Doctor of Chiropractic, Michele Oman, is passionate about human movement and motor skills, music, literature, DIY and nutrition. In his latest blog he give us an insight into knee pain and some stretches that may help.
Knee pain is a very common complaint. Most of the people that I see here at Back 2 Balance, has had, at some point in their journey within the clinic, asked me to have a look at their knees. Sometimes knee pain is even their major presenting reason for coming.
Here you can have a look at the knee anatomy. Hopefully you can appreciate that it’s not one of the most complicated joint in the body, especially if you compare it with a shoulder or with a wrist (here is a link to learn more about wrists and wrist pain! )… It is a very strong hinge joint that mainly allows a flexion/extension action to happen, (that means forwards and backwards to most people!). Apart from those two movements, it can also be a pivot in external and internal rotation (outwards and inwards twist). Needless to say, it is often hard for a person suffering with knee pain to understand if there is a restriction in internal and external rotation and most likely, discover that a professional eye is required…
When knee pain starts and you can’t seem to recall how it started plus you know that was not due to a traumatic event, there are several alternatives. Without talking about diagnoses and treatment options here, I would like you to really think about how much you move and the quality of that movement. Insidious knee pain is most likely caused by wear and tear and/or muscular imbalances! Which means it has been building up slowly in the background, often without you being aware of it until you FEEL it.
Are your hamstrings (biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus) too tight?
Are your adductors (adductor longus, pectineus, gracilis, etc.) too tight?
Are your quads (rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis and vastus intermedius) too tight?
Is your iliotibial band too tight?
I know that I am talking in a really specific language here but if you are reading this online, it means that you can google the specific terminology that I’ve used and discover tests that may help you identifying your problem and stretches that can help you manage your knee pain… It would take a bit of time but it’s free!!!
This introduction could be a useful start to dealing with the problem but if the discomfort has been there for a long time or you are not really sure on how to stretch, I really advise you to book in for a professional examination with us. Remember: when you are stretching, and you are a beginner, you should not past a gentle feeling of stretch and definitely you should not go into pain!
Please, be careful!
P.S. See below a few suggestions to start stretching your lower limbs! (Also check out the Tibetan monk’s routine!)