Ugh. Having some pesky knee pain? Is the pain spread out across your knee, on the sides of your knee caps, or underneath your knee caps? Is the pain with squatting, going up or down stairs, or sitting for a long time?
Knee pain that does not result from a specific injury can develop from four causes:
1. Overuse or overload of your knees with movement. Your knees are not getting enough recovery between sessions.
2. Hip and knee strength limitations, with limited strength in your hips or knees, pain can develop due to the imbalance or your muscles trying to work together.
3. Movement form with walking, jumping, or squatting. For example, your knees caving in during movements tends to limit strength and be a position that stresses the joint.
4. Flexibility issues. Limited or increased hip and knee flexibility can result in increased force to your knees.
Knee pain is AGGRAVATING! I know because I used to deal with it. The good news is it can be improved with movement, and we help people everyday with this issue!
Here are great ways to get some relief for a few weeks as you improve the CAUSE for your knee pain:
- Tape the the knee with kinesiology tape or leukotape (provides up to 4 weeks of relief)
- Foot orthotics if you have “flat” feet (provides up to 6 weeks of relief)
With some relief, you’ll be able to train, but you will want to make sure you fix the cause of your pain.
The following are FOUR ways to fix your knee pain related to the above causes:
1. Change up the volume – if you’re strong and have no movement limitations, the best way to decrease your pain is to modify your exercises. This could be by changing the weight, the number of total reps you complete, or even modifying the movement so you can keep training without increasing your pain.
2. Exercise – if it is a strength limitation, strengthen the hips first, then progress to strengthening the knees. The MAJORITY of clients with knee pain show they have STRONG knees. The problem is often hip weakness, so the knees overwork to make up for the limitations.
3. Movement form – while squatting or lunging, be sure that your knees do not cave in towards your ankle. You may also get relief with these movements if you keep your knee over your ankle or limit how far down you squat or lunge while you build strength and stability from the hips and knees.
4. Stretching – if your pain comes from a flexibility issue, stretching the knees and hips can make a big difference in alleviating pain and improving performance.
As always, we hope this helps! If you have any questions or if you would like to read about certain topics, feel free to send us an email at TeamSP@SportsPerformancePT.com.
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