Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Reverse Knee Malalignment with Thermoskin Cooper Knee Alignment Sleeve

Exercising and participating in physical activity is crucial to living a healthy life, but sometimes too much activity puts an enormous strain on our bodies. Sure, those endorphins feel great, but it can be easy to go overboard with your exercise routine. Athletes, runners and fitness gurus alike are often more prone to injuries, especially in the knee. One of the most common injuries is knee malalignment.

What Is Knee “Miserable” Malalignment?

Knee malalignment occurs when the kneecap is unstable and becomes susceptible to excessive movement. Naturally, this is not supposed to happen. When a normal knee moves, the kneecap slides up and down. When a person suffers from knee misalignment, the knee moves left, right, up, down and all over the place. This excessive movement causes dislocation and extreme pain in the kneecap, hence the name “miserable” malalignment.

Causes

Runners and athletes who play sports that require quick bursts and sudden stops are prone to this condition. Repetitive exercises like squats and lunges exert pressure on the knee that can cause misalignment too. It is also most common among people that have suffered a torn ACL. The ACL is responsible for regulating the movement of the knee, and even after months of rehab, the knee can still be susceptible to unnatural movement. This can cause the kneecap to move in ways it should not, and, unfortunately, once a knee is knocked out of alignment, it becomes more susceptible to continue doing so.

Treatment

When treating a misaligned knee, it is important to ice the area and rest. Taking an anti-inflammatory medication may help reduce the swelling and pain. Relieving pressure on the knee is crucial in alleviating pain, so it’s a good idea to stay off the knee for a while. The goal here is to keep the knee stable and prevent excess movement that may worsen the condition.

Getting On Your Feet!



Once the pain has gone and you’re feeling strong and confident in your knee, it’s time to get back into your exercise routine! But before you start running regularly, we recommend using a preventative support, like the Thermoskin Cooper Knee Alignment Sleeve. This unique knee sleeve is designed with an anti-vulgas strap to reduce inner knee movement, as well as a kneecap stability sling to promote beneficial patella tracking. As we mentioned earlier, keeping the patella tracking in the appropriate direction will help prevent further injuries to the knee. The Thermoskin Knee Sleeve features a silicone dotted to stimulate co-activation of the inner quadriceps and hamstrings. Strengthening these two muscle groups will help tremendously in avoiding future injuries.

To get your quads and hamstrings in shape, try doing some lunges or squats. If these exercises cause you to feel pressure in your knees, try working up a little higher with minimal bending in the knee. Remember, you don’t want to over do it! Take it easy until and use a knee support until you feel strong enough to kick up your physical activity a few notches.

 It’s also important to stretch before and after using these muscle groups! Tightness in the glutes, hamstrings, and quads cause the lower leg to take on more stress. Hamstring, glute, and quad stretches are very beneficial, and increasing your flexibility will go a long way in preventing further knee injuries.


We hope this blog has given you some valuable information on malalignment, its causes, symptoms, and useful treatments! If you were injured recently or have experienced knee pain, we recommend browsing our selection of knee supports. Have questions about knee misalignment or our Thermoskin Cooper Knee Sleeve? Leave a comment below and we are more than happy to help!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Comprehensive Guide to Avoiding & Treating Runner’s Knee


In the weeks before a big race, distance runners will ramp up their training regimens and increase their mileage. Unfortunately, the stress of this rigorous routine can often derail race preparations by sidelining runners with patellofemoral pain syndrome (a.k.a. runner’s knee).

Runner’s knee is an ailment that often revisits avid joggers. In order to avoid this vicious cycle, it is vital for runners to practice preventative techniques that lessen the likelihood of chronic patellofemoral pain. If you are not careful, the constant pounding of your feet upon pavement will wear down cartilage, decrease shock absorption and send pain shooting through your knee.

This blog post will outline the underlying causes of runner’s knee and explore best practices for runner’s knee prevention. Read on to decrease your likelihood of dropping out on race day!

What are the causes of patellofemoral pain?
There is a multitude of underlying mechanical issues that may contribute to runner’s knee. Even experienced joggers do not have ideal form when they run, and this imbalance can cause problems with alignment. The mal-tracking or misalignment of the patella exposes cartilage to undue friction—erasing the natural cushion within the knee that absorbs stress. When cartilage is scraped away, runners experience jolts of pain with each stride.

Overpronation or “flat feet” can also trigger the debilitating effects of patellofemoral pain. Without proper arch support, a runner with flat feet will naturally tilt both ankles inward when they jog. This unnatural alignment puts additional stress on the knee and has a degenerative effect on performance.

If a runner fails to stretch properly, tight hamstring and calf muscles can also lead to patellofemoral pain. These muscles need to be elastic and strong in order to maintain equilibrium with the quadriceps (thigh muscle). Runners often disregard the importance of weight training, but weak hamstrings don’t have the strength necessary to adequately stabilise the knee. Weak muscles combined with an increased training regimen often results in damage to the meniscus.

How can joggers prevent and treat patellofemoral pain?
By improving the biomechanical fundamentals of their stride, runners can limit the stress placed on their knees. The key to reducing pain is to shift from a rear foot to a mid-foot strike pattern. Instead of placing full impact upon your heel, ensure that you are hitting the ground with a more graceful motion. By adopting a “barefoot running” style, you can successfully shift stress from your knees to your Achilles. To avoid ACL injuries, make sure that the change to your running style is gradual.

When choosing where you run, pick locations that offer a softer surface and hills with shallow inclines. On the hills, shorten your stride to rebuild your strength and to reduce the workload on your knees. Instead of training on tough, unforgiving concrete streets, try training on dirt nature trails to lessen foot-striking stress. (Plus, you’ll probably have a better view.) If you begin to notice pain returning to your knee, immediately cut back on your mileage.

Another way to eliminate patellofemoral pain is by investing in supportive gear. If overpronation is the source of your discomfort, stick orthopedic inserts in the soles of your shoes for additional support. In theory, these insoles keep your arches upright and keep your hips in alignment. Wearing a knee brace is another effective method for avoiding re-injury. Adjustable braces like our Thermoskin Sport Knee Stabiliser reduce lateral knee pain and compress the muscles surrounding the patella—ensuring proper alignment.

Like most injuries, prevention is the most surefire treatment for runner’s knee. If you do suffer from patellofemoral pain, we suggest scaling back your training regimen, wearing a supportive brace and consulting a physician. Be sure to browse iHealthSphere’s selection of knee supports and to provide us with feedback in the comments section below!