WHY YOUR KNEE PAIN COULD LITERALLY BE A PAIN IN YOUR BUTT
Knee pain is a common complaint for many people. In my office, I’ve seen treated patients who are atheletes and patients who are sedentary with the same complaints of knee pain, especially inner knee. I tell them 2 things- that I can help them relieve the pain at the moment , but more importantly, that I can help them prevent the pain from happening again. Just because you have knee pain doesn’t mean that you should just focus on the knee. Our bodies are built to distribute forces/load in a way that joints such as the hip joint can absorb more force/load than other joints, such as the knee joint. But the hip joint can’t do it’s job if our body’s biomechanics are faulty.
The gluteus muscles are important pelvic/hip stabilizers. Weak glutes can cause the femur (thighbone) to rotate inwards onto the tibia (shinbone), torquing the knee joint. This can also lead to over pronation of the feet, adding to stress on the knee joint. As a result , pain, inflammation, and tissue damage occur. A simple way to test your glute strength is by doing a single leg squat. If you see your knee(the one you are standing on) going inwards toward the middle, you most likely have weak glutes.
How do you strengthen the glutes? Doing single leg squats! Yes, the very same test you just did. There are also many ways to strengthen the glutes, like bridges and lunges, but I prefer the single leg squat because you can strengthen your core( which is not just your abs- will do another post on that later) and your glutes at the same time. Here is an example of a single leg squat- do them! The key to doing single leg squats, or any squat is to hinge at your hips and stick your butt out (or as I tell my patients “Drop it like it’s hot!”).
A quick side note (I hope it’s not TMI, but sorry if it is!)- I recently went back to my homeland, the Philippines and most of their public restrooms do not provide toilet seat covers or toilet seats for that matter, so squatting was imperative. I was so thankful that I had been doing my squats LOL! With that said, squats and strong glutes are useful in more ways than you know!