Massage Therapy Sarasota | Flexible Athlete Sports Massage
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How to Treat a Medial Meniscus Tear to Relieve Inner Knee Pain
In 1995 I had a serious skiing accident that caused my left medial meniscus to tear.
As a brand new skier, I fell of course and ended up sitting on my ski, but the binding never released! My lower leg pointed forward as my upper leg and hip rotated to the left. OUCH!
After being rushed to the hospital and examined it was decided to put a soft cast on my leg until I could return to the U.S. for further tests.
My MRI showed a tear in my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and a tear in my left medial meniscus so deep that it was severed. Fortunately there was not any damage to my nerves, artery, veins or bones.
Between all of the damages, my knee felt completely unstable even while standing still. Even though I had all this damage, I decided against surgery.
Instead, I allowed scar tissue to cover the area which created a strong connection protecting my knee joint. It healed so thoroughly that by the next winter I was back to skiing again, but I’ll admit it took a lot of self-treating (massage) all of the muscles of my hip and entire leg to get it back to normal.
Muscle Knots Cause Pain:
The problem is, when a tendon or ligament tears the muscle snaps back and spasms (forms muscle knots in the muscle fibers). When the tendon/ligament is repaired the muscles are rarely massaged to release the muscle knots which places strain on the muscle’s insertion point at the bone. Since the medial meniscus inserts on the inner knee, this causes inner knee pain.
Muscles Affected by a Medial Meniscus Tear:
The first muscle to self-treat (release from muscle knots) is the Vastus Medialis, one of the quadriceps muscles. If you click on the link, slide to #6 to see the vastus medialis and also look at the gracilis muscle of the inner thigh. The vastus medialis forms the inner thigh close to the knee and the gracilis muscle is one of the muscles that forms the length of your inner thigh.
When these muscles contain muscle knots they place a strain on the insertion points which is close to the medial meniscus.
How To Relieve Tension Caused by a Medial Meniscus Tear:
Simply pressing your palm into your inner thigh will start to release the tension.
Or as pictured here you can use the Trigger Point Therapy Ball
When you have inner knee pain or if you have a medial meniscus tear, your calf muscles, specifically your gastrocnemius, can be involved because the muscle originates on your knee joint.
When releasing muscle knots in the gastrocnemius muscle, work as close to your knee joint as possible. When pressing on the muscle with your fingertips, you’ll find the tender spot that is the muscle knot causing the knee pain.
A Recent Case of a Medial Meniscus Tear:
A medial meniscus tear was keeping Greg, an avid runner, from his runs. He was not only in pain but also miserable from not being able to run. Since my work is primarily with athletes, I’m sympathetic to how an injury can upset life in more ways than just the physical pain.
When Greg showed up at my office he had already had surgery for the medial meniscus tear and had been going to physical therapy for over a month. Unfortunately, instead of getting better, the pain was getting worse! He now had shooting pain into his inner knee making it painful to walk never mind running. Greg was at a loss as to what to do.
I taught Greg several muscle release techniques for inner knee pain. And it worked! Greg was so happy at the results and even happier that he now knows how to continue to release tight muscles. The spasms will return for a week or two, but since Greg knows how to release the tension, he’ll so be back to running without pain.
A medial meniscus tear won’t resolve without attention but with some focused effort it doesn’t need to keep you down for long!
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