Knee Pain Comes Along with the Game

Knee Pain Comes Along with the Game

When you consider how much wear and tear is placed on the knee during the fast-paced, highly physical game of soccer, knee problems should come as no surprise. One of the most common locations of knee pain in soccer players is the front of the knee, often referred to as the patella or “kneecap.”

“This is called patellofemoral pain,” explains Steven Hale, MD, orthopaedic surgeon with Center for Orthopaedics and Team Physician for McNeese Athletics. “Ball handling, quick stops, directional changes as well as long periods of running place high amounts of stress on the joint and the soft tissue around knee. Any existing malalignment of the kneecap or weakness in its supporting structures can increase the risk of pain and injury.”

Dr. Hale says this problem is even more common in females. “Studies have shown that female soccer players are more likely to experience knee pain and injuries than their male counterparts. This is believed to be caused by anatomical differences in size and structure that increase the stress within the knee joint of female athletes.”

Another common cause of knee pain in youth is Osgood-Schlatter Disease. This is not really a disease, but an overuse injury.  It is an inflammation of the bone, cartilage, and/or tendon at the top of the shinbone where the tendon from the kneecap attaches.  Most often only one knee is affected and teens that play competitive sports like soccer can increase their risk for OSD.  Growth spurts make kids vulnerable to this since their bones, muscles and tendons grow quickly but not at the same time.

Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE) can help alleviate the pain. The compression, support, and stability provided by itBandz Knee Braces can also help.