Overuse Series Part 1: The Knee

August 24, 2017

Overuse knee injuries are extremely common in athletes and active individuals, with patients seeing doctors for knee-related injuries more than most any other body part. If you’re suffering from knee pain, know that 25 percent of the population experiences it at some time or another.

Mild stress over time can cause knee injuries, and one of the most common injuries that athletes and active people face is IT band syndrome.

IT band syndrome

The iliotibial band (IT band) is a band of tissue along the lateral side and knee, which can become tight or inflamed. This happens when the IT band rubs against a bony prominence on the outside of the knee. This pain will hurt when bending the knee at a 45-degree angle, and is common in women as some women’s hips tilt in a way that can cause their knees to turn in.

Common causes: Wearing worn-out shoes, running too many miles and running downhill

How to treat it:  Activity modification, stretching, ice and cross-training

Patellofemoral pain syndrome

Approximately 40 percent of patients that complain about hurting knees, have patellofemoral pain. This is common in high school athletes, who experience pain in the front of the knee, around and under the patella. This swelling can occur after exercise and can become worse after sitting for long periods of time, causing the knee to ache or feel swollen.

Common causes: A sudden increase in training, high intensity jumping and knee bending

How to treat it: Rest, ice, compression, elevation or wearing a patella-tracking knee brace

Patellar tendinitis

The patellar tendon helps you to extend your knees. Patellar tendinitis is inflammation of the tendon that connects your kneecap to your shinbone, and is common in adults. This pain is also known as jumper’s knee, as the injury appears frequently in sports like basketball and volleyball.

Common causes: Repeated stress on the patellar tendon

How to treat it: Anti-inflammatory medications and activity modification


This article was adapted from Dr. David Geier, Sports Medicine Simplified. Read the original post here.

If you have any questions about knee pain or pain in general, please contact Campbell Clinic to meet with a physician. For more information about Campbell Clinic, please visit our website.


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