As we are entering spring, more of us are getting outside to enjoy some sun and take up those summer activities, tennis being one of them. So what does this mean for our hibernating bodies and how can your knee become a victim of your new interest?
The knee can be your best friend, but it can also take a ‘beating’ in games like tennis.
The primary purpose of the knee and its surrounding tissues is to absorb shock and propel us in movement. It is mostly known for its ability to flex and extend and allowing us to twist and turn.
To help you understand why the knee takes a beating, I would like to explain why and how you can give your knees a better start to the summer.
“The Knee is caught in the middle with few places to go and no place to hide”
What does this mean?
As we walk, run, jump or bounce, the foot reacts as it makes contact to the ground. This pretty quickly feeds the information to the knee. The knee will then go through an appropriate movement depending on what stage you are in gait: it will react to most of what the foot does.
Sounds easy enough, but what happens if you are the knee and your foot or your hip (or both) does not load or move properly? Your knee may struggle to cope with the different movement above and below and this may be the start of your knee symptoms or dysfunction.
So what do we advise?
Great foot and hip motion is going to give the knee the best opportunity to work in all of its planes of motion and will facilitate the reaction of the proprioceptors, (information messenger’s found in joints, muscles and joints) and muscles.
We want to create an environment for the knee where the knee can twist, turn, bend, straighten at speed and adjust to different environments such as different terrain.
Does this sound familiar when playing a game of tennis?
By doing a simple matrix (an exercise to brilliantly allow the integration of the hip, knee and foot ) you will be providing a successful chain of movement which will help to provide stability for the knee and improve overall muscle control. See the videos below on how to do these.