Knees! Knees! Knees!
Don’t Run? A Lacrosse Player? RIGHT!
I recently heard from one of my players, that she has had knee pain. She was not aware that I have been working with this type of thing since I was in college. If I had only known she had the problem, I could have actually helped her with it. Instead: She had gone to her family doctor and had been told to “stay off her knees, don’t run!” The doctor didn’t even give her a diagnosis! It was such a simple problem, and she could have done so much to help herself! Instead, she suffered!
I have no problem with seeing a family doctor for a problem. But, I am interested in simple solutions, and if you want to keep your daughter on the field, then you should be too. If your daughter has complained about knee pain, maybe you should read on.
Chondromalacia Patella or Patellar Tendonitis…
Chondromalacia Patella/Tendonitis is very common in young athletes, and particularly girls. It is the wearing away or softening of the cartilage behind the knee cap. There are several theories on why this takes place: 1.When growing fast, bones change shape or length, and the muscles and tendons sometimes don’t do so quite as quickly. 2. Everything we do is involving the lateral (or outside of the quadriceps). This leads to over development of that muscle. This causes the knee cap to track up and out when the quads contract. This takes it out of its normal track, and causes it to wear away faster than it should. 3. There may be some misalignment of the hip causing external rotation of the hip, and thus the femur, resulting in an altered Q angle at the knee. This changes the tracking too.
What can we do for our kids that is easy, cheap, and drug free?
Seeing your family doctor is a good idea- just to make sure there is nothing orthopedically wrong: no ACL, MCL or meniscus tears. Or, you can ask me to take a quick look at it, and I can tell you what I think. (I am a sports med doc, ya know!) Funny, I always forget to tell you parents that I have been working with sports injuries for 20 years. And most of them have been in young female athletes. I guess I just get so intense about the coaching, I forget what I do for a living! Maybe that’s as it should be…
Once we know the joint tissues are in tact, there’s stuff you should do for them so they can train through this injury! I want to keep them all ON THE field! We have no time for injuries!
Break the inflammatory Process:
Dixie Cup icing:
- 2-6 times a day. Morning and evening at least. The more the better.
- Leave at least 20 minutes between icings.
- Go to the store, and get a box of Dixie cups. Fill about 12 with water and freeze them. When you are ready to ice, take one out, peel away the top of the cup so you can hold the cup at the bottom, and ice cube is above the torn edge.
- Put the leg up, so the leg is almost straight, and a towel behind it. This gives the water a place to drain.
- Set a timer for exactly 5 minutes. Put that ice cube directly on the skin. Circle the knee cap on the soft tissue around it. Focus on the area just under the knee cap where swelling tends to gather. Keep circling until the timer goes off: 5 minutes. Stop.
- First you will feel cold, then pain, then numbness. Don’t stop until 5 minutes are up!
- Use this every time after you ice.
- This is a homeopathic cream/gel remedy I use for inflammation and sports injuries. Search it up on the net. My patients swear by it. I don’t sell it, so they get it over the internet, and they say there are great deals out there!
- Use the same amount as if it were toothpaste, and you really enjoyed the flavor of it. Rub it all over the knee, knee cap and joint. Do not wash it off.
- Put more on before you go to bed! That’s 2-3 times/day!
- You can keep this in your lacrosse bag during the season. It works really well!
Re-build the cartilage:
- Take Glucoseamine Sulfate. 1200 mg/day.
- There was a book written on this stuff called “The Arthritis Cure”. Read it if you like. It says that studies show it works and has no side effects. Let’s face it, young or old, arthritis and wearing away of cartilage is the same thing.
- No, you can’t get enough GAS in a normal healthy diet. Keep taking it even after feeling better.
- Don’t buy Glucoseamine HCL. Studies show it does NOT work.
- Don’t bother with Chondroitin Sulfate. It works for some, but there are no placebo double blind studies out there showing that it works. There’s testimony and anecdotal “proof”. NOT GOOD ENOUGH for me.
Change the Tracking of the Knee cap:
- Ride a bike 3 times a week for 20 minutes on flat ground. The seat should be high enough that the knee is straight in the down position. Keep moving your feet the entire time.
- Using a stationary bike is even better. Use light tension.
- Follow with icing and traumeel
Once you start to feel a little better, Leg lifts:
- Lay on your back with your legs straight out. Turn your injured leg toe out and raise the straight leg until your leg comes up 75% of the way (about 25 % down from pointing at the ceiling).
- Do this with just the weight of the leg at first. Then put 2 soup cans in 2 tube socks, and tie the top ends together wrap them around your ankle, and use this for resistance.
- Start with 2 sets of 10 reps and work up to 4 sets of 20.
If you are old enough to go to the gym, then:
Leg extensions in the last 15 degrees of extension.
- This works the medial quad. This can change the tracking problem very fast!
- Start with your leg straight. Bend Go from barely bent to slightly straight and back again. Don’t force it into hyperextension!
- Start with a relatively light weight (10-20 lbs), and only ever progress to a medium-light weight (30-40 lbs)!
- Start with 2 sets, 1 minutes rest between. Do 10 reps.
- You can work up to 6 sets, with 1 minutes rest between.
Until then, play more lacrosse! See you at the field!