Three Crazy Reasons Your Knee Hurts

What’s really crazy?

Just treating the site of pain is crazy. Rarely if ever is the site of pain the cause of the pain. It’s not always the area that screams the loudest we need to be focusing on. Pain actually doesn’t tell you a whole hell of a lot. It only tells you there is a problem, it does not tell you what it is. It’s simply an effective way for your body to tell you it doesn’t like something. Pain is a request for change. A change in your habits. How you move is a powerful way to do just that.

Ida Rolf has one of my all time favorite sayings, ‘Where you think it is, it ain’t.’ Simply brilliant.

As far as joints go, the knee is pretty stupid. It only does what the foot will allow and the hip can control. If you have knee pain you should look above and below it for some issues.

Everything is connected and everything matters.

Here are some classic examples:

  1. Loss of ankle dorsiflexion. Decreased ankle mobility leads to increased motion at the knee joint. Get more motion in the ankle and you can help the knee.
  2. Loss of mobility in the hip. Decreased hip extension and internal rotation leads to more force being transmitted through the knee. The femur and tibia cannot dissociate efficiently. Get more motion in the hip and it helps the knee.
  3. Loss of stability in the hip. Lack of mobility control in the hip can lead to the knee taking a beating. Every step is pounding on the knee joint. Doing some good old fashioned half kneeling work can begin to help.

If you think those are crazy. Then wait til ya see my list. If the above doesn’t help or doesn’t stick then it’s time to go further down the crazy shit path. Or you can continue staying on the same old shit path and hope something changes.

Restricted big toe extension.

I call it Big Toe Mojo. When you can’t extend adequately in the big toe (65 degrees is the sweet spot) you lose the ability to efficiently hip extend and more impact is placed in the knee. Less time in hip extension means more time in knee flexion. Work on the mobility of your big toe and the knee will probably like it. Bend the toe back and see what ya got.

Weak psoai.

When you are unstable in the only muscle that crosses three zones (Lumbar spine, pelvis, hip) you can’t generate force well. Arms and legs are meant to amplify force not generate. When you can’t generate efficiently in the center you generate more from the periphery. Knees don’t like that. Tight Psoai are often weak Psoai. More often than not they don’t get enough strength work. If ya can’t hold your leg up in the air for 30 seconds it’s probably weak. If it shakes when you hold it up there it’s weak. See video

Standing Psoas Test from Dr. Perry Nickelston on Vimeo.

Fibular head jamming.

The top of the fibula gets stuck and the knee pays the price. Often you have a weak distal hamstring and an overactive peroneal complex and popliteus muscle. The instability of force closure stability around the joint causes form closure (joint jam). This joint is a major player in transferring force up, over and out the body via the Deep Longitudinal Subsystem of movement.

Touch behind the fibular head and see if it’s tender. If so it’s probably stuck and not happy


Deep Longitudinal Subsystem

Most of these are crazy elusive because they themselves rarely hurt. But don’t get PUNKED by pain. The body laughs at ya when you chase pain. Be better than that and step up your game. When pain is getting the best of you and you ave tried everything, go down the crazy shit path and you just might find your answer. What do you have to lose? Oh yeah, the pain.

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  1. Common sense
  2. Real life
  3. Doing shit in the arena 23 years
  4. Client feedback
  5. Results
  6. And probably a paper somewhere