|Knee Injuries |
Whether you play sport
socially or professionally, a knee injury can put you out of action.
Physiotherapists provide expert advice and treatment to speed up
healing and get your back on the field.
Ligaments are bands of
strong connective tissue that stabilise the knee joint.
Overstretching can cause the ligament fibre to tear and bleed into
the surrounding tissues, causing pain, swelling and instability.
Severe tears may require a 'knee reconstruction.'
Cartilage tissue also
stabilises and protects the knee joint. Downward pressure from
twisting and turning during weight-bearing exercise may tear the
cartilage causing pain, swelling and locking of the knee joint.
Tendons are cord-like
bands that join muscle to bone. Patella tendinitis or 'jumper's
knee' is an overuse injury commonly caused by repeated jumping and
Excessive stress to the
surface of the patello-femoral (kneecap) joint results in knee pain.
It may have a number of causes and needs to be assessed by your
Some injuries are acute, resulting from sudden
trauma like a fall or collision. Others develop over time, caused by
a range of factors including structural problems, incorrect training
methods, poor equipment or problems with technique.
injuries can be treated without surgery by physiotherapy treatment
and supervised rehabilitation. If damage is severe, surgery may be
needed. Physiotherapists work closely with medical practitioners,
sports physicians and orthopaedic surgeons to provide effective care
and assist recovery.
Whether you play sport
socially or professionally, a knee injury can put you out of
(Photo: Joe Armao, Courtesy The Age).
What Should I Do After a Knee Injury?
the first 24 hours after injury, use the R.I.C.E. method:
|Rest: Take it easy, but
keep moving within your limit of pain.
Ice: Apply ice for 15
minutes every 2 hours. This helps control pain and
Compression: Firmly bandage the knee. This reduces
Elevation: Have your knee higher than the level of your heart.
This reduces swelling and bleeding.
Then visit your
physiotherapist for a treatment plan.
|Your chances of a full
recovery will also be helped if you avoid the H.A.R.M. factors in
the first 48 hours.
Heat: Increases swelling and
Alcohol: Increases swelling and bleeding.
Running or Exercise:
Aggravates the injury.
Massage: Increases swelling and bleeding.
Dr. Barry Oakes, Department of Anatomy, Monash University)
||Warm up before you exercise. Warm down when you
||Build up your exercise program gradually. Steadily
increase the frequency, intensity and duration of exercise.
||Vary activities to achieve a good balance of muscle
||Maintain good general fitness and lower body
on your toes - try and pivot on the balls of your feet when
||Skiers - check your binding settings. Make sure you
can self-release. ||How Can
Physiotherapists Help? |
Depending upon the
cause and type of injury, your physiotherapist may use a variety of
||ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation,
interferential therapy, biofeedback and laser treatment
||mobility and strengthening exercises
||soft tissue massage and passive mobilisation
||taping and bracing
||developing a rehabilitation plan
|Finding a Physiotherapist
doctor's referral is not required to see a physiotherapist in
private practice. Physiotherapists in private practice are listed in
the Yellow Pages under 'Physiotherapists'. Physiotherapists also
work in public hospitals and community health centres. A proportion
of treatment costs is rebatable under all higher table health
|By courtesy of the Australian Physiotherapy Association