If you have a student-athlete who plays fall sports, you should be ready if they suffer knee pain during practice or competition. Knee pain can be a frustrating and debilitating issue that can sideline your athlete for days, weeks or even months. With fall sports like football beginning, you should learn more about the five major causes of knee pain in fall sports and what you can do to prevent and treat them.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a crucial ligament that stabilizes the knee joint. ACL injuries are common in fall sports like football, soccer and basketball. These injuries occur when the knee is twisted or bent in an unnatural way, causing the ligament to tear. Symptoms of an ACL injury include severe pain, swelling and instability in the knee. Treatment for an ACL injury typically involves surgery and physical therapy.
The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of cartilage that cushions the knee joint. Meniscus tears are common in fall sports and can occur when the knee is twisted or bent in an unnatural way. Symptoms of a meniscus tear include pain, swelling and stiffness in the knee. Treatment for a meniscus tear typically involves rest, ice, compression and elevation, as well as physical therapy.
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is a common knee injury that affects athletes who participate in fall sports. PFPS occurs when the patella (kneecap) rubs against the femur (thigh bone), causing pain and inflammation. Symptoms of PFPS include pain in the front of the knee, especially when going up or down stairs or squatting. Treatment for PFPS typically involves rest, ice, compression and elevation, as well as physical therapy.
IT Band Syndrome
The iliotibial (IT) band is a thick band of tissue that runs from the hip to the knee. IT band syndrome is a common knee injury that affects athletes who participate in fall sports. IT band syndrome occurs when the IT band rubs against the outside of the knee, causing pain and inflammation. Symptoms of IT band syndrome include pain on the outside of the knee, especially during running or jumping. Treatment for IT band syndrome typically involves rest, ice, compression and elevation, as well as physical therapy.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Fall sports athletes are at a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis due to the repetitive stress and strain that their knees endure. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain, stiffness and swelling in the knee joint. Treatment for osteoarthritis typically involves a combination of medication, lifestyle changes and physical therapy.
Get Proven Treatment for Knee Pain
Athletes suffering knee pain from injuries is a common issue in fall sports. If your student is experiencing knee pain, it’s important to seek medical attention right away and follow the appropriate treatment plan. Be sure your athlete takes the proper steps to prevent knee injuries, such as warming up properly before games and practicing good form.
Contact the nearest location of Ortho Sport and Spine Physicians for experienced knee pain treatment for your student-athlete this fall.
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