|Posted on August 15, 2014 at 12:00 AM|
Recently, I have seen an upswing in knee injuries — or knee pain, at the very least.
Whenever I have a client with chronic pain or an injury, the first thing I do is a squat assessment and a gait analysis.These assessments allow me to look for imbalances in the body. The key is to recognize the imbalance, then strenthen or stretch properly to correct the imbalnce and restore normal funtion and range of motion to the joints and muscles.
In almost all cases, when it come to knee pain, people are not training their inner thighs and not stretching their I.T. Bands(Iliotobial Band).
If your a regular weightlifter or runner, the I.T. Band gets stronger and shortens in length. The hip joint then can tighten as the IT Band pulls form its origin (the hip). This can also shorten the miniscus.
As this occurs, the leg starts to pull the knee to the outside because we haven't strengthened the inner thigh enough to balance the strength and tightness of the I.T. band and miniscus. This becomes a classic example of "runners knee."
Here are a few tips to add to your training to avoid runners knee.
- Strengthen your inner thighs. Try performing squats with legs wide and feet pointing outward (holding weight in your hands for more resistance). Or, kneel on a stability ball and squeeze with your inner thighs (like riding a horse).
- Use a foam roller to roll out the I.T. Band. Or, stand aginst the wall and hold your foot in both hands — then, with the knee bent at 90 degrees, lift your foot in front of you, and hold the stretch for about 40 seconds. Repeat three times.
- Anchor a band at knee-height, then place the other end around your knee. Place that foot behind you so your in a split-stance, with the back heel off the floor and knee bent. Then extend the knee pushing the heel to the floor. Repeat for three sets, 15 reps each.
Follow these tips and you should be able to keep your knees healthy.