Netball and anterior knee pain
Netball Australia has launched a programme to prevent knee injuries. Knee injuries are the most common injury in netball, making up for nearly two thirds of all netball injuries. Preventative measures are being put into place to decrease the amount of knee injuries and enhance participants playing career, take a look at the article below. http://netball.com.au/netball-launches-program-to-eliminate-knee-injuries/
Got you interested? If you’re a netballer you know what demands your sport has on you such as A LOT of directional change, jumping- to receive the ball, intercept the ball, rebounds from goal shooting opportunities; and of course sudden short bursts of running for a gruelling 60minutes. No wonder you are getting knee pain. As a netballer you need to be able to control the forces generated whilst running, cutting, jumping, change of direction and sudden stopping otherwise certain areas of your musculoskeletal system will get overloaded such as your knees which is the focus on in this blog.
What is anterior knee pain?
Anterior knee pain is pain at the front of your knee. Knee pain can come and go or can get progressively worse if ignored. Pain is a signal that something has gone wrong in our body. It is a way of our body speaking to us so please listen to prevent/ stop an injury from getting worse.
Have ago at our self-assessment…
Any of these your symptoms? I’m not saying this will diagnose you, this is just a way to see whether any of your symptoms fall into these categories. There are many reasons why you may be getting anterior knee pain. We are here to help identify the reasons why you are getting pain and try to help you carry on with netball to your fullest potential. Don’t ignore the pain. If you don’t feel any pain at all and you’re just reading this blog because you’re interested, that’s great as there are lots of things as netballers you can adjust to prevent knee pain in the future.
Research shows, females with anterior knee pain have weakness of hip abductors and external rotators. This increases their chance of letting knees and hips drop inwards causing valgus stress on the knee (letting knees cave inwards) (Bolgla et al).
Risk factors for knee pain and netball
- Do you have a low foot arch? You may be more susceptible to knee injuries
- Feeling tight in your quads and hamstrings? this could be affecting your knees
(Van de Worp et al)
- Repetitive eccentric loading of patellar tendon due to a lot of jumping and landing in netball puts you at higher risks of tendon injury
- Tightness in lateral structures of the knee such as vastus lateralis (outside quad muscle) can restrict normal functional glides of the patella (knee cap) when bending the knee in netball in movements such as running, landing, change of direction etc. (Brukner and Khan).
- Poor landing technique or incorrect landing
- Poor control and stability when changing direction
How to avoid/prevent anterior knee pain
- Women are shown to have increased adduction and internal rotation of the hip therefore, ensure that there is some form of hip external rotator and abductor strengthening in netball sessions
- Poor movement patterns should be identified and corrected, even at a young age and this will prevent knee injuries in the future. Example of poor movement pattern- when a player lands from receiving a ball and their knees collapse inwards like the picture below… this needs to be corrected.
LEARN CORRECT LANDING TECHNIQUES!
- Orthotics to increase arch height
- Ensuring that you are stretching/foam rolling/ having sport massages to help/ prevent quadriceps and hamstring tightness which could be causing your knee pain. Netball foam rolling session post game/training could be a good idea J
- Knee taping to aid patella glide when training/game
- Improve loading of lower extremity by bringing in quad and glut strengthening to spread forces evenly through the knee (Brukner and Khan).
Check out the video below on ways you can bring in stability and landing techniques before your games/training
This video shows how the netballer lands with double and single legged work and each time she doesn’t drop her knee in at all when performing netball sports specific stability and landing techniques.
Give it ago and lets keep those knees pain free, stable and ready for netball.
Thank you for reading ladies!
Any questions feel free to get in touch.
BSc Hons Sports Therapy MSST