In my opinion, the biggest misconception about runner’s knee is that it is their quads that are the problem.
Yet why after stretching them and foam rolling them to death why is there no change in the knee pain?
The reason is two fold.
- Stretching and foam rolling the quads aren’t going to ellict the kinds of changes we require in the quads themselves.
- The quads aren’t the issue in the first place.
Yes, the quads are part of the problem but only in as much as they are causing the stress that is irritating the tissue around the patella. They are, though not the cause of the problem.
The Posterior Chain
Much more of an issue is what is going on in the posterior chain.
If we divide the leg into 4 equal parts we need each one to be doing 25% of the work. When you are suffering from runner’s knee this isn’t happening. The quads in this scenario are doing a lot more than 25% and getting fatigued as a result.
When a muscle gets fatigued it stiffens up.
We need the calf and hamstring to be working well to absorb a lot of the force created when the foot hits the ground. The glutes then have a chance to stabilise the hip and create a unit that is working to distribute the load well.
With runner’s knee, the quads do a lot of work the posterior chain should be doing. Vastus lateralis, the big one on the outside of the thigh, especially, takes a bit of a pasting here.
So how do we deal with it?
Yes, we want to address the quads and do what is needed to restore them to normal. Much more importantly the glutes, hamstrings, and calves need to be addressed.
Our 6 step system really helps to get to the bottom of what is going on. It allows us to find the real stressor and the treatment to focus on those areas that are the biggest issue.
If this sounds familiar to you then why not enquire about one of our FREE Discovery Visits and see how we can help you.