3 Easy Steps to Fix Your Knee Pain, Fast
If you’re reading this, you’re probably someone who struggles with knee pain intermittently throughout the year. It’s one of those common annoyances that can keep us from performing at the top of our game, or keep us from being active altogether. In this article, we dive into how you can rid your body of knee pain FAST with our 3-Step Process.
The most common causes of knee pain are both lack of flexibility and lack of strength. Normally, both of these issues are tied together. Improving mobility often enables you to improve strength more efficiently and effectively, and vice versa. For this reason, we place our importance on both of these parts equally. So what is the 3-Step Process?
- Foam Roll
In as little as ten minutes, 5 days per week, these 3 steps could rid your body of knee pain. It’s not mandatory you perform these exercises daily, but a minimum of 3 days per week is advised.
Step 1 : Foam Roll
You may have noticed that foam rolling has become extremely popular in fitness settings in recent years. Foam rolling is a great tool to perform daily in order to maintain body and joint health. When you foam roll, we compress what is known in our body as fascia. Fascia lines all of our musculature, and when our fascia is dense and restricted, it compromises our ability to more correctly.
When foam rolling, it’s important to use these simple notes to get the most out of it:
- Harder isn’t always better
- Spend as much time as you think you need
- Focus on the areas that hurt the most
The last one is especially important, as the site of pain isn’t normally the area that’s causing the pain. When looking to help with knee pain, the following areas should be addressed (check out our video for more):
- Glute Max/ Glute Medius (0:43)
- TFL/ IT band (1:24)
- Quadriceps (2:35)
- Adductors (4:00)
Although these is no set time for rolling each area, our general recommendation is 30 seconds per muscle group. For a more in depth look on how to foam roll these areas, check out our video.
Step 2 : Stretch
Because moderate knee pain is often caused by excessive tension placed on the patella (knee cap), we’ll look to stretch the musculature that surround the knee
- Quadricep Muscles (4)
As well as the muscles that pull us into an overextended posture
- Tensor Fascia Latae
Luckily, we have two stretches that do a great job of hitting all of these muscle groups.
Half Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch (5:15)
2 sets of 5 deep breaths each
This stretch may be the biggest bang for your buck stretch out there. The hip flexors cause a host of problems associated with back, hip, and/or knee pain. While doing the stretch, we’re also working on balance and stability. Check out the video above to see how it’s done!
Modified Bretzel Stretch (7:00)
2 sets of 5 deep breaths each
This stretch has been modified to place an emphasis on stretching the muscles of the thigh. The goal is to pull the rear foot to the ground and to the butt. You’ll also need to maintain contact with the opposing knee to the foam roller. If it feels too easy, follow the same steps but place the opposing knee on the floor.
Step 3 : Strengthen
Now that we’ve stretched these areas out and relieved the tension, we need to hit save on the document. The following strength exercises will help strengthen the muscles of the posterior chain. When these muscles are strong, it helps protect the knee from excessive stress, wear, and tear.
Glute Bridge (9:13)
2 sets of 8 to 15 reps
This exercise is designed to help strengthen the glute musculature (your butt). When performing this exercise, you may also feel a stretch on the front of the thigh, which is great! However, one area you should not feel this stretch is in the lower back. Check out the video to see how it’s done.
Feel Elevated Bridge (9:38)
2 sets of 5 to 10 reps
This particular exercise will look a lot like an inverted glute bridge, however the emphasis is on the hamstrings (back of thigh). Again, you may feel a stretch on the front of the thigh, as well as activation of the glutes. However, no tension should be on the calves or lower back. This one is tricky and may take some practice. For a more in depth look, check out the video!