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Knee pain

In Germany, one in eight is affected. You too?

With every step, every leg movement and even when resting – the knee joint is under varying strain every day that can often amount to several times a person’s body weight.

Knee pain is always a warning. The knee is one of the body’s joints most prone to injuries. Despite its size, it’s very vulnerable. That is why knee pain should always be taken seriously, because very frequently, long-term effects occur that can result in severe and persisting problems.

So get active today! Support your knee to prevent pain.

The knee joint

Strong yet very vulnerable

As the largest joint in the human body, the knee has many important tasks. It makes sure that you walk or run smoothly. It also provides you with stability to stand securely. We only really notice the extent to which the knee joint is involved in everyday movements when pain occurs that restricts these movements.

The knee is what is known as a rotating hinge joint. It allows movement in two directions: flexion or extension of the leg but also the option of turning the lower leg slightly outwards or inwards when the leg is bent. The structure of the knee joint is highly complex to fulfil its many tasks, which means it is very vulnerable and prone to injuries.

 

Structure

Three bones join in the knee: the two longest bones of the human body, the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia), as well as the kneecap (patella).

Where the femur and tibia meet, they have cylindrical joint bodies covered with cartilage. These allow the low-friction rolling-gliding motion of the knee joint, and therefore a smooth gait. Based on its bony structure, the knee itself is very unstable. It is therefore secured with tendons, ligaments, muscles and cartilage structures. This provides the joint with the required stability in all directions and enables upright standing and walking.

Kniegelenk anatomisch
  • Kneecap (patella)
    The kneecap protects the front of the knee joint. Similar to a pulley, 
    it is also responsible for the thigh muscles’ ideal transmission of forces to the lower leg, making bending and extending of the leg easier.

 

  • Menisci 
    Because the femur’s and tibia’s joint bodies do not directly fit into each other, cartilage structures, the menisci, lie between them. On the one hand, the menisci (medial and lateral menisci) extend the contact area of the two joint surfaces. On the other hand, they function as shock absorbers. The fibrous cartilage disks can cushion severe impact, compensate for heavy loads on the knee joint and evenly distribute the strain of weight. They provide additional protection to the joint surfaces.

 

  • Ligaments and tendons
    In addition to the menisci, the knee is protected by complex and firm ligament structures. Together with tendons, they are responsible for the exact guidance of the knee joint and stabilise it in combination with the muscles.

 

  • Cruciate ligaments
    The cruciate ligaments, on the inside of the joint, are particularly 
    important for the stabilisation of the knee joint. They stop the femur 
    and tibia from shifting forwards or backwards.
  • Collateral ligaments
    in order to prevent movement in a sideways direction, the knee joint is stabilised by the medial and lateral collateral ligaments.

 

  • Patellar tendon
    The patellar tendon links the lower leg with the kneecap and ensures that it is guided precisely. The patellar tendon connects the large anterior thigh muscles with the tibia via the kneecap.

Injuries and disorders

Are you affected by knee pain?

About 10 million people in Germany regularly suffer from knee pain.

This pain has many causes. Triggers can be injuries, accidents or inflammation in the joint. Inappropriate or excessive strain can also quickly lead to problems. Externally, swelling, reddening or bruising make them obvious. Dragging or stabbing pain is sometimes felt with every step.

Consequential damage in the knee joint frequently occurs years later. This is often permanent and chronic. If you have persistent knee pain, you should consult a doctor to diagnose and treat the root cause early.

Does your knee hurt in the mornings after a good night’s rest and do you feel restricted mobility in your knee? We will tell you what may be behind it.

Family on the mountain

Osteoarthritis of the knee 

In a healthy state, joint cartilage facilitates the movement of the joints and provides a cushioning effect. Osteoarthritis is a sign of wear and tear of these joint surfaces. Gonarthrosis, i.e. osteoarthritis of the knee joint, is one of the most common disorders of the knee. Consequences of this wear and tear and destruction of the joint cartilage are pain, stiffness and instability of the knee. Age-related wear and tear is not the only cause of cartilage damage. It can also result from the interaction of several causes. 

The wear and tear of the joint cartilage is degenerative. That means it cannot be healed. Therefore, the focus of treatment is to reduce the pain caused by the osteoarthritis of the knee and to keep the knee mobile to limit the progression of the osteoarthritis. In cases of advanced osteoarthritis, an artificial joint replacement may be required as a last resort. The earlier an onset of osteoarthritis is detected, the more effectively action can be taken. The aim, however, is to take preventative measures to avoid damage to the cartilage. 

Persistent knee pain should always be checked by a doctor, who will make an exact diagnosis and start treatment.

Causes can include

 

  • continuing inappropriate or excessive strain
  • knock knees or bandy legs
  • injuries to the knee such as a fracture that affects the joint
  • excess weight
  • rheumatoid arthritis (chronic inflammatory disease) in the joint

Symptoms

 

  • pain behind the kneecap after a long rest sitting down
  • cracking sounds in the knee during movement
  • increased pain when carrying heavy loads
  • excess weight
  • start-up pain: pain after extended periods of sitting or in the morning
  • pain when climbing stairs
Tip

In the event of osteoarthritis of the knee, exercise that is gentle on the joint, such as water aerobics or swimming, is particularly recommended and beneficial.


Tips for everyday life

In order to keep your knee joints healthy and 100 % usable in the long term, you should bear a few important things in mind during everyday life.

Regular exercise 
Healthy legs with strong, stretched muscles, ligaments and fasciae are less prone to pain. Regularly train the co-ordination of your legs and your leg muscles with the exercises from this brochure or other sports that are gentle on the knees. 


Movement vs strain 
Movement is important for a healthy knee joint. Make sure, however, that your movements are gentle. Avoid excessive and, in particular, constant strain. 


Carrying heavy loads 
Do not carry heavy loads on one side only and ensure your carrying method is gentle on your knees, by using a backpack, for example. 


Appropriate shoes 
Shoes have a significant impact on healthy knees. Your shoes should therefore have cushioning soles. Women should also make sure they don’t wear high heels too often and alternate with flat shoes, if possible.

 

A healthy diet
A healthy diet is absolutely essential. Every additional pound also puts extra strain on your knees. Make sure your dietary fibre intake is sufficient and cut down on sugar and fat as much as possible.

 

Couple on the summit is wearing Juzo GenuXtra

Exercises

For strong, healthy knees

We have put together a few exercises for you that help to strengthen your legs and therefore also your knees or support recovery after an injury. They are easy to do and you can incorporate them into your daily routine for best results. 
If you are suffering from an acute injury, please consult your doctor first. Your doctor will tell you which of the exercises are suitable for you.

Stretching
 

Repeat the stretch twice on each leg.

  • Stand on one leg. The knee of the supporting leg is slightly bent.
  • Using one hand, pull the foot of your other leg up behind you towards your bottom.
  • Hold on to your foot with both hands.
  • Hold this position for about 20 seconds, then change legs.

 

Please note: 
Your back must remain straight during this exercise.
 

Man is stretching

Man is doing lunges

Strengthening – lunge
 

Do 12 lunges and repeat this exercise three times.

  • Stand with your legs hip-distance apart, keeping your upper body straight.
  • Tense your abdominal muscles.
  • Take one long step forwards.
  • Your lower leg and thigh of the front leg must be at a right angle.
  • The back leg lowers and stops just before touching the ground.
  • Hold this position briefly, then return to the start point.
  • Change leg after each lunge.

 

Please note: 
Your back must remain straight during this exercise.
 


Strengthening exercise – squat
 

Do 12 squats and repeat this strengthening exercise three times.

  • Stand up straight with your legs a little wider than hip-distance apart.
  • Distribute your weight equally on both legs.
  • Slightly bend your legs and push your bottom back.
  • Squat only so far that your knees remain behind your toes.
  • Hold this position briefly, then straighten your body again.

 

Please note: 
Keep your back straight during this strengthening exercise and tense your abdominal muscles.

A man is doing squats

Support for your knee 

A Family is walking while wearing Juzo Genu Xtra

Knee supports 

Knee pain can be prolonged and severely restrict your everyday activities. A knee support strengthens the strained or injured knee joint.

Versatile use 

Knee supports are used in the event of sprains, contusions, following surgery or in case of misalignments. They support and relieve the joint, provide a secure hold and guide the knee joint and kneecap. In addition, the even compression (class 2) is beneficial and has a therapeutic effect against the pain. For existing osteoarthritis, knee supports such as the JuzoFlex Genu Xtra can provide ideal help and reduce pain from movement during daily tasks or exercise. 

Pain in the knee joint often tempts people to rest and or immobilise it. In many cases, however, movement is important to promote healing of the knee. Activity improves circulation in the joint, which helps supplying the cartilage with nutrients. Knee supports can increase this effect. A patella ring, as integrated in the JuzoFlex Genu Xtra, ensures that the kneecap is guided and that the fluid which causes swelling is massaged, draining it from the surrounding tissue. 
When a lot of force is applied to the knee joint, such as during some sports, preventatively wearing a support can avoid pain and counteract the progression of existing damage. 

For people with strong thighs, e.g. athletes or patients with softer connective tissue, a knee support such as the JuzoFlex Genu Xtra-Wide is the best choice. Its thigh area is particularly wide and therefore doesn’t pinch, even with larger circumferences. An additional silicone border extends the support and prevents slipping.

The Xtra fabric   

All Juzo Xtra products provide maximum wearing comfort, for everyday activities as well as sports.