Beat Your Knee Pain with Mobility & Corrective Exercise - Part 2

This past Mobility & Corrective Class on how to beat knee pain was an eye opener for a lot of the students who showed up today.   I had numerous students ask me for written hand-outs or videos of what we worked on.

So in an effort help you all out here is a recap of our morning together.

First, it is important to ask yourself some questions.

Does the knee joint do what it is supposed to do?  When you are sitting on the floor with your leg straight, the knee should be able to hyper-extend a slight bit.  If it isn't doing that, the joint is stuck under a slight bit of load that is compounded by your daily activities and exercise.  It will only get tighter if you are not addressing the joint position.

The popletius muscle is responsible for the "screw home" mechanism of the femur to the tibia.  Think of that muscle as locking and un-locking the knee.  Many athletes hare an unlocked tibia which in effect leaves the tibia and femur in a slightly twisted position.  This allows the knee joint to fall inward under load (like a squat), and keeps you from a heel-ball-toe striking pattern when walking or running.

Can the skin slide easily over the knee joint?  If not, the skin and fascia in the area are tacked down, and this needs to be addressed to help improve mobility.

Check your overall posture.  How you sit, stand and position your body throughout the day has a MAJOR impact on how your body responds to demand under an exercise load.  When you are standing with good posture, do you know where your ankles, knees, hips and shoulders should be sitting.  The knee is a often stuck between a rock and a hard place, so check what direction they are pointing once you get your feet straight underneath you.  This will be you a better understanding of what other muscular imbalances you have present throughout your kinetic chain which are compounding pain.

In terms of a implementing a properly designed corrective exercise session, I follow this general protocol.

  • Mobilize
  • Stretch
  • Correct

Mobilize

Today our sequence of Knee Mobilizations were:

  1. Suprapatellar pouch with a single lacrosse ball.  On your belly, tack the ball down just above the knee cap (be sure you are on soft tissue.  Mobilize the upper leg over the ball.  Add knee flexion, flexion with rotation, and ankle movements.  You can also do a pressure wave (contract/release) over very tight spots.
  2. Low quadriceps on a foam roller.  Two passes up the thigh with a 4/4/4 sequence.  On the way down, internally rotate the femur and repeat the 4/4/4 sequence.
  3. High calf with ball behind the knee (see video posted below).


Stretch

  1. Static Wall 
  2. Sitting Floor

Corrective Exercises

First establish and practice good standing posture.  

 

Then from a Good Standing Posture Position:

  1. Standing Quadriceps Contractions (20x minimum, 3x -20 if you have more time)
  2. Standing Gluteal Contractions (do one set with the feet together in lateral rotation, then one hip distance apart in good standing posture)
  3. Standing Overhead Extension
  4. Founder
  5. Walking with the hands behind the head

And there you have it!  Questions?  Please reach out.  

Stock Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Head Photo Credit:  Melissa Thome Photography

Author:  Deb Preachuk is a Certified Foundation Training & STOTT Pilates Instructor, Corrective Exercise & Posture Alignment Specialist, and the founder/owner of Pain Free Posture MN.   

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