So you have some knee issues after exercising or maybe a lot of walking during work
It can feel like general tightness around the kneecap or aching and burning underneath it
It's usually there for most of the day, gradually getting worse as the day progresses.
You've seen your GP... rest and Voltaren tablets is what he offers you. You try and persist in doing your exercise sessions but the pain is just too great!
What you need to do is rehabilitate the knee and improve your walking and running biomechanics
Massage the lower quads
Using a foam roller or massage stick, gently massage the lower portion of your quad muscles (just above the kneecap)
These strong muscles can pull hard on your shin if they are overworking and cause increased forces on your anterior knee structures, making them hot, puffy and inflamed.
Spending even 1-2 minutes massaging these muscles can make a big difference to how your knee feels
They can be VERY tender so be careful with how much pressure you use!
Strengthen the hips
If you've read my previous blog posts, you'll know that the knee is primarily a hinge joint (it goes forward and back only) and the hips/feet largely influence how it moves
So it makes sense to ensure that these surrounding joints are strong and capable enough to control the knee, right?
There's a lot more to it but one of the most common deficits we see with our clients suffering from knee pain is a lack of lateral hip stability... this forces the poor knee into a compromised position
One of the easiest ways to restore lateral hip stability is with the super-popular Clamshell exercise
It's a really effective way to activate the outside part of your glutes so that they can offer more support and stability to the knee. Start with a towel between the thighs with no resistance, and gradually progress if you are able to perform over 15 repetitions easily.
Strengthen the feet
Your contact with the ground is through your feet (obviously)... so why don't many people pay attention to them when addressing running-related knee pain?
Through the gait cycle, your feet has to be able to land in supination, control pronation, and re-supinate in order to effectively absorb shock and create propulsion
Using orthotics or shoes that BLOCK pronation is not the answer
You need to be strong enough to CONTROL pronation if you want to be an effective runner
A simple drill to restore pronation control can be performed by standing on one leg while holding onto the wall for balance
Make sure this movement is coming from your ankle/foot, not your knees or hips.
Slowly allow the inner arch to drop while remaining in control at all times, then proceed to lift it back up. Play within the “safe range” – can you control this easily throughout the wrong range on one foot?
Try these before your next run... I'm sure your knees will thank you for it
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About the Author:
Lawrence Khuu is a qualified Physiotherapist and Movement Specialist. His mission is to help motivated clients perform at their highest level through a combined hands-on treatment and exercise rehabilitation approach. He currently treats clients at Activ Therapy Casula.
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