Is knee pain part of your day-to-day life?
Are you one of many people who experience knee pain when walking down stairs? Do you roll around sleepless in bed due to sharp, unexplained pain in your knees? Does weather change make your walk to work exponentially harder? Are you hearing all kinds of clicks in your knee out of the blue?
Here are my 10 quick and easy steps to overcoming knee pain:
Identify where your knee is giving you most of your difficulties.
Does the pain originate from:
Underneath the Patella
Either side of the Patella
Behind knee complex altogether
Below the Patella
Above the Patella
Identifying where your pain is originating from helps in determining what some potential resolutions for your discomfort could be.
Since our bodies are basically just conductors of force, always work down the kinetic chain. For instances of knee pain we would start at the ankle and down to the foot. Yes, your feet! More specifically, we start at our plantar fascia. Without taking you through an entire Human Anatomy class, let’s just say that your plantar fascia, with time and overuse, can become taut. This over-contracted plantar fascia can have an adverse affect when distributing force up the leg through your ankle and into your knee. This results in other muscles superior to your plantar fascia overcompensating.
How do you fix this?
Easy, roll your arches!
Keep moving up the leg and continue rolling everything below your knee including your achilles, soleus, gastrocnemius and tibialis anterior. This will allow for more movement in the ankle and allows for a greater dissipation of upward transmitting force!
Begin rolling the inside of your leg and your adductors. Again, this allows for greater force dissipation above your knee.
Roll your IT band. I get all of my clients to at least observe how tight their IT band can get. Most will admit this is where they hold significant amounts of tension.
Roll your quadriceps and hamstrings. Majority of the time, these two extremely large muscle groups are the main culprits of knee pain.
Stretch these exact muscles to stimulate consistent blood flow. Rolling alone will not have the same long-lasting effect!
Activate the hamstrings. I cannot stress enough how overworked our quadriceps are, so to combat this, we need to inhibit our quadriceps, and activate our hamstrings! Doing stability ball leg curls are an easy way to get your hamstrings fired up.
Activate those glutes!
Yes, your glutes can play a massive role in alleviating knee pain! For instance, some specific muscles in your glute complex contribute to your knee, ankle, and foot externally rotating! Two quick ways to get the glutes activated in the correct ways are clam shells, and glute bridges. (Throw a band around your knees to work your glutes even more, if you’re up for the challenge!)
Solidify the changes we have made all around our knees. This can be done with a quick resistance band routine (ask a personal trainer if you don't know what these exercises are):
- Standing Knee Extensions
- External Rotation (combatting Valgus Stance)
- Internal Rotation (Combatting Varus Stance)
This routine, once practiced, can be extremely effective, and quite a tool to have the next time you cringe at the thought of walking down a flight of stairs!