Knee Pain-When is it time to seek help? Treatment and Prevention

Posted by Dr. Podesta on March 17, 2011 with 20,044 Comments

In last months article I discussed some of the knee problems that are common in drummers. This article will focus on the treatment and prevention of knee injuries in drumming.

When the knee becomes painful and or swollen, these are signs that should not be ignored. When acute pain and swelling occurs, it is very important to diminish this inflammatory response and begin immediate treatment to limit further progression. Ice packs should be applied to the knee for 15 minute four to five times per day. Oral anti-inflammatory medications may also be helpful in some cases. If pain and swelling persists despite these first aid measures, an evaluation by a qualified physician is necessary. If not treated appropriately, increased swelling and pain will result in the inability to sit with the knee bent for any period of time.

The key is to prevent knee injuries from occurring. Prevention begins with sitting properly with the hips and knees bent to approximately 80 degrees fig. 1.

Sitting too low on the thrown will place increased stress across the knee, hip and low back predisposing you to injury.

There are a number of simple exercises that we can do on a daily basis that will help stretch and strengthen the muscles that support the knee and leg. Maintaining flexibility is extremely important and should be practiced daily (Drum Magazine: Stretches for Drummers, December 2005). The simple exercises shown here can also be performed daily in your home, studio or hotel room. Straight leg raises Fig. 2, are done with the knee straight, raising and lowering the leg 15-20 times in succession without touching the ground. The next exercises Wall sitting Fig. 3 and wall slides begin with your back against a wall with your knees and hips bent at 90°. At first just hold this position for 15-20 seconds then stand for 20 seconds. This can be repeated 5 times. When this becomes easier to perform the exercise can be progressed to wall slides, which start in the same sitting position except that you slide up and down the wall. Beginning and ending in the sitting position. This should be slowly repeated 10-15 times. Another exercise to develop inner thigh strength is a pillow or ball squeeze Fig.4. The knees are squeezed together and held for 15-20 seconds, 10-15 times. The final exercises that can be performed are simple forward lunges repeated 15-20 times on each leg.

More advanced exercises, involving weights should only be performed 2-3 times per week and require more sophisticated equipment.

Practicing some of these simple exercises and maintaining good posture can help prevent knee problems from developing.

Filed Under: Articles, Drum Magazine

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