Preventing Knee Pain

Right knee.

Image via Wikipedia

You know the feeling when your knee acts like it’s going to just rip out of your leg?

Or the right side of it is throbbing so bad that it’s keeping your from walking?

Typical knee problems. I see it everyday in my clients. Most of it is lack of muscle activation, whether it be your glutes to your rectus femoris (know what that is?).  I’m no doctor, and you should always double check with your doctor or physical therapist if you have any acute problems. But my duty is to make sure that you can go about your Quality of Life with minimum to no pain as much as possible.

What Causes Knee Problems?

There are many factors that could lead up to knee pain whether it be from a sports injury to osteoporosis, these factors can limit your daily activities. Anything that limits your knee from it’s normal range of motion can cause problems in your joints.

How can you prevent knee problems?

If you suffered a blow from a sports injury or any other accident, it would be hard to avoid something that isn’t predicted. That’s like stating I can’t drive because I COULD get into an accident or not train others because I COULD have this baby. Pfffttt! Whatever, I’m not going to stop training until I can no longer breath. I trained during my other pregnancy up until I was 39 weeks and still did pushups with everyone. My belly may have hit the floor first, but hey, I did it 😉

There are certain precautions to consider before starting up a program. If you are already experiencing knee problems, you need to get it checked out before moving on. Also, NEVER continue on with an exercise if you are experiencing pain. You should feel slight soreness in the belly of your muscles. If you are experiencing sharp, piercing, tingling pain, stop immediately and rest and let your trainer know. If you are post recovery from an ACL or any type of knee surgery, get cleared by a doctor or therapist first. Don’t move on thinking your Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator and try to dominate your workouts.

Here are a few preventions to work on before starting your program:

  • You must ALWAYS warm up before exercising. NEVER JUMP INTO A WORKOUT OR PROGRAM WITHOUT WARM MUSCLES. And by this I mean, this is no 5 min warm up, it should take you 10-15min to warm up. Always start with a Dynamic Warmup, NO STATIC STRETCHING. Dynamic warmup is GREAT in that it increases your heart rate, loosens joints, actively stretches your muscles, reinforces great posture, and most importantly, you should feel a good sweat. Static stretching is best to use while your body is at rest. Basically it will leave your muscle cold and unfit for activity. You should always stretch in this way after your workouts. It will maintain your flexibility level.
  • Always strengthen your leg muscles by focusing on exercises that target your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and most of all, your abs. Everything must work in sync to aid in your lifting. One muscle cannot be so dominate over the other. I see so many of my clients activating more of their quads rather than focusing on their glutes and abs as well. Also, most macho men just focus on their upper body rather than focus on lower body strength. You use your legs everyday, so strengthen them. When you become quad dominate while doing squats, lunges, and/or any type of deadlifts, this can cause low back pain and you’re more than likely going to injure yourself. Be sure to have a professional supervise your workouts for strengthening leg muscles that benefit the knee.
  • Avoid sudden changes in the intensity of exercise. Rather then stretching and going to a full sprint, gradually work yourself up for that sprint. You need to PREPARE that muscle for any planned activities.
  • Get good shoes. You get what you pay for! Hey, it’s not about the style ladies. Seriously, you think those $90 hot pink Nike’s are going to give you the comfort you need for your workout? Think again. About 95% of your are wearing the wrong shoes. Go get professionally fitted and grab a pair that will stablize the ankle. It helps to maintain proper balance and alignment when having the right shoe. Otherwise, you’ll pay for it later. Some good examples of decent shoes to check out: New Balance, Saucony, Brooks, etc.
  • DON’T LIFT HEAVY. If you can’t lift it, then don’t risk it. Know your limits and know your body before trying anything new or going heavier.
  • FOAM ROLL. FOAM ROLL. FOAM ROLL. I live by it, abide by it, and preach it. It truly works. By massaging those tight attachments and muscles, it will help release tension and lessen the likelihood of injury and/or soreness for your workouts and sports activities. Be sure to read my blog post about Foam Rolling Techniques.

Well that about covers the basics. Always consult a professional before moving onto a new program. Trust me, a professional hand helps 😉 We’re here to teach and preach about injury prevention. Have a great week everyone!

 

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