Why do your knees hurt?

I get frustrated when I hear someone put their knee issues down to getting older, or any musculoskeletal issue for that matter. Even more frustrating is that there seems to be an acceptance, an inevitability, that nothing can be done about it.

In many cases, there is plenty that can be done about it. Sure, there is wear and tear associated with any joint but looking at how you use your body will help you figure out how you load a particular body part all the time. There are some simple adjustments you can make to change how body parts get loaded.

Your quadriceps, a muscle group that run down the front of your thighs are in an intimate relationship with your knees and your kneecaps in particular. Observing how you stand and where you carry your weight will go a long way to helping you understand why your knees bother you.

If, when you stand, you wear your pelvis out in front of you, your quads and other tissues have to do a lot of work to stop you from falling over. In other words, you’re using them like seat belts for your body.

If this is a position you have frequented over years, the front of your legs have been loaded more than the back. You may have developed a particular set of tensions that pull on the knee caps taking them away from their more natural resting position. Add years of sitting into the equation and you can imagine how much less the muscles behind you, in particular your glutes and hamstrings, have been unable to assist in holding you up.

You can think of it another way, using a dimmer switch as an analogy, the dimmer switch is on high at the front of your hips and very low in the back. Ideally we are trying to avoid overuse in one area and bring more of ourselves to do the work of holding us up. Think 360 degrees of supportive muscle tone.

Backing your hips up over your ankles whilst learning to dial down the tension in your quads, will help your knee caps find home and allow more of your legs to participate in holding you up. Try relaxing your kneecaps at the same time!

Note: If you are wearing a shoe with a heel, any heel, this will be difficult!

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Let me know how it goes.


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