Self-Help to Fix Your Knee PainAug 13, 2020
Keeping our knees in good alignment and pain free
You may be one of the many people who feel pain when you bend your knees. You may think you have issues with your knee joint. While you will probably have some degeneration in the joint, you may not realise how much of a role your muscles play in keeping your joint straight and supported and free from pain. Here are some ways to keep the muscles around your knee joint balanced and strong.
1. When bending the knees take care NOT to push your knees too far forward past your toes. This puts a lot of load/pressure on your knees. It also often leads to lifting your heels which makes you quite unstable and vulnerable to falls.
FOCUS instead on pushing your hips back when you bend your knees, and keeping your weight in your heels. This takes a lot of the pressure off your knees and transfers it instead to your butt and heels. You’ll be much more stable and should reduce some of the pain in your knees.
2. Take care NOT to bring your knees together as you bend.
FOCUS instead on keeping the knees aligned over the toes. It may be helpful to think of pushing the knees out over the little toes. This gives you a slight outward push which is better for your stability and better muscle balance. (Although take care NOT to roll your feet outward – stay evenly weighted through your soles).
3. DO NOT lock your knees when you stand.
Focus instead on keeping a very slight bend in the knees at all times. Try this! Notice when you push your knees back into lock, how the muscles in the back of the leg feel lengthened and under tension and you may feel a pinch in the front of your knee. Now soften the knees slightly and feel how the muscles in the front and back of the leg feel more even. This will reduce the pressure on your knee joint and make your leg muscles work harder to protect the knee joint.
4. Release “stuck spots” of tension in your muscles.
If you experience knee pain and/or find it difficult to push your knees out over the toes when you bend or squat, you may need to release “stuck spots” of tension in your muscles that are pulling your joint out of alignment.
This is where foam rolling can be a great practice to try!
The main areas to focus on are the outer thigh, the inner thigh and the quad (front of your upper leg). If you feel the pain below your knee, you may need to focus on the muscle on the outside of the lower leg.
Watch the video above where Marya will help guide you through this technique of foam rolling.
1. By using a padded hand roller or even a rolling pin or wooden dowel, gently explore the outer thigh searching for sensitive spots.
2. Take your time and change the angle of the roller to fully explore the muscle. When you find a tender spot, maintain tolerable pressure (no need to over do it) for about 20 seconds, then release and continue to explore to see if there are any more tender areas.
3. Do the same for the inner thigh and the quad. DO NOT ROLL BACK AND FORTH CONTINUOUSLY.
Sometimes it takes time to find the problem areas but be patient. If you are experiencing knee pain you almost certainly have “stuck spots” in your muscles surrounding the joint. Once you find them, the relief is virtually instant.
This video is also available on our Facebook page as a Facebook Live tutorial.
Comment below if you gave this a go or if you have a question you want answered. We would love to hear from you.
If you would love to know more about foam rolling and it's benefits contact Marya at [email protected] to find out more and see if you can book a session or join a class in her Hawkes Bay studio OptimalMe.
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