Cecilie_Arcurs Getty Images
Her personal assistant, Rachel Tavel, is a Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPT) and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). Get your body back Track it down when it's out of line In this weekly series, it gives you tips on how to feel better, get stronger, and train smarter.
Your knees are very stressful all day long, whether you bend over to pick something up, walk up and down the subway stairs to get to work, stand for hours at an event, or attend your favorite high-intensity training – all the pounding on the sidewalk can lead to pain. [Kneeinjuriesareamongthemostcommonillnessesinrunnersandotherathletesbutsometimesit'shardtoknowifkneepainisareal injury just a sign that your body needs to be reworked a bit before you can return to normal activities.
Wound knees can be caused by many different states. Two common causes are patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) or "Runner's Knee" and Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS). Symptoms of PFPS include pain or general pain in the area of the knee, usually without a specific location. ITBS can be felt more on the outer part of the knee or like a pain on the upper thigh. The pain in both cases can be worse if you are going downhill, going down stairs, or performing repetitive plyometric activities such as running and jumping.
Often knee pain or pain can be caused by repeated loading of the knee joint with too much resistance in suboptimal body mechanics. Weakness in the hips, muscle imbalance in the quads and hamstrings, and even ankle instability may play a role in symptom production and provocation. As long as the knee joint is structurally healthy (no ligament or cartilage tear that restricts mobility), the right exercises should fortunately help relieve pain and get you back on your feet. If the pain persists, be sure to visit a physical therapist or doctor to make sure nothing is seriously wrong.
Your Move : Begin with some exercises to strengthen the glutes, aiming for one of the most important muscles for the stability of a single leg, the gluteus medius. One-legged bridges, lateral walking with a resistance band at the ankles and lateral, straight leg raises (hip abduction) with or without ligaments around the knees or ankles are great exercises to strengthen the glutes.
Start with 2 sets of 10 reps for each individual exercise. When walking sideways, make sure you take enough steps to feel the muscles on the sides of your hips. Walk 20 feet in one direction, then 20 feet in the other direction to start a good burn.
Often, a tight quadriceps can also lead to pain that causes increased pressure in the entire patellar or patellar region and causes pain when strained in certain positions. Try to roll the quads with foam to reduce this tension and promote tissue perfusion.