I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told that someone’s KNEE is messed up. Hundreds of times.
Is it really your KNEE?
Or could it be some muscles either above or below the knee that are causing misery and suffering for the joint?
8 times out of 10 I get almost instant relief by having the person either roll or scrub the quad. Quads are notoriously tight on nearly everyone, so I’m not kidding, if your knee is sore will you please just roll or scrub the quad?!
It is that easy.
That easy to eliminate the majority of the unhappy knees syndrome, which happens so frequently I have decided it deserves its own name:
Aaah. Now you can announce to friends, family, and innocent bystanders that you are suffering from an -itis! That makes it sound official, elicits sympathy, and adds a bit of mystery to the situation.
Please, just roll it out, or scrub it out, moving from side to side. Why won’t you?
This is my favorite response: “… it HURTS!”
What is below the skin?
I have been innundated lately with inside of the knee complaints, so let’s take a look at the inside of the knee anatomy and see exactly what might be a culprit. Look at the photo below:
There are actually three muscles that attach here, and I have color coded them so you can see where they are on the leg. The first one is the orange guy, the sartorius. This guy crosses the front of the quad amd attaches to the hip.
The second one in yellow is the gracilis which is an inside of the thigh muscle, or adductor.
The third and final guy in pink is actually a hamstring muscle, the semitendinosus. It is supposed to be one of three hamstrings to keep the quad balanced out, and from my last blog on hamstrings we know that that the inside and middle hamstrings seem to be classically overused.
So which of the three is causing the most problem? Hard to say. Let’s go after all of them! First on our list: scrub, scrub, scrub.
Remember how to scrub?
Go across the joint and try to release the tendon and fascia for 15 seconds. Don’t go much longer than that as you might irritate things joint-wise.
However, your knee joint only really feels the pressure of the tendons because the tendons have super tight muscle fibers tugging on them. Remember, muscles only have so many (as in limited) muscle fibers, and if they get tight, and you insist on moving, your muscle finds a way, and inevitably starts to tug on the place it attaches.
Wanna stop the tug? Wanna make the joint feel better?
Release the tightness in the muscle.
Then the tendon will stop tugging on the place it attaches- the joint, and the joint will stop hurting. (This is really a three point argument, because to then get a released muscle to stay released, you have to the ENGAGE another balancing muscle group to keep it relaxed….so quads balancing muscle is hamstrings, which I wrote about last time; and inside of thigh is balanced by outside of hip or glute which I talk about incessantly. I digress. 🙂
So in the case of the inside of the knee, I gave you the photos of the muscles on purpose. Trace where the fibers go, and get after them! Don’t focus on the white stuff for more than 15 seconds– roll or scrub the muscles themselves, and see if you get any “snappers” (where the muscle is so tight it feels as though it is snapping under the roller) to Leggo my Eggo.
Good luck and let us know how releasing the tightness in the muscles AROUND the knee goes in the comments below!
You are so right Laura! I can ‘fix myself’ now from almost any pain or knock, and I know if I had gone to the doc they would have spent thousands on MRI, some muscle relaxants, xrays etc…. when all I have needed to do since you showed me is to isolate the muscle problem and work it. It doesn’t FEEL great at the time (the ‘cure’- the rolling, the wall stand, the excercises), but relief is almost instant, totally free and can be done almost anywhere. You are very effective and efficient. I wish you had a tv show to spread the gospel of body mechanics. You are so good at what you do! Tiger Woods wishes!
Danni, Thank you as always for your very thoughtful reply. I love that you feel like you can fix almost anything anywhere! I have told many clients the story of your screw in your knee reversing itself and making the Phillips head visible under the skin many times. 🙂
So grateful that had a happy ending and that nothing stops you from running! Fantastic! 🙂
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