extra weight on my knees kills. Leg extensions are the worst followed by leg presses. It just doesn't happen.
     
  12. Dave_P

    Dave_P Stunt Coordinator

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    There's a lot of great suggestions here. Thanks! I started to get in shape about 1 week ago. My knees have not been sore in that time. Like I said, I don't think my knees are that bad. I think I really need to work on building up the leg muscles around my knees to support them better. I'm going to build the major muscles with a little weight training (not free weights), and I am going to build the smaller muscle groups with this little circuit leg routine I found at thewalkingsite.com It has the exercise that Jeffrey Noel suggests. You use ankle weights to build knee strength and flexibility.
    I think I am going to go with some kind of knee support around my left knee. If there was one knee I'd be a little worried about, it would be that one.
    Greg_R
    That Pylometrics book certainly looks interesting. Is that a high impact of low impact kind of training?
     
  13. Andrej Dolenc

    Andrej Dolenc Stunt Coordinator

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    Don't overlook stretching the legs. Strengthening the leg muscles around the knee to support it better is only part of the equation. Stretching will add some flexibility to the whole leg. So when you get hit by the soccer ball on the side of your leg (or something else unexpected), your legs are flexible enough to stretch with the unexpected impact instead of straining a muscle / tendon.

    As far as what exercises in particular, I've been rollerblading fairly seriously for 3 years now. I used to have troubles with both knees (sprained them skiing ages ago). This last winter was the first time my knees / legs were strong enough to ski without any knee braces of any kind. It's worked for me and I intend to keep it up.

    Andrej
     
  14. Ari

    Ari Stunt Coordinator

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    Another knee rehab veteran (1 ACL reconstruction + 2 meniscus repairs; will probably go in for another meniscus repair soon) chiming in:

    There are two things you can do to lessen your knee problems: 1. Strengthen your leg muscles, and 2. Lose weight.

    The exercises that were most effective for me were the step machine and leg presses. Do light weights and go for maximum repetitions. Due to the nature of my injury and surgery, my doctor has banned me from doing leg extensions and free-weight squats....I don't know if this applies to you too....
     
  15. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Ari,

    My knee history is essentially identical to yours. Interesting that you are told not to do leg extensions. That has been a major part of my therapy. Maybe you have more severe meniscus damage, though mine iis pretty severe.
     
  16. Greg Robertson

    Greg Robertson Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, I've got a question for ya'll. I've always had problems with the two 'cords' that are on the back of one's knee. I have no idea what they're called (question number 1 [​IMG]) and they will randomly pop out of place. The only way I know how to get them back is to extend my leg until they pop back in (kinda painful). I've never had it checked out because I can use my knee just fine about a minute later. So my second question is why in the world do my knees do this?
    I also dislocated my patella about a year ago and I wonder if they're symptoms of the same problem.
     
  17. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Greg,

    Are you talking about the two "cords" that are to the rear sides and mostly above the knee? I believe those are the tendons connecting to the hamstrings. I'm pretty sure that has happened occasionally to most people. I know it has happened to me. Still, I would think it happening repeatedly could be a sign of a problem. It could also cause problems like tendonitis in the long run. The hams may just be weak. It might be worth just a check with an Orthopedist.

    I wouldn't think it would be related to dislocating your knee cap. That happens sometimes and if their wasn't any noticeable swelling or internal bleeding (bruising) I don't think it is a problem. Still, I would be inclined to at least consult an Orthopedist about the popping.
     
  18. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    Tell a girl, "Oooh feel my knee, it hurts." [​IMG]
    It works great as therapy and a great pickup line. I'm telling you this because it actually worked. The guys now married to this girl.
    Anyways, you guys make it sound like once you've had bad knees, you can never recover. It's a good thing I haven't torn anything yet, otherwise, it seems like I'd be in a lot of trouble.
     
  19. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Dome,

    A poster in the first physical therapy place I went to pretty much summed it up. It had a diagram of a knee and said, "If misery loves company, this must be a happy place."

    After a major knee injury, things can get a lot better, but they are never really the same again.
     
  20. Ari

    Ari Stunt Coordinator

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    JohnRice,

    The advice to stop doing knee extensions came after the ACL reconstruction. The doctor basically said that I should avoid doing open-chain exercises, which are the ones where the foot is not planted on anything. Closed-chain is okay such as leg presses. I think it has something to do with the graft being over-stressed with leg extensions...
     

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