The knee is one of the most vulnerable joints in the body. A painful joint not only means trouble to sufferers in daily life but also kills off one’s mood.
There are a number of possible causes of knee pain, including constantly lifting heavy objects and being overweight.
When walking in shoes with hard soles like leather shoes or walking in high heels, the impact would be transferred to the knee joints, causing pain around the kneecaps.
When it comes to rushing downstairs or downhill, the impact forces would be magnified and the femur would be more likely to deviate forward. The slightly bended knees, together with the kneecaps rotating sideways, would pose substantial pressure to the meniscus and ligaments in the joints.
The Asian squat is not recommended for long periods as the extreme bending of the joints plus the body weight would reduce blood flow to the muscles, resulting in numb lower limbs.
Metabolic waste would also be accumulated, making the injured joints harder to heal.
The strength imbalance between the quadriceps and hamstrings could cause and intensify knee pain. Sports such as baseball, golf and football in which people rely heavily on one leg would give rise to muscle strength imbalances.
Thanks to centrifugal force, sprinting along the tracks of the sports ground would naturally make the right leg stronger than the left. The left knee would receive greater impact.
In order to improve imbalance in muscle strength, it is necessary to do more stretching exercises which can help improve the elasticity and flexibility of joints and the body, as well as strengthen the muscles.
However, one should take note of the fact that they should train up those muscle groups that require stretches only.
If the body’s elasticity or flexibility is poor, the already weaker muscles would not be able to release or exert forces and the exercise might worsen the condition of the knee.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Feb. 1
Translation by Darlie Yiu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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