Knee pain is very common, especially among more active individuals. As a personal trainer, it is something I see often. If you’ve been lifting for any length of time there is a good chance you’ve experienced some sort of knee pain. If you have you know how debilitating it can be in and outside the gym. I know, I’ve dealt with it.
Causes of Knee Pain
- Injuries to the ligaments and cartilage
- Patella tendinitis
- Muscle strains
- Tight muscles/tendons
There are many causes of knee pain. I find that the most common source of knee pain is from inflammation of the patella tendon. The patella tendon runs from the patella (bottom of the kneecap) to the tibia (shinbone). The patella tendon impacts the tracking of the patella when your knee goes into flexion and extension. The patella is a small bone that runs under the patella tendon in a groove. When the patella tendon isn’t in its normal alignment with the whole leg, it can push on the patella which causes it to rub up against that groove. This causes inflammation and pain.
Well, guess what, this is not an issue that originates from the knee. If you spend all your time focusing on the knee you are not going to be able to solve the issue. It is an issue starting from either the hips or the ankles. If for any reason the leg is internally or externally rotated it pulls on the patella tendon which causes that pushing on the patella. The cause of someone’s legs internally or externally rotating typically comes from either tight hips or flat feet. Tight hips causing an external rotation while flat feet an internal rotation.
In this day in age, it is very common to see men and women with tight hips. It’s common to see men and women tight all over! Sitting in a chair for an extended amount of time on a regular basis is a great way to tighten muscles throughout the whole body. Especially around the hips which are what such a large portion of people do for work. Having desk job can take tolls on the body that we’ve just begun to understand. It’s also a reason knee pain has become a bigger issue.
If you want to fix the issue, sorting out imbalances in strength and tightness in your hips may be the solution. It may also be finding a more supportive insole that can give your foot a higher arch preventing that collapse in the foot. Often we have to look elsewhere then the point of pain to fix an issue. The body is complex and interconnected. A tight muscle somewhere can cause issues elsewhere where you had never thought.
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