The human body is an amazing machine.
It is a big pulley system that all works together. Everything is connected. I am frequently amazed at how complex a machine the human body is.
Just as the flap of a butterflies wings on one side of the world can cause a tsunami on the other side of the world, a small muscle imbalance in one area of the body can cause immense pain and discomfort in another area of the body.
This is very accurate with knee pain. Most knee pain involves an imbalance of the muscles in the hip, caused by muscle spasm. Whether that muscle spasm in the hip causes the knee pain, or is from compensation for the knee pain, can be hard to say.
Getting to Know Your Knees
The knee is such a complex joint that it takes the fine coordination of many muscles to bend your knee or to stay upright.
IT (Ilio-Tibial) Band syndrome is a great example of knee pain coming from muscles in the hip. The TFL (tensor fascia lata) muscle gets tight and irritated from common actions like sitting for long periods. It then pulls on the IT Band that it connects to. The IT Band also connects to the outside of the knee. When the IT Band gets tight, it will pull on the outside of the knee, and cause knee pain.
It is common for hip muscles to get tight, spasmed and inflamed and then pull on the IT Band, or cock the hip and pull on the quadricps muscles which will then pull on the knee and cause issues such as: knee pain, patella tracking issues, chondro-malacia patella, and others.
That is why whenever someone comes into my office with knee pain I always treat the muscles in their hips.
Treating Your Knee Pain At Home
A foam roller is great for treating the IT Band, TFL and gluteal muscles.
Start with the foam roller on the ground and you looking up at the ceiling. The foam roller is between your hip (the hip that is on the same side as your knee pain) and the floor, perpendicular to your body.
Start with the foam roller applying pressure in the hip muscles, close to the sacrum, by the top of your pelvis.
Slowly roll onto your affected or painful side, so that you end up perpendicular to the floor with your shoulder facing the ceiling.
Then slowly roll your body moving towards your head, so that the foam roller is slowly rolled down the outside of your leg, towards your painful knee.
You will also want to treat the muscles on the front of your leg, the inside of your leg (the groin muscles) and the muscles on the front of your shin, side of your shin, and calf.
Enjoy your experience.
Have a pain free day.