As a bodybuilder, you are going to be lifting massive amounts of weight, and with that, you are at risk of experiencing acute patellar injury, a weight lifting knee injury.
The patella is your knee cap – that small bone that is in front of the knee – and its purpose is to protect the knee joint. Unfortunately, the patella is vulnerable to getting fractured should you fall directly onto it or something hits the knee cap.
When the patella is fractured, it is quite a serious because it makes it very difficult (sometimes even impossible) to straighten the knee or walk on it. So as you can imagine, lifting weights is going to have to go on the back burner until it heals.
People who have acute patellar injuries will sometimes have one or any combination of the follow symptoms:
If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms and you haven’t gone to a doctor yet, there are some things you can do to help alleviate some of the pain until you can make a doctor’s appointment. During this time, you will want to:
You can prevent injuring your knee cap by paying attention to knee tracking. What this means is paying attention to how your knee moves when you are exercising because your body is going to do a variety of squat and lunge-like movements.
Even though each movement is unique and there are different factors that need to be taken into consideration execute efficient and effective reps, you have to be wary of where you knee is relative to your foot.
It is important that when you follow the proper form for any given exercise, you will be less likely to become injured.
It’s also worth noting that you should also avoid any sudden changes when you’re lifting. This means you shouldn’t lift more than you can handle and when you do want to increase what you lift, you will want to do so gradually as to avoid said injuries.
Even if you don’t have a full blown knee injury, a slight dislocation (patellar subluxation) can be painful! This type of injury is when the knee cap is only partially dislocated. Generally it’ll go back into its normal position on its own.
However, it is possible to have something called “patellar subluxation syndrome.” This condition is when you dislocate your knee frequently and it causes damage to the cartilage in the back of the knee and it’ll also cause the connective ligaments to stretch.
Subluxation isn’t necessarily a result of any trauma being done to the knee like falling onto the knee cap or being hit in the knee cap. Instead, it can be caused by:
For those who suffer from subluxation, you can wear protective gear to help keep your knee cap in place. Things like knee braces and knee wraps can stabilize your knee cap so that it moves properly. The braces can give your knee cap the extra support your knee cap needs, while wraps or kinesiology tape (exercise tape) can reduce strain on the knee and prevent subluxation.
For all of your good intentions of wanting to better your health or become a powerlifter, a knee injury can really throw a wrench in your plans. However, by being careful, knowing your body, and using knee braces, tape or wraps, you can significantly reduce the risk of injury or patellar subluxation.