This is the first of a 4 part series explaining the function of the knee joint and the injuries that can occur to it. It is crucial that you understand how the body works in order to protect it from injury.

The knee joint is one of the most commonly injured areas on the body. This is because of the daily stress it is put under combined with the load it experiences during gym movements such as squats. Everyday when we walk your knees support 1.5x your body weight; climbing stairs increases to 3-4x our body weight and squatting can be up to 8x our body weight!

With poor biomechanics, muscle imbalances and training overload the knee can become susceptible to multiple injuries. Over the next 4 weeks we will talk through the function of the knee, the injuries that can occur to it and most importantly how to prevent these problems from occurring.

The Knee Joint is comprised of 2 separate joints.

1) The Patellofemoral Joint – This connects your knee cap (The Patella) to your thigh bone (The Femur)
2) The Tibiofemoral Joint – This connects your shin bone (The Tibia) to your thigh bone.




These joints allow the knee to bend back and forwards (Flexion & Extension). Furthermore there is slight allowance for twisting inwards and outwards (Internal and External Rotation).

In different positions our knee joint moves to adapt to the necessary function. As we are sat down the shin bone and thigh bone barely meet, however when we stand, they combine to form a stable structure able to support increased load.

To prevent the joints from rubbing together and causing pain within the joint you have the medial and lateral meniscus. This is a thin layer of cartilage that sits along the edge of the joint and provides cushioning for when impact occurs. Alongside this for added support we have 4 main Knee ligaments.

These are:
  • The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
  • The Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)
  • The Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)
  • The Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)

Each of these Ligaments has its own role which we cover in future posts.

With such an important role in the human body it is no surprise that when we experience knee pain it has a large impact on our day to day lives. To date knee pain is the second highest cause of chronic pain so its important we understand why this is happening.

Keep an eye out next week when we cover the first type of common knee injuries, Ligament Sprains.


by Lewis from Fit2Function


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