Are You Thinking About Hanging Up Your: Running Shoes, Cleats, Tennis Racket, Bike or Even Trading In Your Surfboard Because of Your Knee Pain?
Certain body types and activities(high impact, kneeling, agility...) can make people more prone to pain, stiffness and instability of the knee. Not to mention the uneasy, alarming and even painful snap, crackle and pops. These individuals can be predisposed to serious injuries or surgery if they engage in activities that their bodies are not equipped to perform.
Individuals that have excessive flexibility or hyper mobility (ie really bending) often lack the necessary muscle strength to support the integrity of their joints, and tend to damage the supportive structures of the knee. Those with this body type who participate in; cutting, agility, running, jumping or cleated sports are at risk for various sprains, fractures, or dislocations of either the knee or ankle jionts. All of which may be completely avoidable if they do the necessary strength, stability, and balance exercises to protect themselves from injury.
Persons that are inflexible are often subject to accelerated wear and tear on their joints and muscles. They can be prone to muscle cramps, pulls, strains, tears and arthritis and ultimately need joint replacements.
The knee joint is trapped between the hip and ankle joints, so often times any inefficiencies involving strength, flexibility and stability of the core, hips or ankles tend to show up in the knee. Which is why movement patterns can be assessed from a bottom-up(how your feet meet the ground mechanically) or top-down(core, back and hip stability/flexibility) perspective in relation to the knee joint and pain.
Check You Out: Stand in front of a mirror and watch how you move…….
Double Leg Squat:
Single Leg Squat:
Single Leg Balance:
Now think about the workouts and sports you love. They involve the performance of a squat or the need for balance or stability. Working of core, hip stabilizing and balance exercise will be key to allow you to meet these demands of performance.
If you experience pain when; squatting, sitting, high impact, repetitive(cycling) activities or kneeling it may be due to a muscle tightness issue. Manual bodywork with a Physical Therapist, stretching and self soft-tissue work is often the answer. When multiple muscles of the hip and ankles are tight and restricted they can cause knee pain because they attach and cross the knee joint. Think of it as your ankle and hip muscles playing tug-or-war on your knee joint.
So what is the plan?
Don’t resolve to give up the workouts and sports you love. But don’t ignore your pain.
Typically, integrating a few simple strengthening, stabilizing and stretching exercises can help ease your pain, improve your performance.
Have any question about your unique knee issue or limitations? We would be happy to answer any question you have by calling to speak to a Specialist Physical Therapist here, 805-941-0125, or schedule a free 20 min Diagnostic Discovery Visit here so we can explore how Physical Therapy can help free you of your pain and get you back to the sports you love quicker.
She helps people 30+ in Santa Barbara stay fit, active & overcome mobility loss, pain, injury or surgery so they can keep enjoying the career, workouts & activities they love without fear, limitation & live free from depending on painkillers, injections & continual visits to the Doctor's office.
Yvonne A. Castillo, MSPT, DPT, CPT