Weightlifting & Exercise/How to avoid meniscus tear

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Question
Hello Ms. Sullivan

I am 24 years old and have been lifting weights and exercising for years but a few years ago I sustained a meniscus tear and have since recovered after surgery but I am nonetheless worried about sustaining another injury of that kind. Before my first injury, I used to run a lot, on treadmills and outside but did not do as many leg workouts when lifting.  When I first noticed the pain, it was severe but would alleviate with rest but then return when I tried to resume running and so I needed surgery.

So I was wondering what types of exercises are most likely to cause a meniscus injury.  As of late, I have been doing deadlifts, leg press, leg extensions but lots of people claim that these exercises can be bad for your knees, especially if done with improper form.  If any of these are best to be avoided, could you recommend some alternatives for me?

Answer
Chris,
Sometimes I hear that people have not been sent to rehab after surgery and that mystifies me.  I am assuming that was the case for you too.  This web site from WebMD has a great article with pictures of the exercises you need to do.  

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/rehabilitation-for-a-meniscus-tear#  (page 4)

Now, they might seem silly and you don't feel anything but if you haven't done any rehab...try starting with this.  All of the exercises you told me about CAN hurt you, but if you do them right you will be  fine.

The first person who should have told you about the precautions for your knee was your doctor. Then the therapist...if you had one. Anything can cause this kind of injury. Strengthening with weights is a great way to help the body stay strong. Not knowing your specific situation I recommend you being conservative in your training. When you squat don't go too low.  I would not do leg extensions. You can try hack squats for the quads. Be sure you stretch AFTER you workout. Warm ups should be light exercises....NOT STRETCHING. Got that? Stretch after never before.
Don't overtrain...too heavy.

Make sure you get rest between workouts and if you can...run this by your doc.  
Be Well,
Karen

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Karen Fili Sullivan

Expertise

Get on the inside track with Karen and her daily advice. http://karenfilisullivan.com. Or on FacebookLIKE us at ZWL - Zen of Whole Living I have more than 30 years experience and can help with lifting technique, muscle recovery, weight loss, body building and powerlifting. I've been certified by AFPA as a Personal Trainer and 12 years ago acquired a second certification from the same agency as a Post Rehabilitative Exercise Specialist. Any recommendations or advice rendered are based on fitness information as specified by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Fitness Professionals and Associates. Follow my Blog on http://karenfilisullivan.com

Experience

Almost 25 years coaching and training. Wow! I feel old. Before that I was a competitive bodybuilder and powerlifter (ask my Chiropractor -- he can tell you). I have trained kids ages 12 to 89. From sports specific training to stroke rehabilitation. I love helping people move more gracefully, powerfully and safely.

Organizations
A few.

Publications
Published in Spring of 2013 The Zen of Weight Loss: A Mindful, Livable Approach to Fitness Get your copy at Square Market. https://squareup.com/market/body-restoration-by-karen/zen-of-weight-loss-in-mo

Education/Credentials
English with a Journalism concentration was my college education. My training has been with my mentor, Jack Michaels, ACSM and professor at the College of William and Mary. My certifications are with the American Fitness Professionals and Associates. AFPA. I hold a certification as a Personal Trainer and a Post Rehabilitation Exercise Expert (Isn't that a mouthful?l). My continuing education requirements have been fulfilled at a number of organizations and are monitored by AFPA. I keep my Red Cross CPR and First Aid current.

Awards and Honors
Some.

Past/Present Clients
Clients include athletes training for marathons, mountain climbing and general weight loss. In addition I have clients troubled with COPD, Fibromyalgia, and Parkinsons as well as stroke rehab. She was the Strength and Conditioning coach for Williamsburg Aquatic Club, a USA Swim Team, in Williamsburg, Virginia for 3 years.   Karen is presently working at Main Street Gym in Historic St. Charles, Missouri where she teaches Pilates and continues her work with clients. Her training reaches across the country with her long distance Body Restoration eTraining. Her dedication to fitness reaches into the nutritional supplementation with Shaklee products. She only works with clients who add nutritional supplementation to their training. Read more of her story on www.shaklee.net/BodyRestoration

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