How to treat knee pain effectively in 3 steps!
When someone comes to see me for knee pain, a full body evaluation must be performed including a subjective and objective assessment. Often the cause of the pain is due to altered movement mechanics above or below the painful area.
Here are 4 common causes for knee pain.
1. Weak outer hip muscles, such as the TFL (tensor fasciae latae) works in synergy with the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles to abduct and medially rotate the femur. The TFL is a hip abductor muscle. A lot of us have very weak hip muscles due to not knowing how to strengthen the hip/glute complex correctly. Further the majority of us are sedentary which further causes tightness in the hip why may affect the way we move.
2. Over-active front hip muscles, we all know we have hip flexors, supposedly they get tight from too much sitting and being less active. Tight hip flexors mean that we are more likely going to be leaning “forward” and being more “hunched” on the back. Which in terms may alter the way we want to move and cause knee pain. To fix this issue we need to move more and sit less. Doing regular mobility exercises and strengthening exercises to strengthen the hip muscles will prevent it.
3. Weak calf muscles, the most important muscle in the body from our head Myotherapist Jayden. I see a lot of people incorrectly or not even training calves. Teaching many patients that firstly we have two different calf muscles, the gastrocnemius and soleus blows them away.
The gastrocnemius muscle is a muscle located on the back portion of the lower leg, being one of the two major muscles that make up the calf. The other major calf muscle, the soleus muscle, is a flat muscle that lies underneath the gastrocnemius.
The best way to strengthen the upper calf, is to do standing & straight knee calf raises.
The most effective way to strengthen the soleus is to have the knee bent, meaning seated calf raises will work best to perform this action.
The most important message Jayden believes his patients should focus on is the quality of the movement. “Quality over quantity” is key when strengthening the lower leg.
It’s like building a house, if you build a solid foundation then the rest of it will work well!
4. Poor ankle movement, it’s not rocket science to understand that wearing poorly supportive footwear may not be the best thing for you, especially if you have knee pain. Coming into summer we see a lot of individuals wearing thongs and bare foot.
Minimalist shoes can be good for people who have no pain or have trained their feet to being strong under load. Although for the average human I personally believe having supportive shoes benefits us.
If we do not have to suffer in pain why should we?
Recording how people move will further show us if the foot is pronation (rolling inwards) this is a factor for knee pain over time as the muscles & joints up the chain will have to work harder to compensate for the ankle mobility and movement.