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Chronic Knee Pain

right knee

. . . one is to squeeze your legs to the inside and the other is, and I didn’t know this without doing some research, to internally rotate your leg.  So the next time you see Mike Tyson walking around all pigeon-toed, tell him to stretch our his groin muscles (okay I don’t actually know if that’s what causes people to walk that way, but it’s a fair inference).
If you sit in bed a lot your groin muscles (well, hell, pretty much all of your leg muscles) get really tight.  This makes sense if you think about it.  Sitting in a chair, whether you realize it or not, your legs are fidgeting all the time and you’re adjusting your sitting position (all in an unconscious effort to fight “muscle creep,” the stiffness that sets into a muscle that has been at rest for 20 minutes or more.  In a bed, your stock still for hours, legs totally immobilized right out in front of you.

And there you have it, the heretofore undiscovered connection between ITB syndrome, piriformis syndrome, and tight groin muscles–brought to light and put on the Internet by none other than a layman.

knee - front

Pain in the Front of the Knee.  I’m talking about patella tendonitis (sp?).  If you have pain that feels like it’s “inside” your knee, go see a doctor.  This is less complicated than pain on the outside of the knee.  I fixed it by doing three things.  Obviously, first implement RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and stop engaging in the activity that’s causing the pain.  Step two is to stretch the hell out of your hamstrings every day.  Okay, this isn’t the earth shattering advice you’ve come to expect from Floota.com so here’s the real deal. 

Pain in the front or back of your knee can, and often is, caused by (1) ankle immobility, (2) hip immobility, or (3) calf tightness.  Now, I’ve never had mobility issues in my hip so I’m not going to discuss that here.  For those of you who didn’t just close this page to Google “Hip mobilization exercises,” I know what the rest of you are thinking: “But I stretch my calves all the time”.  No, you stretch one muscle in your calf (the gastrocnemius); you’ve been ignoring the other major muscle in your calf, the one that causes knee pain if it’s tight, as it is in almost everyone, especially deskjockeys like you.  Meet the soleus.  It’s your knee’s worst nightmare when it’s tight, and yes, it can and does cause chronic knee pain in many individuals (including yours truly once upon a time).

popliteus knee

So that pretty much sums up my chronic knee pain article.  Stretch your hamstrings, use self-massage with a tennis ball on your soleus, take extra time to really dig the tennis ball into your popliteus, and stretch your soleus.  Oh, one last thing, if you have popping or noise in your knee, you have a kneecap-tracking problem (patella = kneecap).  You need to strengthen/activate part of your quadriceps muscle group called the vastus medialis oblique.  But that’s another article.

Consider using a foam roller on your thighs


Last Updated: 9/29/2008
Originally Posted: 4/7/2008