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UC Health Blog: Knee Pain in the Weekend Warrior

By Staff, 06/22/16, 2:00PM EDT

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Newly diagnosed knee pain is something that affects up to nearly two million Americans per year. And though that might be expected for professional athletes such as those in the FC Cincinnati line up each weekend, the average “weekend warrior” is certainly not spared from this condition either.

Knee pain can be related to acute traumatic events, such as a twisting injury that results in a ruptured ligament, or chronic overuse “wear and tear” injury patterns, such as arthritis. These injuries can often occur for a variety of reasons: lack of conditioning, improper warm-up, lack of endurance, and sometimes plain bad luck.

A few simple steps can be taken to help prevent the common causes of knee pain for both pro soccer players and weekend warriors alike:

  1. Maintain balance and have a workout plan. Try working out on a more regular basis with a variety of activities — cardiovascular and weight training — to help avoid injuries. Cross-training can help prevent overuse injuries.
  2. Always make sure you start exercise routines with intensity levels you can handle, and be sure not to increase these levels “too fast and too soon.” A 10% per week increase in intensity and time is a good rule of thumb.
  3. Listen to your body. If you can follow the first two steps, you should have no problems following the third. The theory of “no pain, no gain” is not one that should be applied to the average person. Pain, whether sharp or dull, is your body’s way of alerting you that you are simply doing too much. Pushing past those pains can often result in injury.

Should the you sustain a knee injury, it’s comforting to know that most can be treated without surgery. After a knee injury first consider management with the principles of R.I.C.E. This important acronym stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Knee pain that persists for three days after an injury could be a sign that something more serious is going on, and you should likely seek medical attention from a professional.

If you or someone in your family would like to make an appointment with Dr. Brian Grawe, Head Team Physician for FC Cincinnati, for a new sports related injury or for joint pain that has been bothering you for years please call 513-475-8690. Find more on uchealth.com/orthopaedics/.