How Did You Do That? 3 Secrets to Fixing Cranky Knees
“My knees hurt! When I exercise, my knees hurt, and there is knee pain when I sit and rest, even when I sleep.” This is one of the most common complaints I hear about exercising, and here are the 3 top tips to help fix your cranky knees!
Here’s what you and I can do to help the pain in your knees.
1. The first thing I do with a client with knee pain is a movement assessment – Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT). This will show me what muscles aren’t working properly. Muscles that are asleep at the switch can’t support your weight and your movements. Stress and strain on the knees are among the most common side effects of non-functioning muscles. Restoring function to these muscles through MAT is the top treatment.
After that, we have to look at other reasons why the knees are painful. Did you suffer a trauma to the knees? To the hips? To the ankles? You may be surprised to learn that, unless there has been direct trauma to the knees, often the problem is in the hips, or the ankles, or both. The knees don’t decide how to move – the upper body movement, the hips and the ankles tell the knees what to do.
2. The next two steps are critical. First, we have to strengthen the muscles around the joint. Muscles that are weak can’t follow your brain’s commands. For example, if you have to squat – think sitting on the toilet, getting into a car, sitting down to eat – your gluteals(buttocks), quads (upper front of your legs), and your hamstrings (upper back of your legs) have got to support you evenly while you squat. Some exercises to work your leg muscles include bridges, cycling, Swiss Ball squats, calf raises, and hip extensions. As an experienced, advanced Personal Trainer, I can guide you to exercises that are safe for you – either online or in the Kitchener, Ontario area.
SWISS BALL SQUAT EXERCISE
- The final piece of the puzzle is stretching. The science behind stretching is straightforward. When we work muscles, they become short and the muscle fibres tighten up. In order to restore the muscles to their resting length, we have to stretch them. Stretching should be done AFTER exercise, not before! Properly stretched muscles are all in balance with each other. However, if, say, you forget to stretch your quads after a hard walk or a bike ride, those tight quads will pull on your knee joint and misalign your knee joints. This can cause a lot of pain in the knees, and make it hard to stand up, squat, and lie on your side at night, as the knees hurt so much. I can guide you to sensible stretching that helps cut down on your knee pain (and lots of other aches and pains!)
For more tips on how to lessen or avoid knee pain, visit my article on Protect Your Knees. To get those cranky knees feeling better, you can contact me here!