Having to Limit your Runs due to Knee Pain?
I may have the solution to your problem, but it will take a little work.
If you have been having pain on the outside of the knee or close to the knee cap after long runs, then chances are your muscles (gluteus max, mid, min and the TFL) are not doing the best job of stabilizing your hips. Same thing goes to all you lifters out there, if your hips are not stable, it’s the knee and ankle that end up paying the price.
Here is a quick and dirty rehab program:
- Hip Abductions: Start by lying down on your side and bending your bottom leg for stability. Make sure your hips are perpendicular to the floor and your pelvis is in neutral. While keeping your spine and leg straight start lifting the top leg to about 45 deg. You should feel a burn on the outside of your butt. Progress to an elastic band and then to standing.
- Hip Hikes: Find something to hold on to like a wall and stand next to it. If you have a platform use it like in the picture, but these work just as well on a flat surface. Stand on one leg and bring your opposite hip up to the ceiling. You should feel the burn in the exact same spot on the standing leg. Train until you can do 50 on each side, at that point you should be stable enough for even the most gruesome runs.
Notes: It takes a while to build up the endurance in your glut muscles. The hip abduction must be in proper form to reap the benefits, which means the pelvis remains immobile during the exercise. Once you can do 30 good ones standing with an elastic band on both sides, then progress to the hip hikes. Don’t exercise this muscle every day and give it 24-48 hours rest for best progress.
Your glutes make bodybuilders jealous, but you are still having knee pain? There is a number of other factors that could be contributing, such as ankle stability. Why not come into the clinic and we would be more than happy to figure out how to help you.
Dr. Nick Predtechensky is the author of this blog. He may be reached at DrNick@onsightchiro.com.