Over exercising a major cause for knee pain among youth

The growing awareness over the need to stay ‘fit' is making the young (20 to 40 years) take up intense physical activity like jogging, walking and working out in gyms. On the flip side, however, this intensity is leading to a large pool of young people with chronic knee pains, physicians point out.

While the ways to manage knee pain among older persons is well documented, physiotherapists assert that there is a need for younger persons to be aware on knee pain management. Doctors also advise that consistent pain does not mean that the knee will get damaged due to strenuous activities.

Adjusting routine

Physicians agree that younger age group knee pain is the most common kind of knee pains in clinical sports medicine practice. “Young persons who have active life usually start to feel dull aching pain behind the kneecap in one or both the legs. Such persons may need to adjust their daily routine,” suggests Sports Medicine specialist with Vivekananda Hospitals, Dr. M. Manjunatha.

Fitness experts throw a different point of view on the causes of knee pain. “There is a mad rush to enrol in a gym and get the body in shape among boys and girls. But the cardinal sin everybody commits before working out is nobody does a warming up and stretching routine. They simply enter the gym and start lifting weights, which leads to all kinds of injuries,” says fitness expert Mir Mohtesham Ali.

Unqualified trainers

The noted body builder also pointed out that many gyms do not have a qualified trainer.

“A majority of the gym trainers in the city do not guide young persons. Proper techniques while doing exercises is very important to avoid injuries to knees and lower back,” Mr. Mohtesham Ali said.

Proper rest

Physiotherapists advise that the best way of treating the chronic knee pains among the young people is to take loads of rest, change the training routine, rehabilitation and applying ice to the affected portion.

“Until the affected tissue heals, it is better to stop activities that make the knee hurt. This means changing the routine and even wearing a knee brace for a week,” Dr. Manjunatha suggests.