by Richard Symister @ MovEvolution Physical Therapy

In sports, in order to run, jump, land and kick, your legs have to be in top shape. Not just for performance but to avoid injury. Acute, chronic or post-surgical knee injury, pain and swelling can drastically “shut down” the ability of your quadriceps to produce power across the knee joint. Many of our MovEvolution Physical Therapy knee clients experience what’s known as an extensor lag or “quadriceps shock,” where some sort of pain, trauma or injury has “shocked” the quadriceps muscles into shut down and protection mode. When this happens, you are unable to maintain a fully extended knee when lifting your leg.

“Quadriceps activation failure is common after traumatic knee injuries, such as surgery or an ACL tear. This weakness is beyond conscious control and thought to be caused by an ongoing reflex response to joint injury called arthrogenic muscle inhibition. In arthrogenic muscle inhibition, pain signals from the joint feed back through the spinal cord to inhibit muscles that cross that joint and reduce pressure on the joint. This reflex may be protective at first but, as it persists, atrophy sets in and the weakness limits functional recovery.” —

MovEvolution Physical Therapy uses Kinesio Tape on this cyclist’s quads 1 week after his ACL surgery to facilitate the reduction of pain and swelling.

Do you suffer knee pain that’s interfering with your activity or training? CONTACT US to set up a sports screening.

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