Knee pain can be due to multiple stressors. Soft tissue, nerve, bone, or referred pain are typically structures involved that can cause pain. Stresses, including shearing forces can be due to poor movement patterns, muscle imbalances, swelling, inflammation, pain in other regions of the body, previous injury, or poor flexibility/mobility. This blog will cover considerations with movement to decrease knee stress and when to see a doctor.
What are shearing forces?
Shearing forces are unaligned forces pushing one part of a body in one specific direction, and another part of the body in the opposite direction. The body can have a pain response when this occurs. The diagram below covers the stresses to the knee with a movement in which every athlete performs daily: squatting. This can assist with determining what structures are being stressed.
Depending on when in the range your knee discomfort occurs, it’s important to not move through the pain but try to either modify range of motion (i.e. depth) or change movement strategy. To determine potential causes a professional medical assessment is recommended.
Shearing forces does not just occur with squatting, but also during training, competitive practice or competition. Below is a chart covering mechanism and when tissues of the knee are being stressed. It’s important for every athlete, whether recreational or competitive to work on their movement strategies with quality to decrease chance of non-contact injuries. Movement is only one piece of the puzzle but an important strategy to be included into training or to have a physical therapist/ or medical professional who specializes in movement to assess.
There are various rules in the medical field on when to go to a MD or medical professional for diagnostic imaging after a knee trauma. Below are good rules to consider if you have an injury.
If in need of a movement assessment or Physical Therapy contact Michael Johnson Performance Physical Therapist, Adam Malek PT, DPT, SCS, CSOMT, CSCS at firstname.lastname@example.org.