Knee Injury Prevention Tips for CrossFit

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Knee pain is responsible for roughly one-third of all doctor visits related to musculoskeletal pain. Athletes and active individuals who lift heavy weights and perform repetitive bending activities, such as those involved in CrossFit workouts, may notice increased stress in their knees, leading to chronic knee pain.

Fortunately, there are many exercises you can incorporate into your workout routine to help keep your knees pain free and performing at optimal levels.

Common Knee Injuries

Bursitis.

The bursae are sacs of fluid that reside in joints throughout the body, including the knee. Repetitive use, a fall, or overexertion can irritate the bursa, causing pain and swelling. This injury is often caused by repetitive kneeling or squatting, like a baseball catcher.

IT Band Syndrome.

The iliotibial band, or IT band, is a thick band of tissue that runs along the side of the leg from the hip and down to the outer part of the knee. Overuse can develop adhesions on the tissue which may become painfully inflamed. Runners are also susceptible to this injury because of the repetitive motion of the joint and stress of the foot striking on the pavement.

Tendonitis

Our knee joints are connected to muscles via strong, ropelike tendons. When these tendons become overused or irritated, it can develop into tendonitis. Tendonitis is a painful condition that can cause swelling, tenderness, and loss of mobility in the affected muscles. One of the most common tendonitis injuries is called patellar tendonitis, or jumper’s knee, due to its prevalence in sports that require jumping.

Exercises to Help Prevent Knee Pain

In some cases, the source of your knee pain may be caused by muscle imbalances or tension experienced in other parts of the body, like the quadriceps, adductors, or IT band. Below are simple foam rolling exercises you can perform to help reduce tension and release adhesions on these muscle groups that may be causing your knee pain.

*Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.

Foam Roll Quads

The quadriceps, or quads, are the muscles in the front part of your thigh that connect from the front of your hip to the front of your knees. To foam roll the quads, follow these instructions:

  • Place a foam roller under your quads & balance on your elbows in a plank position.
  • Brace your core & keep your low back straight. Roll from just above the knee to right below the hip joint.
  • Hold the foam roller over any tender areas for 10-20 seconds or until the pain lessens.
  • Spend no more than 2 minutes on the foam roller.

Foam Roll Adductors

The adductors are the inner muscles of the thigh. Follow the instructions below to learn how to foam roll your adductors.

  • Begin this move balanced on the elbows and the toes of the opposite leg.
  • The foam roller should be placed under the inner thigh of the opposite leg with toes pointed outward.
  • Next, slowly roll from the inside of the knee up to the groin to release any adhesions on the muscle.
  • Scan slowly and hold on tender spots until the pain diminishes.
  • You can also shift your body weight towards the foam roller to apply more pressure.
  • Spend no more than 2 minutes on the foam roller.

Foam Roll IT Band

To foam roll your IT band, follow these instructions:

  • Start this movement balanced on your forearm with your outer thigh on the foam rollers.
  • Next, slowly roll from the top of the knee to the top of the hip rotating at five degrees as you work your way past the hip to avoid rolling over the hip bones.
  • Scan for tender spots and hold this position until the pain diminishes.
  • You can also lower your top leg down and place your foot on the ground to help support you in the movement.
  • Spend no more than 2 minutes on the foam roller.

How Airrosti Treats Knee Pain

At Airrosti, our providers conduct thorough injury assessments to identify the true underlying cause of the pain. By pinpointing the cause, they can treat the pain directly at the source rather than just treating the symptoms. This custom treatment plan also includes education, so the patients are equipped to perform these active recovery exercises at home to further boost recovery and strengthen surrounding muscles to help stabilize the joint. This combination of injury education, treatment, and active rehab exercises helps lead to fast, effective recovery.

If knee pain has been keeping you from doing what you love, schedule an appointment with Airrosti. We offer both in-office and virtual appointments to best suit your needs.

Read our Medical Disclaimer here.

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