Friday, May 24, 2013

Treatment of Knee Ligament Sprains and Tears

What are knee ligaments?

Knee Pain Treatment of Ligament Pain and Tears

A Ligament is a short band of fibrous tissue that connects bone to bone. In some cases ligaments limit or prevent a particular movement in a joint.

In the knee there are four recognised ligaments:

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)

Damage to the ligaments

Ligament damage is a common knee injury and is usually the result of one, or a combination of, the following:

  • Blunt force to the knee
  • Sudden change of direction
  • Landing badly
  • Twisting at the knee
  • Hyper-extension of the knee
Knee Pain from Ligament Strain and Damage

Ligament damage is normally classified into grades, with grade 1 being the least and grade 3 being the most severe. Symptoms, management and recovery times vary between grades.

Grade 1:

In a grade 1 injury a ligament stretches but the tissue does not tear. The likely outcome will be pain, swelling and in some cases a feeling of instability. The grade 1 injury will most likely heal on its own over a few weeks but interventions such as pain relief, supports, electrotherapy and rehabilitation are beneficial. Grade 1 injuries sometimes result in a lasting weakness and this can increase the chance of re-injury.

Grade 2:

With a grade 2 injury the ligament is partially torn but still intact. Symptoms include swelling, bruising and pain. It is often difficult to use the joint due to the levels of pain and swelling and it may be very uncomfortable to bear weight.

A return to activity after 6 weeks is the usual time frame for a grade 2 injury and it is highly advisable to seek professional guidance for rehabilitation exercises to strengthen the knee.

Grade 3:

Ligament Strains and Tear Repair

A grade 3 injury is often referred to as a full tear of the ligament. There will normally be severe pain at the time of the injury however this sometimes quickly subsides (as the pain nerves are also torn). A normal inflammatory response will be seen with swelling and bruising.

The knee will have a large degree of instability and may ‘give way’ during certain movements. A weight bearing knee brace is recommended in the first instance and surgery is often required to repair the damage. Recovery may take anything from 3-12 months and professional medical intervention is essential to ensure the optimal outcome.

How does an Active650 Knee support help?

Whichever grade of ligament injury you have the RICE mnemonic is applicable to control the pain and swelling. As Active650 knee supports provide the most effective uniform compression of any supports on the market, we can certainly help with the “C” (compression) of rice, thus aiding in the reduction swelling post-injury.

The benefit of an Active650 support in this initial stage is not only its superior compression but also its comfort. Once in place it will not move and the high level of elasticity means that there is no tourniquet effect and no digging in or pinching of sensitive and painful areas.

An Active650 knee support will also help you as your rest, recovery and rehabilitation progresses. The increased warmth provided by the form-fit support of an Active650 will increase the flow of blood to the knee joint aiding the supply of oxygen and nutrients to help repair damaged tissue.

As the rehabilitation begins or, in the case of grade 1 injuries, as you start to increase your activity you need to move the knee as much as you can, in order to prevent the joint from stiffening and to strengthen the surrounding muscles. However, you do not want to move the knee too much, so that it causes re-injury or worsens the existing injury.

The key is to mobilise and load the knee in a controlled manner, within the limits of pain. Restrictive supports will not only prevent movement of the knee they can result in the muscles becoming reliant on the brace. With an Active650 knee support you get protection from excess load and stresses with no restriction of movement. You can achieve your rehabilitation potential more quickly, in more comfort with more security.

Making the right choice

If you are going to seek the proven benefits of a knee support you will want to be looking at one that is the most comfortable to wear. Designed by orthopaedic surgeons who were fed up with conventional supports slipping and bunching behind the knee, Active650 has been designed with comfort and practicality in mind.

The superior stretch allows expansion that moves with the wearer, without causing restriction, and contraction that provides superior support with a non-slip guarantee.

Every Muscle, Every Body!

Ben Scott, BSc (hons)

Anatomical Sciences

Active650.com

Friday, April 26, 2013

Osteoarthritis or Arthritis Pain - Effective Pain Relief from Active650

Who does Osteoarthritis (OA) affect?

In a nutshell; anyone. However, as it is a degenerative disease, symptoms are more likely to become noticeable as a person gets older. It can be due to genes, developmental issues, nutritional deficiencies, mechanical reasons (overuse, trauma) or just general wear and tear at the joint.

What is Osteoarthritis?

What is Arthritis or Osteoarthritis? As a person ages their cartilage becomes less resilient. As the cartilage degrades it leads to less protection of the bones in the joint space.

As joints are almost constantly moving this leads to increased wear and tear and exacerbates the problem. The space between the bones decreases and in some cases bony outgrowths can occur (osteophytes).

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis


Symyptoms of Arthritis or Osteoarthritis and Treatment The main symptom of Osteoarthritis is pain. A loss of mobility, stiffness at the joint and inflammation are all common signs but, as with anything, it is normally the pain that spurs a sufferer to seek treatment.

Pain is often described as being like a ‘burning sensation’ in the surrounding soft tissue. Many sufferers complain that cold and wet weather make the symptoms worse.

How does an Active650 Full Knee support help?

Treatment of Arthritis or Osteoarthritis Knee Pain
An Active650 Full Knee Support provides exceptional heat retention, improving blood flow and keeping the cold at bay.
An article in the Arthritis Today magazine quoted the American College of Rheumatology on the recommended management of arthritis as stating, “The use of lightweight knee braces may correct misaligned bones of the knee joint and reduce pressure on the soft tissues.”

The article went on to say that the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons supports the use of knee braces for Osteoarthritis, stating that braces, “may provide significant reduction in pain”.
If you are going to seek the proven benefits of a knee support you will want to be looking at one that is the most comfortable to wear. Designed by orthopaedic surgeons who were fed up with conventional supports slipping and bunching behind the knee, the Full Knee Support has been designed with comfort and practicality in mind.

The superior stretch allows expansion that moves with the wearer, without causing restriction, and contraction that provides superior support with a non-slip guarantee.

Every Muscle, Every Body!

Ben Scott, BSc (hons)
Anatomical Sciences

Active650.com


Friday, March 15, 2013

Active650 and Osgood Schlatters Disease (OSD)

Who does Osgood Schlatters Disease (OSD) affect?

The three main vulnerabilities for OSD are:
  • Children (aged 9-16)
  • Sporty or active individuals
  • Growth spurts
Typically, Osgood Schlatters Disease is more likely to occur in individuals that are in all three groups.

What is Osgood Schlatters Disease?

What is Osgood Schlatters Disease or OSD?
Named after the 2 doctors who defined the complaint in 1903 (Dr Robert Osgood and Dr Carl Schlatter), Osgood Schlatters Disease (OSD) is where the patella tendon pulls at its attachment on the tibial tubercle (top of the shin bone).
In a growing child the attachment is around the cartilaginous area of the growth plate and the soft bone around it. This softness leaves the area susceptible to damage, aggravation and inflammation if the loads placed on the patella tendon are sufficient.

Symptoms of Osgood Schlatters Disease


Osgood Schlatters Disease often presents with the affected child rubbing the top of his or her shin bone either during or after activity. The pain is always linked to activity and can result in swelling below the kneecap.
The tibial tubercle (the bony lump underneath the kneecap) can become swollen and very tender to touch.
Diagnosis of Osgood Schlatters Disease or OSD
Movement can be painful, especially with vigorous activity such as jumping, kicking and running and in more severe cases will be impossible.
Often a child with OSD will limp during or after activity.
Diagnosis should be made by a qualified medical practitioner and may be confirmed by imaging such as scans or x-rays.

How does an Active650 Patella support help?

Treatment of Osgood Schlatters with knee band or knee support brace
Unlike conventional patella straps, which are velcro and squeeze the patella tendon with no facility to stretch as the knee expands as it bends, the double layer of support offered by an Active650 Patella Strap exerts gentle but firm pressure on the patella tendon. This support reduces the loads and stresses on the patella tendon and therefore helps to reduce the amount of pull on the attachment of the tendon.
If a Patella support is worn at the first signs of Osgood Schlatters Disease, the first diagnosis, for any flare ups, or even for preventative measures the comfort and support will aid in the management of the symptoms.
The super-flexibility of the Active650 Patella strap will not restrict movement and is so comfortable it has been likened to wearing a watch – you forget it’s there. All this results in the Osgood Schlatters Disease (OSD) sufferer being able to be more active, with less pain, sooner.

Every Muscle, Every Body!

Ben Scott, BSc (hons)
Anatomical Sciences

Active650.com

Friday, February 22, 2013

Active650 and Bursitis

What is a Bursa or Bursitis?


‘Bursa’ is Latin for ‘purse’, and describes the small fluid filled sacs found in joints. The fluid in a bursa is called synovial fluid and resembles a raw egg white in both appearance and consistency. Whilst bursae are found in most major joints in the body, when they are associated with pain it is normally in the knee, elbow, hip and shoulder.

The Role of a Bursa


The bursae are found in regions of the joints where muscles and tendons rub against other muscles, tendons and bones, and around bony prominences.
The role of the bursa is twofold:
  • Lubrication – The viscous fluid in the sac helps to prevent friction as the joint moves.
  • Shock absorption – Forces in the joint are dissipated through the fluid medium.

Bursitis


Elbow Bursitis illustrating Swollen Elbow Joint Bursitis is commonly caused by repetitive movement and excessive pressure causing an over production of synovial fluid and a swelling of the bursa. This can be the result of acute trauma or a chronic build up over time. Sometimes an infection can be responsible for bursitis.
Knee Bursitis illustrating Swollen Knee Joint Pain, which can range from a sharp localised pain to a dull ache around the bursa, is usually worse during and after activity and the joint often feels stiff and immobile the following day. The swelling is usually sore to touch.
Common terms for various types of bursitis are:
  • Carpet fitter’s knee – inflammation of the bursa at the front of the kneecap.
  • Clergyman’s knee – inflammation of the bursa just below the kneecap.
  • Student’s elbow – inflammation of the bursa around the bony prominence of the elbow.

Treatment


Treatment and Care for Elbow Bursitis or Tennis Elbow Immediate treatment for bursitis should involve rest, ice and elevation. Manual therapies such as Physiotherapy and massage have been shown to be helpful in reducing the swelling.

Painkillers and anti-inflammatories may help to manage the symptoms. In extreme cases the inflamed bursa can be manually drained by a specialist, a process called aspiration.

How does an Active650 support help?


We advise not to use any compression if the swelling is at it's maximum, once the symptoms are under control it is important to protect the joint from further aggravation and an unwanted return of the symptoms.

Treatment and Care of Knee Bursitis and Knee Joint Pain Knees and elbows can be protected from the forces that cause bursitis by wearing a form-fitted Active650.

Whether for people whose professions require a lot of kneeling, repetitive movements or athletes competing in sports where the joints can be exposed to knocks and impact, an Active650 support will provide protection that is comfortable to wear all day no matter how you move.

By lessening the external impact and reducing the internal stresses and loads on the joint an Active650 support gives you total protection. The superior elasticity of an Active650 support will ensure maximum comfort without being restrictive or needing constant adjustment.

Every Muscle, Every Body

Ben Scott, BSc (hons)
Anatomical Sciences

Active650.com


Monday, February 4, 2013

Knee Pain and Meniscus Tears

What is “meniscus”?


Knee Pain and Meniscus Tears, what is meniscus? Each knee contains 2 menisci; a lateral (outside) and a medial (inside) meniscus. They are fibrous cartilage wedges that sit between the end of the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone).
It was thought that the role played by the menisci was limited and it was common for the complete surgical removal of them following any damage. However, lately their roles have been described as:
  • Shock absorbers
  • Stabilisers (important if there has been damage to the ACL)
  • Load bearers
  • It is also thought that they may play a role in lubrication of the joint, providing the joint with nutrition and also aiding with proprioception (sensory feedback)

Damage to the meniscus


How to strap a knee and treat Knee Pain and Meniscus Tears Meniscus tears are the most common injury presenting to orthopaedic knee surgeons and are often the result of sports injury; most commonly with the twisting of a flexed knee under load.
In older knees the meniscus becomes less elastic and can tear with a lower level of movement or even spontaneously if the progressive degeneration is severe enough.
Typical symptoms of meniscal tears are:
  • Pain either at the front or the back of the knee
  • Episodes of the knee giving way
  • Swelling, either permanent or after an episode of pain or giving way
  • Locking, with the knee being stuck and not being able to straighten fully
One, or any combination of the above may be experienced by someone with a meniscal tear.

Treatment


Treatment of Knee Pain and Meniscus Tears with Knee Strapping and bracing Immediate treatment for any knee pain should follow the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) principle. A diagnosis of a meniscal tear will be made by a qualified professional.
Once diagnosed the injury should be rested and any aggravating activities should be stopped with the aim being to remove as much load and stress from the knee joint as possible. Active treatment may be required, in the form of physiotherapy or, in severe cases, surgery.

How does an Active650 Knee support help?


In the first instance the “C” of the RICE mnemonic is compression. As Active650 knee supports provide the most effective uniform compression of any supports on the market, we can help by reducing the degree of swelling post-injury. The benefit of an Active650 support at this stage is not only its superior compression but also its comfort. Once in place it will not move and the high level of elasticity means that there is no tourniquet effect and no digging in or pinching of sensitive and painful areas.

Knee brace and strapping for Meniscus tears and Knee Joint Pain An Active650 knee support will help you as your rest, recovery and rehabilitation progresses. The menisci have a poor blood supply. Therefore the increased warmth provided by the form-fit support of an Active650 will increase the flow of blood to the knee joint aiding the supply of oxygen and nutrients to help repair damaged tissue.

As the rehabilitation begins or, in the case of minor tears, as you start to increase your activity you need to move the knee as much as you can, in order to prevent the joint from stiffening and to strengthen the surrounding muscles. However, you do not want to move the knee too much, so that it causes re-injury or worsens the existing injury.
The key is to mobilise and load the knee in a controlled manner, within the limits of pain.

Conventional restrictive supports will not only prevent movement of the knee they can result in the muscles becoming reliant on the brace. With an Active650 knee support you get protection from excess load and stresses with no restriction of movement. You can achieve your rehabilitation potential more quickly, in more comfort with more security.

Every Muscle, Every Body!


Ben Scott, BSc (hons)
Anatomical Sciences

Active650.com