What are weak knees?

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weak knees
Weak in the knees from love is not the same as weak knees
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What are weak knees and and what causes the sensation of weakness in the joints

There is that old expression that a person is "weak in his knees," which means he is so overcome by emotion that he feels unsteady on his feet. Love can make you weak but other factors can cause this condition.

If you have extensor mechanism problems this can result in pain occurring in the front of the knees. The interaction between the ligaments, muscles and tendons that stabilize the patellofemoral joint, which includes the end of the thigh or femur bone and the knee cap (patellar), is very complicated. When the interaction is foiled because of fragility or swelling this results in weakness in this area.

The patellar tendon is an extension of the extensor mechanism. Its purpose is to connect the patella to the upper end of the tibia, which is the inner bone of the lower leg.

The patellofemoral joint has to be mobile enough that it lets the patella glide smoothly across the groove in the femur. On the other hand, the joint must maintain the patella  in such a way that is does not slide from side to while simultaneously keeping normal tension in the front. There has to be tension because this is what keeps the knee from collapsing and giving way when the forward motion of the body slows down or stops.

When there are problems with the extensor, when the person walks he hears a snapping. Going up and down stairs also causes pain because fluid has built up, all of which can be caused by fat pad impingement, patellar instability, plica irritation or patellar tendinitis.

When there is fat pad impingement this means the bottom of the patella is pinching or impinging on the fat pad on top of the tibia. The fat pad is situated behind the patellar tendon and it helps minimize friction between the patellar tendon and the tibia.

The fat pad may become swollen because it has been injured or irritated in some fashion. When the impingement occurs, the fat pad is irritated and this causes pain. Scar tissue can actually develop. This condition causes a person to have a stiff-legged gait as well as limp.

When there is irritation to the plica, which is a fold of the synovium, this is the result of too much pressure being placed on it. This happens because the hamstring muscles have become too tight. (The synovium is the lining of the thick fibrous tissue of the capsule that covers the joint.)

When irritated, the plica runs against the end of the femur, which irritates the femur. The femur is the thigh bone. This makes the femur hurt and the person will hear snapping and popping as well as experience aches and pain even when resting.

If a person has puny abductor muscles this can also irate the plica. The hip abductor muscles are in the buttocks on both sides of the body and include the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus and the tensor fascia lata.

There is hope. Weak knees can be strengthened. The muscles must be strengthened because this protects this area of the leg from further injury and prevents pain. If the muscles in this area are tired then it is impossible for them to absorb shock before it can get to this region of the leg nor can the muscles support the joint properly if fatigued.

Exercising the quadriceps, which is a four-part muscle that runs along the thigh front and then attaches to the front of the shinbone, is important. This muscle is in control of straightening the knees and the movement of the cap. A person uses his quadriceps when he extends his legs and when he stands up, walks up a hill or climbs stairs and when he runs.

Exercise the hamstrings. These muscles run up the back of the thigh and attach to the back of the shinbone. The hamstrings are needed in order for a person to push against something and when bending the leg.

The hip abductors and calf muscles should also be stretched and exercised because they have an impact on the stability of the knees. The iliotibial band on the outer thigh also influences stability.  The butt muscles also help keep them functioning as exercising these muscles is important.

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