Knee pain is no fun! It keeps you from doing things that you could enjoy. So let’s find out why knees get crabby.
Muscles in your lower legs attach to your thighs and muscles in your upper legs attach to your lower legs.
Your knees are stuck right in the middle of all of these muscles and guess what!
Muscles are the most common cause of knee pain or any other type of pain.
Sometimes injuries cause knee pain. Here’s some information about that:
Knee pain can be caused by injury to the ligaments that attach bones to other bones. Sometimes they require surgery to repair. Ligaments are dense, tough tissue without much blood supply so they heal slowly but my understanding is that if it is not completely torn from the bone a ligament can heal over time. Lots of time.
Knee injury can also cause damage to tendons. Tendons are the ends of muscles that attach to bones. Like ligaments, they are also tough tissue that takes a long time to heal. If a tendon totally detaches from the bone it is supposed to attach to, it can create instability in a joint.
But lets assume that you do NOT have a knee injury–you haven’t fallen or been in an accident. But you DO have knee pain.
And what can you do to get rid of that nagging knee pain and start doing the things you’d like to do?
Lots of times the doctor will say pain in your knees is from ‘old age’ or ‘arthritis.’ Maybe it is but usually that means the doctor doesn’t really know why you have pain. Those are catch-all diagnoses. Kind of like Old Wives Tales. They don’t teach muscles much in med school.
This may be the real reason: Muscle imbalance in your legs.
Muscle imbalance means that some muscles are a bit ‘too tight’ and some are a bit ‘too weak.’ This happens from using some muscles too much and some too little.
We have over 600 muscles. Unfortunately, lots of times we get in habits or positions which use only 60 or so muscles on a regular basis.
But we were born to move! We are supposed to be using ALL of our muscles on a regular basis.
I know a man who had ligament damage in both knees from injuries. But as long as he kept his leg muscles strong he had little discomfort and could even walk stairs with no pain.
You can see where I’m going with this, right? 🙂
It may not be comfortable at first but you have to start using your leg muscles again. They don’t have to be big movements right off the bat. Little movements are just fine to help your leg muscles remember how they used to move–how they are supposed to move.
I’d like to tell you about my friend, Rosalie. She didn’t have knee pain but she had hip pain. She couldn’t even walk up her stairs. She had to crawl like a puppy. 🙁
But she got better! Her legs got stronger! Now she’s a heck of a walker and it’s all because she took the first steps to walking. She took baby steps.
And you can get better, too! But you have to start moving.
You have to take those baby steps.
Are you sitting on the couch or at the computer? How about doing some circles with your feet? (Uses all the muscles in your lower leg.) How about lifting your lower leg with your toes curled toward your nose? (That strengthens your shin muscles.)
Or when you are standing at the sink how about lifting one foot at a time behind you? The weight of your lower leg is all the weight you need to start building strength in your thigh.
Or maybe you could march in place? Hold the wall if you need support. It’s okay.
Do your knees hurt when you walk up the stairs? Use your calf muscles. Push up from your toes.
Does it hurt to walk down the stairs? Hold the handrail and walk backwards. (That uses your leg muscles in a different way.)
The idea is…get moving. Help your muscles wake up and let them feel useful and happy again.
These little steps can help you get on the road to bigger and bigger steps and pretty soon, know what? You will notice less and less pain in your knees.
And walking is a great way to strengthen your leg muscles. Remember Rosalie? That’s what she did and that’s how she got rid of her hip pain and the neuropathy (numbness) in her feet and increased her lung capacity! (Her pulmonary doctor was amazed about that!)
I’d like to invite you to discover how to walk without pain (<– click here) like Rosalie did so you can have strong legs, too. Strong leg muscles take the pressure off knees. They work so your knee joint doesn’t have to.
By strengthening your upper and lower legs there’s a great chance that you can get rid of your knee pain naturally!