H Ward. Brooks, MD
Specialty: Orthopedic Surgery
Location and Office HoursFallbrook Temecula Valley Orthopaedics
521 E Elder
Fallbrook, CA 92028
- Community Health Group
- Sharp Health Plan
- Fallbrook Hospital
- Tri-City Medical Center
What is the most important muscle for improving my vertical jump height?
National Academy of Sports Medicine answeredThis common question is not easily answered. Many muscles contribute to a vertical leap, including your entire lower body, core, and some of your upper body musculature. For example, although the calves are commonly given credit for leaping ability, if you only had your calf muscles and not your thigh and hip muscles, you probably wouldn't be able to jump very high. Also, your upper body is important in helping to generate momentum for the vertical jump, making it vitally important as well. In summary, the most important muscle for for improving your vertical is all of them! However, when choosing only one muscle to focus on, a strong gluteus maximus is crucial to good vertical. This is due to its force production capabilities since it is the largest muscle in the body, and if this muscle is weak, it can disrupt lower-extremity mechanics which can lead to decreased overall force production and poor jumping performance.
How do my muscles change as I age?
Vonda Wright, MD, Orthopedic Surgery, answeredThe changes seen in our muscles as we age are largely the result of loss of muscle cells, decreased size of muscle fibers, and increased muscle stiffness. Most of the muscle changes seen with aging are caused by the loss of lean muscle mass, or sarco penia.
What is runner's knee?
This is the most common injury among runners and non-runners alike. For some it is a short-term problem and others it is a life-long struggle. Runner’s Knee is usually associated with an increase in activity. This can be increased mileage, increased hills, or just over-doing it on one particular day. Pain is often worse after exercise. The pain can be felt on any side of the knee, but most often on the front. Pain is worse after getting up from rest, with sitting for a while with your knees bent or with going down stairs.
So what causes it? The answer is really in the name - Patellofemoral (meaning knee cap and thigh bone) Syndrome. It is essentially a problem with alignment. A good comparison is that of a rope in a pulley. If the rope says in the center of the pulley then everything runs smoothly, but if the rope is pulled off to the side then there can be uneven wear and fraying of the rope. The knee is just the same. There is a groove in the bottom of the thigh bone that acts like a pulley. The knee cap, its tendons, and the quadriceps muscle acts at the rope. So, if the alignment of the knee is off, then there is uneven wear under the knee cap, causing inflammation and pain.
There are a variety of things that can contribute to runner’s knee. Some of these issues cannot be changed like the bone anatomy, the tightness of ligaments, and how ‘knock-kneed’ you are. Others can be influenced like muscle strength, foot arch, and pelvic alignment.
The mainstay of initial treatment is relative rest, strengthening of the thigh and hip muscles, and anti-inflammatory medications. Other treatments of benefit are bracing, taping, and pelvic adjustment. Rarely, is surgery a considered option. So, if this sounds like something that you may be dealing with I would suggest taking a step back on you training and search the web for ‘Patellofemoral exercises’. It will take 2-4 weeks to see improvement with these exercises. If these are not helpful, pay your friendly neighborhood sports medicine doctor a visit.Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
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