Knee Pain Solutions
We use our knees all day long from the moment we wake up til we go to sleep at night. Running, jumping, walking, and stair climbing can all contribute to pain. In this article, we will discuss the basic anatomy of the knee and ways to keep them healthy, supported, and pain free!
The knee is the most complicated joint of the body and supports almost all of a person’s body weight. There are many ligaments and tendons involved which are why there are so many reasons why knee pain may occur from misalignment, overuse and degeneration. Common injuries include tendonitis, ligament tears, arthritis, or iliotibial band syndrome. (The IT band is a ligament extending from the pelvis to the lower leg that tightens as we walk or run).
Common Causes of Knee Pain
We spend most of our time sitting, either at a desk or in a car, and as a result, the IT band gets tighter and tighter, resulting in a lack of mobility in the hip and the knee joint. In addition, when we sit for long periods of time, the muscles essentially dry out like shrink-wrap, tightening and limiting mobility. Too much sitting contributes to weight gain, which can cause knee pain as the excess weight of the body is funneled through the small joint. The patella houses the thickest layer of cartilage in the body, protecting it from the pressure of the quadriceps when the knee is flexed, as in stair climbing. Stair climbing can put as much as six hundred pounds of pressure on the patella, not to mention the added weight created by obesity.
On the other hand, some people overuse their joints. Athletes build strength with physical motion, but also create tightness in the muscles. Overuse of the knee can create a variety of problems: ligaments tear and muscles strain, especially from twisting motions. Irritation and inflammation develop resulting in tendonitis. Bursitis is caused by inflammation of the fluid filled sacs (bursae) surrounding the knee brought on by trauma, gout, or arthritis.
How To Cure Knee Pain
Taking care of your knees starts with taking care of the muscles around them. Yoga is one of the best ways I know to keep pain away. Hip limitation directly affects knee pain, so the more available your hips are, the greater amount of mobility you will have in your knee. Massage can also alleviate tight muscles, especially the thigh and IT band, allowing for freedom in the knee. Foam rollers can be purchased for under $30 and massage yourself by rolling away the tightness!