Treating knee problems at Westcoast SCI
Several weeks ago, I had a physio session focusing on my knee pain with Peter Dastych. Knee pain is a common complaint among people of all ages, and athletes performing many sports. My knee problem bothers me from time to time and sometimes stops me from running. Typically it comes on my left knee after running, or when the weather gets cold.
Peter ran an assessment on both my knees at the beginning of the session. He told me that knee pain is a common problem for active people, though sharing similar symptoms, the causes for each could be very different. Treatments and therapeutic exercises at Westcoast SCI are customized for each patient, depending on their conditions. If you have similar problems with me, you may find the following exercises helpful, but I strongly recommend you to consult a physiotherapist.
The result of my assesment shows tightened quad muscles are the major contributor to my knee pain(read more about patellofemoral pain). In this case, relaxing and stretching my thigh is the way to help with it. Methods showing below are supposed to be pain-free, if it hurts when you are trying, stop and consult your healthcare professionals.
Patella glide/kneecap glide
Push the kneecap towards the inside/outside, upward/downward until there's visible movement of the patella, hold for a few seconds and relax. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
Assisted quad stretch
Use a resistance band on a foot to create a distraction, and hold the other end of the band across the opposite shoulder. Contract quadricep of a few seconds, breath out and relax. Repeat on both legs.
Foam rolling quad
Start in a planking position, with a foam roller under your thigh. It can be very sore so distribute your weight evenly at the beginning, and gently apply pressure to the roller. Go back and forth, search for tender spots, stay a few seconds when you find one. Don't smash directly on where your knee and thigh join, focus on the quadriceps.
Since tightened quadriceps are the major contributing factor of my knee problem, Peter introduced me this method. Apply downward pressure to where my kneecap and thigh join, glide the patella down to stretch the muscles while relaxing the quadricep with that pressure.
I recently started boxing, the beginner's footwork practice created loads of pressure on my knees. As expected, my left knee started to hurt after about one-hour training almost every time. I tried to do the stretches on my thigh, as well as the knee mobilization exercises. They amazingly worked, after mobilizing my knee cap the pain stopped, and with these effective cool down exercises I can walk out of the gym with comfort and ease.
Again, this method may or may not work for you. Pain is a signal that your body gives, when you can feel it, it's probably a good time to consult professionals.