Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Knee News

Getting Control of the Knee After Injury

Wanted: An exercise program to speed up recovery after knee injury.
Wanted: Full return to normal activity after knee injury.

Physical therapists help both athletes and nonathletes recover and return to everyday activities and sports after knee injuries. They are actively looking for the best way to do this. They want a program that helps speed up healing and recovery.

The authors of this study say that a full understanding of neuromuscular control of the knee is needed. They studied 15 healthy adult knees (male and female).

Squats on one leg with resistance to movement was the main exercise studied. Different amounts of resistance were used. Both knee flexion and extension were included. Activity of seven leg muscles was measured during the exercise.

The authors report two major findings. 1) Part of the hamstrings muscle (biceps femoris) was active during the entire squat activity. 2) As the resistance increased, the quadriceps was less active. This means with less quadriceps activity, the hamstrings exert greater control over the joint. The hamstrings protect the knee from forces on the joint during single leg squats.

Found: Single-leg squat exercises.
Found: A way to resist both knee flexion and extension to improve neuromuscular control.


Richard K. Shields, PhD, PT, et al. Neuromuscular Control of the Knee During a Resisted Single-Limb Squat Exercise. In American Journal of Sports Medicine. October 2005. Vol. 33. No. 10. Pp. 1520-1526.

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*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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