One of our most common complaints are from patients who experience knee pain when they’re going up or down stairs, they’re doing deep squats or even just bending down on their knee. The most common diagnosis for these, depending on your specific symptoms, is typically what’s called Patellofemoral Syndrome. This is where your kneecap is resting against your femur bone and it’s having too much pressure and compression there. Typically one of the biggest complaints with this is pain when you’re going downstairs. This is because your quad muscle is not doing enough work to hold your kneecap off of the joint and so it’s causing pain.
The other big one is if you sit for a long period of time and you feel like you’re constantly having to move because of knee pain, that’s typically a Patellofemoral sign as well. The same thing goes with the deep squats because that kneecap is rubbing up against that bone and causing your pain. One of the things that you really want to work on with this is your lower quad strength and your hip strength because your hips actually play a very large part in your knee pain. Your hips typically are weak, which will then cause the knee and the kneecap to ride against it because it’s not getting the support it needs from the additional muscles.
The other most common diagnosis is Osteoarthritis. Our knees take a lot of beating because they’re the biggest function of doing activities. They have a great range of motion and they take a lot of pounding from walking, stairs, running and squats. What happens over time is when your muscles aren’t strong enough or they are too tight, they can cause imbalances in your knee’s range of motion and your strength. It can pull on one side more than the other, which can then eventually cause some arthritis with enough compression and rubbing. This can cause an addition of bone growth of cartilage that can be uneven and cause pain when you rub up against it. To help reduce this, you want to make sure that you have enough range of motion.
If you notice that you’re not able to bend your knee or straighten it as much you want to, work on those motions. The more motion you keep for longer, the better you’re going to be able to walk and function later in life. Then, again, you want to strengthen those hips. It can also sometimes come from the feet up, so you want to make sure that you’re wearing good shoes! Changing your foot footwear about every six months, if you’re a pretty good exerciser, is very important. Shoes break down and that’s why we need to replace them. Otherwise your foot could be over pronating and causing symptoms up into your knee.
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