Getting into a weight training program is great for your heart and other muscles, but it puts you at risk of injuries – particularly knee injuries. When you lift weights, you are placing a lot of extra pressure on your knees, because they must not only support your body’s weight but also the weights you’re lifting.
When you begin weight training, make sure that you engage in the exercises with a professional trainer. This person will guide you in the proper conditioning exercises and techniques in order to avoid knee injury and to gain the most strength and endurance from the training.
With proper weight training, you can build muscle mass and increase overall strength. If you have an existing knee injury, it is best to put off weight training until you have completely recovered from it.
Common Knee Injuries Caused by Weight Training
Ligaments are the strong bands of semi-flexible tissue that connect bone to bone. All of these ligaments listed below attach the femur (thighbone, or upper leg bone) to the tibia (shinbone, or the larger of the two lower leg bones). A torn ligament can be a partial tear or a full tear, and a partial tear can heal much more quickly.
The most common weight training knee injuries affect the knee ligaments:
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the ligament that prevents over-rotation of the knee. A sudden twisting movement of the knee joint – one that pushes the knee out of its normal range – can result in an ACL tear. The ACL is located directly behind the kneecap, so it is in a vulnerable position.
An ACL tear can develop in weight training due to improper positions that stress the knee joint, especially with added weight on the knees. A trainer can spot incorrect positions and improper form that can damage the ACL.
The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) crosses behind the ACL, and together they form an “X” shape – which is why they are called the “cruciate” ligaments. A common cause of injury to the PCL is when you lose your balance and fall hard on your knees.
For this reason, it is important that you build slowly to heavier weights as your muscles get stronger and stronger. You will then have much less of a chance of losing your balance while weight training.
The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is along the inner part of your knee (where your knees meet if you stand with your legs together), and it prevents your knee from bending the wrong way. Shifting your body’s position in an awkward manner while weight training can cause an MCL injury.
The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is along the outer part of your knee, and it prevents the excessive outward sideways movement of the knee. Weight training accidents that tend to cause an LCL tear include falling forward onto the knees.
Knee Injury Treatment in Kansas City, MO
If you have injured yourself during your weight training program, our hip and knee doctors at Advanced Bone & Joint can help. We can alleviate your pain and restore your knee function through advanced pain management methods and customized rehabilitation techniques. We also offer orthopedic urgent care to our patients with joint injuries or musculoskeletal injuries that need immediate care.
To make an appointment with one of our orthopedic doctors, call Advanced Bone & Joint today at (636) 229-4222 or fill out our appointment request form now. We look forward to seeing you.