Two Major Causes Of Inner Knee Pain & How To Address Them
Inner knee pain is quite common among people with the lifestyle we live today. We are a lot more sedentary than in the past and we sit around a LOT more! Because of this, certain muscles get weak in our body, while other things get tight. Without us correcting these imbalances by doing inner knee pain exercises, problems can persist.
These imbalances can then get worse and throw our whole body out of wack.
How A Weak Gluteus Medius Leads To Inner Knee Pain
One muscle that VERY commonly gets weak from us sitting too much is our Gluteus Medius muscle. This muscle is located at the side of our hip.
The Gluteus Medius has a major role in bringing our leg sideways away from our body, as well as stabilizing our pelvis. Strength in this muscle is CRUCIAL when we have 1 leg supporting our whole body weight. This occurs repeatedly when walking and running. When weakness in this muscle occurs, problems result.
When this muscle is weak, our knees cave inwards. This is bad because when this happens, the inner part of our knee is stretched, while the outer part is compressed. Because we may take THOUSANDS of steps a day, you can see how this happening repeatedly isn’t too good.
Because this knock kneed position while walking or running leads to inner knee pain, we want to exercise the Gluteus Medius correctly. Working out this muscle correctly will help greatly in escaping this bad position. Unfortunately, most people do not know how to do this.
Before I go into how to workout this muscle, let’s talk about a 2nd common cause of inner knee pain. This cause in fact results from Gluteus Medius weakness!
How A Tight Iliotibial Band Leads To Inner Knee Pain
Remember how I said the Gluteus Medius acts to bring your leg sideways away from your body?
Well, there is another muscle that does the same thing. This muscle is only meant to play a minimal role in that function, however.
When the Gluteus Medius is weak, this muscle can do more work than it was meant to.
This muscle is called the Tensor Fasciae Latae. It is another hip muscle and it attaches to a fibrous structure called the Iliotibial Band.
In the picture above, the pink part is the Tensor Fasciae Latae muscle. The white part that comes off it and travels down to the knee is your Iliotibial Band (IT Band).
When the Tensor Fasciae Latae is overworking, it can pull on your IT Band more. Because your IT Band has attachments to your knee cap, your knee cap then gets pulled on. This pulling can then lead to inner knee pain over time.
Because of this, you will not only want to strengthen a weak Gluteus Medius, but stretch out a tight IT Band as well! So let’s get to it!
Inner Knee Pain Exercises For A Weak Gluteus Medius
In order to correctly workout the Gluteus Medius muscle, you will want to do exercises with ONE leg! This will effectively stress the Gluteus Medius muscle.
One of the great inner knee pain exercises to do for this muscle is side lying leg raises. Simply lay on your side with your bottom leg bent and your top leg straight. Then raise your top leg up slow and down slow. If this is too easy for you, use an ankle weight. Do this exercise 3 times for 8-12 repetitions per set.
In the video below, I will explain exactly how to do this and recap everything I discussed above.
(Thumbnail Image From © pankajstock123 / Fotolia)
Besides side lying leg raises, there are other inner knee pain exercises you can do. Doing single leg squats with good form will workout the Gluteus Medius. Lunges will work too. However, REMEMBER to do them with good form! Do not let your knees cave in!
By strengthening your Gluteus Medius from the above inner knee pain exercises, you will better align your knees. This will help to prevent inner knee pain.
Inner Knee Pain Exercises To Stretch Your Iliotibial Band
Because the Iliotibial Band (IT Band) pulls on the knee when it gets tight, you will want to stretch it and loosen it.
The first thing to do will be to stretch it, which I will demonstrate in the video below. In this video, I will also be showing other stretches you can do for knee pain in general.
(Thumbnail Image From © decade3d / Fotolia)
Another of the inner knee pain exercises you will want to do to loosen the IT Band will be to massage it out. Although many people use a foam roller, I demonstrate in another video below using a tool that is arguably easier to utilize. While with a foam roller you will need to get on the ground to roll your IT Band out, you can massage your IT Band with a Theracane while you are sitting down.
In this video here, I will show how to use a Theracane to massage a tight IT Band.
(Thumbnail Image From © jodieadams / Fotolia)
Not only is the Theracane good for massaging your IT Band, but it is also AMAZING for massaging your upper back.
If you would like to learn more about it, I wrote an article on the Theracane here you can check out.
In Conclusion Of Inner Knee Pain Exercises You Should Do
Essentially, you want to strengthen your Gluteus Medius muscle and stretch your IT Band.
Doing these 2 things will go a long way towards preventing inner knee pain. Although these things may not fix inner knee pain on everyone, they should help out significantly.
If you still have knee pain despite doing the above things, I recommend you see someone in person like a physical therapist to check you out further. By being examined in person, they should be able to more-so pinpoint what is going on in your body.
Try out the above inner knee pain exercises though and let me know how it works for you!