Why knees are painful

I got weak knees.
– Really?
Yes, if I’m not careful they hurt.
– You knees hurt because your knees are weak?

This may not always be the case for everyone, in fact really it is the tight leg muscles that equal knee pain! As long as your knee pain is not from trauma, such as an accident, then it is from tight muscles and muscle imbalances.

If muscles are too tight and weak, then you may feel pain in your knees, the cause can be doing activities out of the ordinary for your body, an increase in activity, or overly used leg muscles (repetitive movements, such as cycling and running). How many pedal strokes per mile? We will figure you pedal with an average cadence of 90 RPM’s and you ride 20 miles in an hour – a good average speed. 90 revolutions X 60 minutes = 5,400 revolutions of EACH leg for each hour of cycling. How many hours does it take you to do your longest ride – how long do you take to stretch and assist your muscles in recovery afterward? (beer does not count here!)

Remember the quads and hamstrings have many tendons that hold the knee together. Often times when these muscles get too tight they pull on the tendons. Think of your muscles as rubber bands and your tendons as strings – as you pedal the rubber bands can stretch and come back easily, but as the rubber band tightens they then pull on the strings which can not stretch. This in turn causes friction in the joint, which causes pain.

photo by Jay Bergesen www.flickr.com/photos/jaybergesen/

The best cure for this is NOT to mask the pain with BenGay, cortisone shots, knee braces – but to loosen up the tight muscles that are actually causing the tightness. Muscle length tension relationships are essential to muscle recruitment, meaning that if your muscles are too tight then that muscle is not firing on all cylinders and you are not performing at your optimal.

The tighter a muscle becomes, the more inactive it tries to be, causing other muscles to engage more to compensate. When this happens the chance of an injury occurring is increased. Injuries take months to recovery from. So, what is the number 1 way to keep improving in any sport? Prevent injury!

Stretching, massage, and self myofascial release are ways to prevent this from happening.
Massage and myofascial release are the best ways to loosen up tight muscles and stop the pain.
Check out my increased Flexibility program.

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