By the looks of things this blog is turning into an anti-doctor self help blog but there is a reason for this- the main idea behind the blog is “personalised fitness”. This means understanding what you want to achieve in your physical aspirations, understanding how to get there and keeping you there. Ingrained amongst this is how to stay injury free and also what to do if you suffer an injury. An injury could be anything from a pulled hamstring to a ruptured meniscus and anything in between, regardless of what you may have you need to know the right way to get back on track.
Now to address the title and what I mean by it. If you go to the doctor for a painful knee 9 times out of 10 you will told two things. 1) to take these painkillers and 2) to not use the knee in question. This, on the surface, seems like good advice because you have a solution to the problem. But the solution is a short term one. The fix is passive and will NOT solve your issue. Here’s why. Much like the depression article I posted a couple of weeks ago your knee injury is like a fire alarm. You can either put the fire out or wear some ear muffs. Both fix the issue but in different ways. One is active (putting the fire out) another is passive (wearing ear muffs). One is long term. one is short term. When your trusted doctor gives you painkillers and tells you not to use the knee- that is a passive,short term fix. You are using ear muffs to counteract a very real fire. Very soon you will be burned.
This is the human knee. This joint is often the one that causes people the most pain but to fix it you need to be smart.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
This quote sums up exactly how to solve the problem of knee pain. For you to solve this problem you need to look beyond the knee.
The knee is a simple joint by comparison- it is a hinge joint with quadriceps on the anterior side and hamstrings on the posterior. So chances are that you need to look above and below the knee… at the hip and ankle joint. These are much more complex joints as they are ball and socket joints and are connected to a huge variety of muscles and tendons. Now you have identified the source of the problem, you need to understand what the problem is.
To do so I recommend following the practises of Dr Aaron Horschig, a renowned physiotherapist, and perform a two legged body weight squat and a single legged body weight squat. If you are having pain expressed the knee then there will be an issue with your technique. It may be a slight knee waver, it may be a lack of flexibility in the ankle. Whatever it is you go about it the same way. You need to be both passive and active in your approach.
The passive part will start with an analysis of your pain on a scale of 1 to 10. Anything over a 6 and you should stop the movement that causes the pain, and anything under a six you can carry on. You may need to consider squatting with less depth, or simplifying things with a box squat. Whatever you use make sure it is tailored to your specific problem- do not lose sight of the idea of “personalised fitness”.
The active part will be based around corrective exercises to fix the issue. For example, after you did the single and doubled legged squat and you found a knee waver- do some banded squats. For limited ankle mobility you can use a 6-inch wall test. Whatever it happens to be simply do it until the problem is fixed. Its simple.
This way of fixing things is not the accepted method in modern medicine, but that does not mean it is not the most effective. Happily there are some practitioners and physical therapists who use the method I have described with great success, but not nearly enough. Hopefully, with more articles like this, this method will become the standard and with readers like you it can definitely make it. If you need some more advice as to how to follow this method or what exercises to use then just message me, I am happy to help.