Common Knee Ligament Injuries

LCL-This ligament is in charge of resisting a force that pushes the knee laterally (outward). The lateral collateral ligament is generally injured by a force pushing the knee from the inner side of the joint, causing stress on the outside of the knee usually from a direct blow to the knee or hyperextension of the knee.

MCL-This ligament is in charge of resisting a force that pushes the knee medially (inward). The medial collateral ligament is usually injured by landing hard, bending, twisting, or when the outside of the knee is struck.

ACL– This ligament stabilizes the knee when turning or planting the foot. The ACL can be injured in a variety of sports when you twist the knee when the foot is planted on the ground or when you are running and stop suddenly. Also injuries can occur when you land on a straight knee or get a direct blow to the knee.

PCL– This ligament prevents the femur from sliding off the front edge of the tibia. A posterior cruciate ligament injury generally occurs during sports, from falling on the knee or hitting it on the dashboard during a car accident.

Warm-up Ideas Before Exercise

Before you exercise, you need to perform a 5 minute warm-up to get the blood circulating to prepare your body for the activity. Depending on your form of exercise, it is always good practice to mimic your exercise activity at a lower intensity for a warm-up. Below is a list of warm-up activities.

– walk slowly for 3-5 minutes
– march in place for 5 minutes
– do 10-15 squats
– move your ankles in a circle and pump them up and down
– stand on one leg and swing the other back and forth
– move arms in circles in front of you and out to the side
– reach overhead several times
– put your arms out to your side and twist left and right

If you want a more aggressive warm up for running, you can perform jumping jacks, walk up and down stairs, or perform a fast pace walk to progress into a run.

Free Injury Screening at Federal Hill Fitness

Do you continue having that same ache or pain, which is preventing you from exercising or doing day-to-day activities? Are you unsure what to do about it? Or do you just not have the time to take care of it?
Join us on April 29th at 5:00pm at Federal Hill Fitness for a Free Injury Screening assessment with Dr. Amanda Macht from Harbor Physical Therapy. Dr. Amanda will assess your concern and provide you with recommendations for next steps towards healing. If interested, email or stop by Federal Hill Fitness.

Auto Accident Injury

After an auto accident, sometimes it takes up to 48 hours before you feel discomfort from the injury. The delayed reaction is due to your body responding to the injury by tightening muscles. Your muscles stay in a contracted state which leads to discomfort and limited range of motion. Physical Therapy helps to decrease muscle tightness through manual techniques, postural education, modalities, and prescribed exercises. If you have been injured in an auto accident, please contact Harbor Physical Therapy to receive treatment.

Cortisone Injection

A Cortisone shot is an injection that is given to decrease pain and inflammation. Most doctors limit an individual to 2 or 3 injections per area over a 12 month period because repeated injections may lead to tissue damage. Some patients might get a cortisone injection prior to beginning physical therapy. Some patients may not get an injection unless pain is preventing progress with physical therapy.

Tips for Walking in Snow and Ice

1. Wear boots or shoes with textured soles. Avoid shoes that have smooth surfaces on the bottom.
2. Watch where you walk. Avoid dark and shiny patches. Walking on the snow will give you better traction.
3. Avoid being off-balanced by carrying things in your hands. Use a backpack if you are walking long distances and keep your hands out of your pockets so you can use them for balancing yourself.
4. Take small, quick, shuffling steps if you are walking through an icy spot and keep your weight slightly forward. It’s usually better to fall forward than it is to fall backwards.
5. Make sure you remove snow quickly from your steps or walk before it hardens and turns icy. Put some type of ice melt product down to ensure it won’t be slippery.
6. Avoid walking in shaded areas where ice tends to build up.

During the winter, physical therapists see many patients with injuries from falling on the ice. Thinking ahead and taking your time could prevent a lot of bruises, sprains and even fractures.

“I Slipped and Fell on Ice, What do I do?”

1. Carefully and slowly get up.
2. Use ice on sore muscles for 24 to 48 hours. If you continue to have discomfort, switch to heat after 48 hours.
3. Most muscle strains resolve in several days and or weeks. Consult your doctor if you have persistent severe pain that makes standing, walking, and or breathing difficult.
4. If pain persists for weeks, your doctor may send you to a physical therapist. A physical therapist can perform manual techniques to reduce muscle tightness and instruct you in a home exercise program to decrease your pain and difficulty with daily activities.

Please contact Harbor Physical Therapy, if you have fallen and require physical therapy or you are unsure how to proceed with medical care.

Can a Flu Shot Cause Long Lasting Pain or Injury?

After receiving a flu shot, a small portion of people complain of pain in their upper arm/shoulder that lasts for several weeks or months. A theory of why this occurs suggests that the vaccine is being injected into the joint capsule or bursa and causing an inflammatory response.

For relief, you can apply a heating pad to the shoulder/upper arm and rest the arm. If after several days your pain still persists, you should contact your physician that provided you the flu shot. At that point, your physician might refer you for physical therapy.

Physical therapy treatment is usually brief and can provide pain relief and increased range of motion. With use of manual techniques such as massage and stretching, range of motion can be restored and pain decreased. Strengthening exercises can help to restore any weakness that has occurred from lack of use of the arm.

If you have experienced pain from a flu shot that is lasting longer that you expected, seeing a physical therapist can help facilitate healing of your muscles, tendons and shoulder joint.