Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

On Your Knees


One symptom is a diffuse aching around the knee that gets worse after activities that force the patella back against the femur; such as sitting cross-legged for a long time or walking up and down stairs. (Climbing stairs applies a pressure of half your body weight to the rear surface of the patella.)

Proper muscle strengthening and training tactics can reduce your chances of developing this difficult-to-treat condition. To keep your knees healthy keep the quadriceps and hamstring muscles strong and balanced in the correct proportions.

Quadriceps strength keeps the patella aligned in the groove of the femur and prevents it from moving sideways during leg motion. The hamstring muscles stabilize the tibia on the femur and are important in preventing excess motion and looseness.

The quadriceps should be 1 ½ times stronger than the hamstrings, a ratio of 3 to 2. Often the hamstrings are weaker. When doing weight training, increase the weight lifted by the hamstrings (in the leg curl exercise) to match the 3:2 ratio before increasing the weight lifted by the quadriceps.

For example, if you have been lifting 60 pounds with your quadriceps (the leg extension exercise) and 20 pounds with your hamstrings, gradually increase the hamstrings weight to 40 pounds before increasing the weight lifted by the quadriceps.

Exercises that involve deep knee bends are often painful and are not recommended for women with patella-femoral arthralgia, since they increase pressure on the rear side of the patella.

Such women should avoid doing squats, lunges, stair climbing and deep knee bends during aerobic routines. Kneeling and uphill running may also be difficult. The best exercises are swimming, bicycling and jogging on flat surfaces.

What exercise will help this problem?

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Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

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