Medical conditions linked to activities, like Golfer's Elbow, Tennis Elbow and Runner's Knee, are intriguing. The human body is designed to perform an abundance of motions and movements, so blaming an activity for elbow or knee pain creates a convenient scapegoat for not doing what our bodies were meant to do.
Have you ever approached the starting line of a 5K race or a marathon and been overcome with fear because you experienced knee pain on your last few training runs. The discomfort wasn't really bad, but you got it checked out. The diagnosis: Runner's Knee.
You were probably told that you increased your mileage too quickly, ran too much every week, or simply need new shoes. But are those things really responsible? I'm pretty sure both knees ran the same number of miles, increased their mileage at the same time, and that both feet wore the same shoes.
When clients come in with "Runner's Knee," I enjoy getting them to think outside of the box about their condition. When they do so, they often realize that the source of their pain is not where it hurts. Usually the root cause of the pain is somewhere else in the body. Remember the old song about the knee bone being connected to the thigh bone? There's actually a lot of truth there.
The body follows a 90-degree rule. A side view should show a vertical line running through the ear, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle, as in the illustration. A front or back view should show horizontal lines running through the middle of the shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. Essentially all the joints line up on the grid, and if there is any deviation, chronic pain is either present or right around the corner. Once the structural integrity of the body is compromised, you are operating on borrowed time.
So the reason your knee hurts is actually because its structural integrity has been compromised, and it's doing a job it was not designed to do. It has less to do with how far you're running, how often you run or what shoes you wear.
So what's the secret to eliminating pain in the knee (and incidentally the low back, neck, hip and plantar fasciitis)? Restoring your body to its original design blueprint. The following exercises balance the body, restore full range of motion in the load joints and eliminate pain. However, they can achieve these results only if you perform the exercises. That's the key: to fix your condition, you have to work at it.
The following exercises need to be done daily to realign the body and keep it balanced. At minimum, they should be completed prior to an activity—running, golf, lifting weights, kickboxing class, etc.
Sets/Time: 1x5 minutes
Sets/Time: 1x1 minute each side
Sets/Reps: 1x40 each direction
Contact the Egoscue Nashville clinic via email at email@example.com or by phone at 615.771.8556 with any questions you may have.
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