Why Does My Knee Hurt?
Almost 85% of Americans have asked this question, and as it turns out, about 50% of them suffer from some type of chronic knee pain. The real question isn’t why your knee hurts, the real question is how to fix it.
After countless doctor’s visits, MRIs, x-rays, surgeries, medicine, and physical therapy, you’re probably still experiencing chronic knee pain and you don’t know why. The good news is that it’s likely the pain isn’t coming from your knee at all! If you want to learn more about a solution for your chronic knee pain, read on to find out where the pain actually comes from and what you can do about it.
Where the Pain is Coming From
It’s far more likely that the pain most people experience in their knees is coming from the transverse abdominis. The transverse abdominis is one of the deepest muscles in your stomach and it is an important component of your core strength and balance. When this muscle isn’t strong enough, you’ll find that you have stability issues that force your pelvis and knees to compensate. Often, this compensation is too much for those joints to handle, causing you a lot of pain.
The most common thing people assume about knee pain is that they need to make their knee stronger. After doing a ton of squats, leg extensions, and calf raises, they notice their pain isn’t improving and they get frustrated. The pain is still there because it isn’t possible to strengthen the knee joint—what you actually need to work on is your core.
The Solution to Knee Pain
There are several steps you can take to reduce your knee pain, but using myofascial release in tandem with core exercises to improve your posture is the best way to manage and eliminate the pain.
There are many forms of myofascial techniques for pain and injury recovery, including foam rolling, trigger point therapy, therapeutic massage, stim, and cupping. These techniques can be an effective solution for knee pain, as they release tension in the glutes and rectus femoris (quadriceps) and limit the knee flexion mobility, which may be causing the pain. Essentially, you “turn off” the muscles that are working too hard and redistribute the stress to other areas. Other benefits of myofascial release include:
- Increased blood flow and vascular function.
- Normal muscle length.
- Relieved tension in the myofascial network.
- Movement in your lymph nodes.
The improvements in your lymph nodes are especially important, as these glands are a major component of your immune system that help you fight infection. Self-Myofascial Release (SMR) can encourage toxins to cycle through the lymph nodes and exit the body.
While most people think about abs when they think about their core, the core is not all about getting a six pack. Instead, it’s about being able to maintain a stable lumbar spine to reduce stress on the lower back and knees.
Strengthening the external oblique and lower rectus abdominus will produce a posterior tilt and improve your natural, static posture. Here are a few simple core exercises that will improve your abdominal strength, act as a solution to knee pain, and increase your ability to lift more weight in the gym.
- The Dead Bug
- The Dead Bug Single Leg
- Rotor Stability
- The Dead Bug Modified Single Leg
- Supine Hip Flexor
These exercises are so powerful because they force you to rotate your pelvis posteriorly to engage the core. When done right, each of these exercises will improve your posture and serve as a solution to your knee pain.
The road to living without knee pain isn’t easy. It requires constant maintenance and careful exercise. These aren’t one-time solutions to knee pain, they are a new addition to your daily routine. Instead of trying to go at it alone, come into Gloveworx and work with one of our dedicated coaches today.