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Why Your Hips May Be The Key To Fixing Your Knees

Posted on April 17, 2020

If you’ve been suffering from knee pain for any period of time, and it seemed to come out of nowhere, then I have a little insight to where your solution lies. I would expect that you could figure out from the title of this post what I am going to talk about. What you may not be aware of is why the hips developed a problem.

So why are the hips so important to keep your knees healthy? The hips are a complex ball and socket joint that allows movement in every direction. While the knee is a simple hinge that simply bends and extends. Any weakness (particularly in a muscle group called the gluteus medius) causes a rotation force on a joint that does not rotate!

In the beginning, there really is no consequence to this increased stress in the knee. It could be days, weeks, or even months of stress until the knee finally becomes painful. So how does one put a finger on where this issue really came from?

The typical issue comes from tightness in another hip muscle (called the psoas). This muscle is otherwise known as the ‘hip flexor’. This muscle is a very unique one. It attaches to the front of the spine and runs to the front of the upper thigh, and this is very important, because as this muscle gets stiff from all of the sitting we do as a culture, it becomes tight as we stand upright, which in turn puts stress on the lower back. This stress on the lower back results in the nerve communication to the muscles of the hips getting interrupted, which leads to hip “weakness”.

After treating TONS of knee clients and assessing the hips to find the sources of these issues, I’ve found it really isn’t a true ‘weakness’, it could be better described as those muscle groups are ‘inhibited’. They aren’t able to fire in a normal way because the nerves that are telling them to fire are basically sending a ‘muffled’ signal.

This is critical to understand, because many people are beginning to realize the need to treat the hips to fix knee issues, so they jump straight to strengthening exercises of the hips. BIG MISTAKE! Why? Because you can’t ‘strengthen’ an ‘inhibited’ muscle. This means that the treatment of the knee needs to start with restoring the spine to health, and ‘normalize’ nerve communication with the muscles.

What we’ve found over and over is that you cannot strengthen an inhibited muscle. If you try to skip steps and attempt to train these inhibited muscles, your body will find shortcuts, or compensation patterns, to respond to the demand placed on it. The more you attempt to train these muscles, the more in-grained the compensation pattern becomes, and the further you are from moving the way you were intended, and the further you are from truly fixing the knee pain you are experiencing.

This all sounds complex, but I can assure you that we see this type of injury ALL THE TIME, and knee injuries respond to this approach to treatment quickly, and more successfully than any other approach available.

The beautiful part of this type of treatment is that it need not happen in person. We can check out these types of issues and prescribe the correct course of treatment right from your home through our virtual session.

Find out more about how to access a virtual session HERE.

 

 

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Trevor Field
Form & Function Physical Therapy
12067 Arrow Rte.
Rancho Cucamonga, CA, 91739 USA
888-619-2885