Potential causes for knee pain
Knee pain can come in a few forms. The most common complaint I find comes as pain at the front of the knee, closely followed by pain on the outside or inside and less commonly posterior knee pain. There is a host of differential diagnoses that could be made; patellofemoral pain syndrome, patella tendonitis, arthritis, ITB syndrome, fat pad syndrome, bursitis, Baker’s cyst, meniscal tears, etc. But honestly, they could also all be put under the description of ‘your knee is over-worked’. Now with that simple thought in mind, let’s ask ourselves why?
The knee can be over-worked for many reasons, I’ve listed a bunch below. A lot of them could simply be classified as poor biomechanics or stress dissipation in the kinetic chain – but I don’t feel like that is particularly helpful to say to clients, at least not on its own!
- Using knee extension instead of hip extension in gait*.
- Dumping weight into the forefoot too soon in gait*.
- Sinking through the knee too much in running and sport.
- You had a sudden spike in activity that your body wasn’t ready for – a lot of stairs, a difficult hike, a lot more running over a week than usual, etc.
- A fall on your knees that left them with heightened pain sensitivity.
- Excessive pressure on the knees over a long period, e.g. DIY kneeling for hours.
- Insufficient rehab on a previous injury – whether your knee or elsewhere.
- Poor coordination between the ankle and/or hip causing the knee to experience excessive rotational torque.
- Poor force tolerance (pronation).
- Insufficient hip locking mechanism to stabilise the pelvis.
*gait meaning walking and/or running
Potential causes for ankle pain
Ankle pain is something we can carry around with us for a long time. It’s more often athletes who want to be able to run and jump that will complain of chronic pain. This is because the impact from those activities is really quite high for the ankle joint and it needs to be able to take it in a wide variety of positions. Connective tissues like ligaments and tendons need to be able to tolerate these forces the most and there is a lot of connective tissue around the ankle joint as there are many small bones.
Much like for knees, you could start describing so much anatomy and put the word ‘syndrome’ or suffix ‘-itis’ at the end of it but at the end of the day it’s just a worn out ankle. Potential reasons for this can be:
- Most often, a previous ankle sprain that did not get fully rehabbed.
- Excessive forefoot loading and/or the inability to load into the heel.
- Poor pronation.
Potential causes for Back pain
Back pain is of course a frequent complain amongst us all! Whether it’s lower, mid or upper, our spine generally wants to feel like it is well supported by all the fascia and muscles around it. There needs to be a balance between great movement, stability and strength from the upper and lower limbs.
The potential reasons for back pain can be:
- Too little movement in general
- A restricted breathing pattern
- Postural stress
- Poor hip or thoracic mobility
- Too much compression when lifting, e.g. a lot of heavy back squats
- Mismanaged stress
- Lack of force through the legs when lifting
So how do I stay training while I’m in this pain cycle and afraid to do more harm?
This is where TAP comes in. In it, you’ll be given:
- Low-medium level health exercises directly targeted at the knee or ankle, depending on the programme.
- Two full body exercise sessions you can do in the gym that focus on the rest of your body doing the work.
While the first section will directly help your knee, the second will indirectly help it by making everything else stronger around it. This on its own can help many people get out of pain!
From the start to the end of the programme you can come to me with any questions you have along the way to help your knee further. If you don’t already have a diagnosis or reason for your pain (or you’re not satisfied with what you’ve been told before), you can always book in for an assessment to go alongside the programme – whether online or in person. This will help you to gain more understanding and clarity around what is happening in your specific case. You would also be getting more guidance on why certain exercises would be more beneficial to you and get coached on how do them most effectively. Lastly, you may end up with one or two additional beneficial exercises to add to your knee health section based on your assessment.
Purchase the 6 week programme for just €60:
Disclaimer: Train Around Pain does not substitute for medical advice. Users follow the programme at their own risk and accept responsibility for their pain management. If you are unsure if the programme is suitable for you, please get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will be happy to address your questions.