Best Practices for Treating Overuse Injuries

I have overuse injuries in both knees called Patellar Tendonitis. This is a fancy way of saying that I have scar tissue on the inner and outside part of my knee due to high impact weight lifting paired with high impact sports (basketball). Now that I have it, I need to find a good way to get rid of it.

In my case, I should have taken more time between days that I played basketball and performed my Olympic weight lifting routines. The impact caused instability in my knees and now I’m operating at about 75% of my capabilities (this is a self-evaluation based off of how I feel). Some days it’s even worse.

Physical therapy was my go-to, where they had me go “through the motions” (as is the case with most overuse injuries). When I went back to my orthopedic surgeon, he suggested a quick surgery to get rid of the scar tissue and fluid behind my knee cap. Although it would be minimally invasive, my fear is that the surgery will work but lay down more scar tissue once I go back to my weight lifting routines.

For this reason, I am contemplating a technique I have studied and used for my elbow tendonitis in the past. The technique is called Active Release Technique (ART – www.activerelease.com).

ART works by breaking down scar tissue manually in the affected area and non-affected areas that are associated with the problem.

Let’s look at my knee pain, for example. My knees have noticeable inflammation and scar tissue to the naked eye. When I was diagnosed with Patellar Tendonitis, my Patellar Tendon wasn’t inflamed. The inflammation occurred later, to the lateral (outside) part of the knee. My MRI showed I had a stress injury to my meniscus – a ligament – and a tracking issue in my knee cap.

Aha! There it was. Physical therapy did not treat the issue in my meniscus; they only attempted to break up scar tissue on the sides of my knees (which helped only for a short amount of time).

Instead of simply waiting to hear what the orthopedic surgeon has to say, my next step will be to go back to an ART professional to get more options. I know this technique will give me many options, I am just curious as to what they will be.

For anyone suffering from small/acute stages of a knee injury, I recommend searching around for different options instead of accepting the first answer that comes your way. And of course, you can download Fitivity’s Knee Pain and Stability Exercises app for prevention and treatment of knee injuries.

 

- Blog by Sean Possemato