How to solve knee pain….
One of the most common complaints I see in my clinic is knee pain – especially runners with knee pain.
I was at the OMM (Original Mountain Marathon) 2 day running and biking race last weekend and the amount of runners I saw hobbling about or with their knees strapped up with tape or big bulky knee supports was HUGE! I wish I’d set up a stand to help them, however I was also one of the racers in that heat and had no energy to start treating all those knees!
Not long ago, I’d been out on a very long trail run. I came home and started feeling pain in my right knee – it got so bad that I had to hop up the stairs – for most people, am sure this would of scared the death out of them. But for me, I like the challenge of moving myself out of pain. So I hobbled into my treatment room and got to work. I couldn’t bend my knee over the the foot – major pain. Ok, so what else can I do?
Your knee only really bends like door hinge, it doesn’t actually have that much movement potential. The joints with huge movement potential that affect the knee are the FOOT and the HIP/PELVIS. And of course, we are 2 legged creatures – one leg cannot function by itself, it is always influenced by the other leg and vice versa.
So I put my foot, hip and pelvis in movements that the knee DID like. And movements that caused NO pain. The AIM was NOT stretching muscles or strengthening muscles (usually lazy glutes are blamed for everything) – the AIM was to systematically, go through the rear foot, forefoot, hip and pelvis – on both legs – so see which joint was unable to move as well as the rest of my joints.
Also, one of the major things to look at when treating the knee are 2 VERY important bones. These bones sit above and below the knee – they are the FEMUR (above) and TIBIA (below) – Often its the SPEED at which these bones are moving that causes the poor knee that sits between them to get pissed off.
What drives the movement of these bones, yep, the foot and hip/pelvis.
It took me about 10 minutes to re-coordinate the speed at which my bones where moving. 10 minutes. No more pain. I could walk down the stairs with both feet.
Understanding bones is fundamental to moving well. Understanding how they move away from each other and the spaces and shapes they create is magical. And helps you to move out of discomfort quickly – when you look in the right place.
If you’ve found stretching and strengthening not doing anything for your knee pain. Fed up with doing single leg squats that might not be working – try a different approach.
Here is a video from Gary Ward’s book ‘What the Foot’ about the KNEE.