The Link Between Your Knee Pain & Balance
If you’re anything like me you’ve taken COVID-19 as a chance to look at yourself and re-set some new goals.
Part of that may involve a new food plan to lose weight.
Others may be a new exercise program and feel younger.
Some of you may decide to pick up a new skill or learn a new language.
Whatever you’ve tasked yourself to improve on there is little tolerance to things that don’t go to plan.
One big observation I’ve seen in the clinic is the amount of people looking to start up running after years and YEARS of being inactive.
Now, don’t get me wrong these people are on the right track but I don’t necessarily agree with going from zero to 100 overnight.
Load is important.
If you do more than you can tolerate then the net result is failure.
Failure is another word for pain.
You don’t want to be in pain if you’re running do you?
Well that’s the risk you run (pun intended)… if you overload your parts and pieces.
So point #1 – Be Careful With How Much You’re Doing.
The next point I’d like to emphasize is how strong you are.
Let’s say you want to start going to the gym to get strong.
If you try and lift something that’s obviously too heavy you are at the risk of pulling your back or worse!
You don’t have the strength to lift the load.
It’s like you don’t have enough petrol in the tank.
So if you can progressively work on getting stronger and your muscles are able to lift heavier and heavier things then you are ‘filling the tank up with petrol’.
Point #2 – Have A Base Strength Level That Allows You To Do More!
Here’s my last point.
Imagine you take apart a watch and you look at all the big and small cogs that work together to make the clock tick.
It works in beautiful unison.
Point #2 are the BIG cogs. They give you the power and strength to do things.
The small cogs are the ‘finesse muscles’ that give you the balance.
They work together to help you walk, squat, run, push and pull.
This is where most people fall over.
They focus on the BIG cogs but not the small cogs.
Have you ever noticed when putting your pants on that one leg is not so good balance wise compared to the other one?
Upon further testing we would see that your smaller hip muscles that give you balance are not that strong.
What’s the result?
A study in 2016 shows that gluteus medius activity is very important in controlling knee and pelvic stability
So point #3 Poor gluteal strength = Expect knee pain.
So what’s the take home message?
If you have knee pain:
Point #1 – reduce the load and allow the knee to settle if you’ve been overdoing things
Point #2 – introduce some progressive specific hip strengthening work
Point #3 – monitor the BIG and SMALL muscles in the hip to reduce the pressure on your knee
What would be my go to exercise to help you with hip-related knee pain?
Undoubtedly it’s a resisted theraband crab walk.
I probably give these simple exercises at least 5 times per day to different people.
It’s unbelievably effective and low cost to action. Here’s a video below that demonstrates this simple home exercise!
Make sure the turning side the arm is out of the way and the arm and leg that is in the air (opposite to the rolling side) turn at the same time as shown in the video.
Here is the video talking and showing the steps as discussed above
Stay happy & healthy out there!