2 common knee issues you might be suffering from.
Having knee issues that stops you training ? Ever felt discomfort or strain on your knees while jogging, getting up from your chair or climbing up the stairs ?
Yes, you might be having 2 of the most common knee issues. The ITBS (Illiotibial Band Syndrome) or the PFPS (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome).
These 2 are the most common repetitive knee strain issues among runners, often known as runners knees. But don’t worry, they can be solved if treated properly by stretching, strength training and foam rolling.
Here are the 2 knee pain locations below showing ITBS and PFPS.
1. ITBS (side)
Location of the pain is at the side of the knee. The iliotibial band is a thick fibrous tendon like structure running down the side of the thigh connecting the knee cap.
Try locating the TFL (tensor fascia latae) and ITB (iliotibial band)
It’s is connected to TFL muscle near the hips region. If the TFL muscle is overworked and became too stiff, it pulls on the ITB, pulling the patella (knee cap) to the side. The frictional force and tightness around the knee causes inflammation that leads to the pain.
So firstly, please stretch your hip flexors and foam roll your TFL muscle. You can also use a trigger ball or manual deep massage on it.
I will explain more on the next article on TFL treatment.
2. PFPS (centre)
Location of the pain is on the front, below the knee cap . See photo below.
Pfps is very common among runners (runners knee), cyclists and hikers. It also will happen to inactive people that sits for hours. Long period of flexing the knee makes the knee fatigue and weaken the muscular structure due to stretching for long hours (knee flexing). Usual causes of PFPS are tight hip flexors and quadriceps. Weak VMOs (vastus medialis obliques)are also one of the culprit.
If your knee is in severe pain, beginning to swell and redness seen, please immediately ice it. follow the RICE protocol.
Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. please do not rub it or apply any ointment !
Now, let’s briefly talk about the treatment and rehab of these 2 syndrome! Below 5 points!
- standing quadricep stretch
- Hamstring stretch
- Hip flexor stretch
- calf stretch
2. Foam rolling (1-2 min each roll)-
- roll on quads
- roll on hip flexors
- roll on TFL
- roll on glutes medius and minimus
3. Trigger ball / lacrosse ball massage-
4. Correcting the below dysfunction-
- walking gait
- spine posture
- knee and ankle alignment
- pronated feet
- hyper extended hip
- Lock knee
- standing on 1 leg habit
- incorrect squatting technique
- Valgus knee (knee collapse towards the centre)
5. strength training-
- strengthen the VMOs
- strengthen the glutes
If you look into the above 5 points and start correcting it, the pain will usually go away after 4-6 weeks. Results varies too depending on the severity of the injury and complications. If pain doesn’t go away or condition worsen, it is advisable to consult a doctor or knee specialist. Get a MRI scan to find out the causes. You might be having a ligament tear/strain, or meniscus issues.
I will talk more about 5 points above in my next couple of articles.
Happy reading and get moving! Consult a personal trainer or a rehab specialist.