How common is knee pain?
According to the Center for Orthopedic Neurosurgical Care & Research:
- Almost 1 million knee replacement surgeries are performed annually in the United States.
- By 2030, total knee replacement surgeries are projected to grow 673% to 3.5 million procedures per year.
- About 60% of all knee replacement operations are performed on women.
So if you’re someone who experiences knee pain, let’s face it… you aren’t alone! At Bendable Body knee pain is one of the most common complaints new clients come to us with. Often times they are afraid to exercise and worry that they will make the pain worse. Maybe you can relate…
How is knee pain experienced?
Knee pain can be sharp, dull, chronic or intermittent. People experience knee pain in 1 of 7 locations:
- Front of knee cap
- Back of knee
- Inside of knee (inner knee)
- Outside of knee
- Front inside of knee
- Front outside of knee
- In the joint itself
Knee pain can show up in a variety of situations:
- Sitting (and driving)
- Walking (and running)
- In a general way no matter what you’re doing
- Working out and recreational exercises: cycling, squatting, tennis, basketball, skiing
So the question is: how to fix knee pain?
If you’re wondering how to stretch the knee, the knee tendons, or what some stretches for back of knee tightness are… we have a new way for you to think about your knee pain and how to address it.
First of all, if your knee hurts… don’t stretch or strengthen it directly. In fact, stay away from it. We know this is not the normal prescription, but that’s because most techniques don’t factor in the fascia!
The muscles that are at the root of knee pain are the 3 hamstrings and the quads to a degree. At Bendable Body we know that if muscles are 'working' optimally then joints overwork and ultimately hurt. When we talking about a muscle working optimally we are referring to the muscle's flexibility, strength and alignment. These three things go hand and hand and can't be separated from one another.
The most common ways to address knee pain are through strength training, joint adjustments and end range stretching. None of these work because they don't get to the root cause of why the muscles are weak and non-participatory in the first place.
What is the root cause: it's your FASCIA. Over time your fascia becomes hard, dense and unbendable. It strangulates muscles and keeps them from doing their job to move your body around. So your joints (in this case your knee joint) over works to move your body and ultimately experiences wear and tear, loss of cartilage and pain.
You can't fix your fascia through any of the methods mentioned above (strength training, end range stretching or joint adjustments.) In fact, these approaches could make it worse. To address your fascia you need a method that does just that. At Bendable Body our stretches are designed to target unhealthy fascia and protect the nearby joint... so there's no pain and only improvement to pain levels and muscle weakness and inflexibility.
The best stretches for knee pain.
There are a number of Bendable Body fascia focused stretches you can do for knee pain, but the most helpful target the central hamstring. One problem people have when their knees hurt is they have a hard time kneeling down for anything - what to speak of stretching. In this video we show you some stretches that don't require that you kneel... but in no time will have your knees feeling so good you just might be able to!