Ask an expert....knee pain

Hi, and thanks to Lesley for asking us to write this blog. I have really enjoyed answering some of your questions on the Wild Country Woman Facebook Page. Hopefully I can answer the rest here.

To introduce myself, my name is Gina Reinge and I run The Reinge Clinic with my husband Ian Reinge. I have a degree in Sports Science, an MSc in Sport and Health Sciences and an Advanced Diploma in Sports Therapy. I have worked in professional sport, as well as running my own clinic since 2006. I am hugely passionate about the body and want to help as many people as possible enjoy their preferred sport in a pain-free way!  

Back to the Blog, there have been few questions about knee pain. So I will try to tackle this below. 

Let’s start with the knee:

The knee is a complex structure and there are many reasons for pain, however, there are ways to limit your susceptibility to knee pain. The knee fundamentally likes to be aligned, when it comes out of alignment, pain inevitably occurs at some point. Therefore, most knee pains don’t originate in the knee. They often originate with the joint below or above. 

So, for example, let’s say you had a weak foot. This is likely to lead to the foot over-pronating when you run. A degree of pronation is totally normal when you run, in-fact we need it, but over-pronation, or excessive pronation is not. It causes the knee to drop in-wards, as shown in the picture. This will cause the knee to come out of alignment and it is this that causes the knee pain. In the example above, this is likely to cause hip problems as well. When the knee drops in, the body tries to correct the situation, so the gleuts fire to try to pull the knee back to a straight position. Over time this can cause the tendons of the muscles that attach around the outside of the knee to rub and inflame. Often known as ITB syndrome.

Another example of where the knee can be harmed is when your core is weak. This often leads to the pelvis tipping forward. It tips forward because the muscles of the front of the leg, such as the hip flexors and quadriceps muscles are too tight. When the quadriceps muscles are too tight, they can pull on the attachment point, which is just below the knee. This causes rubbing, inflammation and pain.So, the way to correct these issues is to ensure the knee is aligned properly. In the first case you would strengthen the foot, loosen the hips and then check the firing patterns down the line and retrain as needed. In the second case you would loosen and stretch the quadriceps and strengthen the core and gleut muscles.  I hope that helps. 

You can find out more about the Reinge clinic treatments and courses here.