- Knee pain is a common health concern for many people, and according to the American Osteopathic Association, more than one-third of Americans report having some type of knee pain.
- While knee pain can cause a great deal of discomfort, the underlying issue is usually something minor, like tight muscles, which can be mitigated through various myofascial release techniques.
- In this blog, Golfstretch Therapies CEO Adam Swanson provides different stretches to address and effectively alleviate knee pain.
Having worked in the sports performance industry for several years, I have encountered many patients with chronic knee pain. The American Osteopathic Association reports knee pain is the second most common cause of chronic pain, and according to Harvard University, the force that is applied to your knees while walking across level ground equates to 1½ times your body weight.
Simply put, if you suffer from knee pain, you’re not alone. Knee pain can develop from a degenerative condition, traumatic injury, obesity, overuse, or muscle imbalance in the quadriceps. More often that not, knee pain occurs from the last-mentioned health problem – a muscle imbalance. Now, I’m not discounting serious knee injuries such as a meniscus or anterior cruciate ligament (MCL; ACL) tear. If you’re experiencing knee instability, swelling, joint stiffness, bruising, limping, or pain in the knee while standing, you’ll want to seek immediate medical attention for a possible MCL or ACL tear.
Going back to what I was talking about before, mild knee pain while walking, playing golf, or doing other low-key activities may indicate a muscle imbalance in your quadriceps, abductors, and/or IT band. Before I explain the different ways you can alleviate knee pain, I first want to describe the anatomy of the knee joint. The knee is the largest joint in the body, and it connects the thigh bone to the shin bone from the tibia and kneecap. Needless to say, this joint is pretty complex, and in order for it to move the way it does, tendons, ligaments, and leg muscles must be attached to these bones to provide stability and flexibility. If you suffer from a muscle imbalance, there are things you can do to effectively alleviate your knee discomfort.
Myofascial release is a safe, hands-on therapy that involves applying sustained pressure to myofascial connective tissue restrictions. Improved muscle function and pain relief from this therapy can also be achieved with a foam roller if a licensed therapist is not available to perform myofascial release techniques. In my video, which is embedded at the bottom of this page, I go over three very easy myofascial release techniques to help loosen tight muscles.
As I mentioned in my video, if one of the muscle groups (quadriceps, abductors, IT band, etc.) above your knee is tighter than an opposing muscle group on the side of your body, it can lead to a misalignment in your knee joint, resulting in pain. So, try these techniques and let me know what you think! Disclaimer: you’ll need a foam roller for these stretches. My personal favorite is the black foam roller because it tends to last longer than the other colors and it’s generally firmer than other foam rollers. White foam rollers are often too soft, and the blue or red ones tend to break down over time.
Golfstretch Therapies is a sports performance and rehabilitation center located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Utilizing a combination of therapies, the team at Golfstretch Therapies helps clients achieve their health and fitness goals. To learn more about golf fitness, stretch therapy, corrective exercise, and more, call 480-269-1119 to schedule a consultation today! We look forward to hearing from you! The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.