Increase Your Ankle Mobility
Ankle mobility is a massive factor affecting squatting mechanics. If you are lacking in this department, the deeper you squat down the more trouble you will be in. The main consequence will be your knees caving inwards and heels lifting off the ground. Both of these movement patterns increase pressure on the knees and are associated with knee pain when squatting. Further, these movement dysfunctions along with ankle stiffness are a factor in several of the most common conditions causing knee pain.
- A lack of ankle mobility is a risk factor for patellar tendonitis. Athletes who have limited ankle flexibility are worse at absorbing impact during jump landings.1 This leads to more stress on the knee joint as time goes on.
- Those with knee arthritis tend to have flatter feet and squat with their feet turned out. Both of these undesirable foot positions are commonly caused by poor ankle range of motion.2 Patients with patellar arthritis exhibit 20% less ankle mobility than healthy individuals.3 Furthermore, approximately 73% of knee osteoarthritis patients have signs of arthritis behind their kneecap.4 Knee pain when squatting is one of the most common complaints associated with knee arthritis. Loosening up the ankles could help improve knee function thereby reducing arthritis-related knee pain.
How To Fix Knee Pain From Tendonitis
The best way to go about fixing your knee pain from tendonitis is to simply reduce your training load. What I’d suggest though is for you to play around with decreasing various components of your lower body workout.
Then, by cutting out this component, you will begin to experience relief from the knee pain. You can also still continue to train at sufficient volumes to allow your tendons to heal and strengthen.
Suggestions for components to reduce:
As an alternative, you can replace your regular squats with other exercises that dont stress the knee as much.
Knee Pain During Squats Heres How To Prevent It Moving Forward
One of the most common joints in the body that we see is the knee. Besides shoulder and low back, the knee is a common area for injury ranging from a tweak/twinge to something needing surgical intervention.
With knee pain, we often hear that lunging and squatting are painful for our athletes and clients. There can be various reasons for knee pain during squats and lunges, ranging from a limited hip or ankle mobility to exercise technique.
For the brevity of todays post, we are going to go into some unorthodox options on how to train legs and lower body. These exercises are designed to avoid and prevent knee pain during squats and lunges.
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/7small Tweaks That Can Help
Needless to say that to stay fit and get in shape, it is vital to train every muscle of your body. But when it comes to leg day, most people share a love-hate relationship with it. Reason being the nasty knee pain.
Its not uncommon to feel a twinge in your knees while performing lunges or squats. Leg body weight exercises put a lot of pressure on the knees, causing discomfort and pain. However, this excuse is not enough to forgo the leg day.
How To Avoid Knee Pain When Squatting
How low can you go?For as long as your knees allow you to. Squat is a fundamental movement that everyone does, regardless if youre living a sedentary or an active lifestyle.
You squat down to pick up things on the floor when cleaning and you squat to grow your Gluteus Maximus for the gains. Theres NO other way around it: Humans have to squat.
However, its common to feel discomfort when squatting. Its not something to fret over, but there are some measures you can take to prevent or lessen pressure on the knees.
Fitness experts say the root cause of knee pain when squatting is bad form. Were going to breakdown everything to find out how you can squat properly without compromising your body.
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Hpcs How To: Proper Squat Form To Avoid Injury
Do you experience pain while in a squatting position either during exercise or throughout the day, when simply squatting down to pick up toys or to lift a box? Discomfort may happen under your kneecap or in other parts of the joint, depending on the cause. If youve experienced some trauma to your knee, call us to schedule an appointment to rule out serious situations. If youre simply having some general pain when you squat, you may try adjusting your squat form at home with these simple tips provided by our Head of Physiotherapy Department, Registered Physiotherapist, Brett Lyons.
Remember, one of the keys to successful rehabilitation is quality, not quantity. Proper movement patterning in physiotherapy is crucial for full recovery from an injury. Just like learning any new activity, motor relearning requires concentration and focus to get it right. Sometimes less is more.
What are some causes of knee pain?
What/how is this diagnosed?
PFPS is diagnosed clinically through both subjective interviewing and a number of clinical tests. Pain-provoking movements are typically assessed by the clinician and repeated after correction of patellar movement. If there is a reduction in the pain with correction, it is often an indication that the pain is caused by PFPS. Improper tracking of the patella can also be seen on x-ray, and is often diagnosed using a skyline view x-ray.
What are some treatments offered by HPCs practitioners for the pain?
If You Get Knee Pain Doing Squats Here Are 8 Smart Modifications To Try
Doing squats can be a great way to strengthen your leg muscles and build your glutes. But this common exercise move is often known to cause knee pain for a lot of people. Sometimes, knee pain from squatting can stem from improper posture, or it can be the result of the way your knees are shaped. If you’re experiencing knee pain while doing squats, you don’t have to abandon this beloved exercise forever. Here’s what experts recommend as smart modifications to traditional squats and different tools or equipment that you can try to achieve similar results.
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Reduce The Weight You Are Lifting
Instead of complete rest, you need to consider relative rest. This means that you dont stop squatting, instead you just reduce the weight you are lifting. By reducing the weight lifted, you reduce the load placed through the sensitive area.
You need to aim for a weight that you can currently tolerate. It might take some trial and error to find. Generally, to avoid another flare up, it is best to start off lighter and build up to find the suitable weight.
Use Elastic Resistance Bands
A good old elastic resistance band can go miles in helping you maintain good posture while also relieving stress on your knees while doing squats. With the addition of an elastic band placed around the knees , you can encourage more activation from your glute muscles while you squat, therefore taking pressure off of your knees.
“This can be accomplished by putting an elastic band around the knees while you squat,” explains personal trainer Bill Daniels. “This will create a subconscious reaction to push the knees out, which activates the stabilizers in the hip and often can alleviate knee pain.”
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Wrongly Performed Exerciseis Most Commonly Causing Knee Pain While Squatting
If there is a pain in the knees of a child or adult when squatting rather than getting up, the reason is probably the wrong exercise performance. When engaging in physical culture, you need to ensure that your knees are facing forward while parallel to your legs.
When doing squats or lunges, especially with a load, you should not bend the knee at a sharp angle because in that case, a large load is obtained and there is a high risk of knee injuries and pain.
Prevention: Avoiding Knee Pain When Squatting
So what can we do now to hopefully prevent knee pain and keep squatting in the future?
At the end of the day, the best thing we can do as powerlifters is load management. Keep in mind, however, that even if we track everything properly that pain can still occur.
For a powerlifter who wants to squat, load management primarily comes from their own programming. Lets take a look at some things you can do.
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So How Do I Make Knee Pain Go Away
Get VERY friendly with stretching and strengthening because theyre both going to become big parts of your life if you want to cut runners knee off at thewell, knees.
Recovering from runners knee is about “retraining the way that you move” and coming up with modifications that will allow you to go easy on your knees, says Meghan Cass, DPT, a physical therapist in Columbus, Ohio. And the best way to do that is with physical therapy.
Once a therapist has pinpointed the aggravating factorlike stiff ankles or the intensity of your exercise regimenshe can create a rehabilitative routine, says Cass. This might include modifying where you run or how deeply you lunge and squat.
You’ll also do moves that will strengthen your core and your inner thighs, or stretch your calves, in an effort to better position your knee for physical activity. A PT might also encourage you to mix different types of workouts into your regular routine, says Carter, such as yoga or swimming to replace a running or squatting session.
These methods wont act like vaccines though, Carter warns. Youll need continuous doses of knee-strengthening exercises to keep the pain from coming back.
And extra TLC, like icing the knee for 20 minutes, might also help, says Cass.
The Takeaway For Knee Pain When Squatting
I hope this was able to help you pinpoint what exactly might be causing your knee pain during squats.
As I always emphasize, its absolutely vital that you pay close attention to how exactly you perform your exercises in order to prevent injuries overtime and to progress faster. I personally could have prevented a lot of injuries and set backs had I applied this when I first started lifting.
And if youre looking for a complete evidence-based program thats fully equipped with in-depth tutorials for each and every movement…
…then click the button below to take the free body type analysis quiz I have up in order to discover what program is best for you:
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Reason #: Meniscus Problems
Problems with the meniscus in your knee joint are a common cause of knee pain from squatting. In fact, Ive experienced this type of knee pain from squats.
This pain is usually caused by small tears in the meniscus, a disc of cartilage that sits between your femur and tibia and absorbs shock and pressure in the knee .
A major meniscus tear can be a serious problem that requires surgery, but a minor or microtear can simply cause pain and irritation during certain movements like say, during squats.
The pain is typically felt on the medial side of your knee, and often it feels like your knee joint suddenly locks or catches with pain as you squat.
I have a slight meniscus tear and find the pain comes and goes randomly. I find my knee will just click into place and then I wont have any problems for months until something clicks back out of place.
One exercise that helps keep meniscus issues from causing me pain and interrupting my squats are SB Leg Curls.
This technique will help provide stability to the knee by strengthening the hamstrings as they flex at the knee and extend at the hip. Youll feel stronger and more stable at the knee joint by incorporating this move into your routine, especially since the hamstrings are often weak relative to the quads.
SB Leg Curls
The Right Way To Squat To Avoid Knee Pain While Squatting
For instance, when you go to search for something into a low cupboard, clutch the ledge and sit down, utilizing the muscles in your arms and posterior for bringing down and pulling yourself up.
In the event that squatting this way is still excruciating, place a seat before the cupboard where you need to get something. Coming to the floor from a seated position is less unpleasant than on the knees.
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Find An Adjustable Desk
While chairs are usually adjustable, they are often limited in how far up or down they can go. If you are a bit taller or shorter than average, this can cause problems since youd still be putting yourself in an awkward position. Sometimes, you may find yourself in a pickle where if you keep your legs in the correct position, you may be putting stress on your neck because your monitor isnt at eye level, or vice versa.
An electric height adjustable gaming desk is a great investment to maintain the correct posture throughout. A lot of gaming equipment is designed to provide gamers comfort and support for the long periods they spend in one place.
With easy controls, you can adjust the height of the desk surface to accommodate your height and posture so you can be comfortable, and avoid knee pain while sitting.
The Flexispot adjustable desk also comes with a carbon fiber textured top that is resistant to water and stains, and also keeps your equipment in place. There is also a curved ergonomic desktop, which matches your body more naturally than the rectangular desks youd find traditionally. This provides extra support to your elbows and wrists.
In todays world, where most tasks are done on computers, knee pain is becoming an increasingly common problem. Though there are ways to cure it, it is always best to prevent the issue than to go through the trouble of curing it later.
Switch To Low Bar Squats
This might sound like an odd recommendation at first. What does bar position have to do with knee pain?
Due to the lower bar placement in a low bar squat you wont get as much forward knee travel in this variation as you would with either a high bar squat or a front squat. For most individuals this limited forward knee travel abates some of their pain symptoms. This isnt an instant fix for your knee pain, just a small quality of life adjustment that can hopefully make squatting more tolerable.
Additionallydont get this twisted that forward knee travel is either A. Bad for your knees or B. The cause of your knee pain. Its not. Too many internet sources quote your knees going past your toes on certain exercises as the reason to why you have knee pain. This is incorrect and outdated. While thankfully slowly starting to die, this is still a narrative that exists and is readily pushed, and I dont want you coming off this article thinking Coach Matt said my knees cant go past my toesthey can, and your knees wont explode if you do sopromise.
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How Can I Prevent Getting A Knee Injury While Squatting
The debates around warming up and recovering from a heavy session will rage on long after youve finished reading this article. But Nick says properly preparing yourself through consistent warm-up exercises, proper recovery techniques and isolated leg muscles exercises will give you the best chance of remaining injury free.
Nick says: Theres a fancy word I hear a lot, which sport scientists like to use to impress their athletes called Mechanotransduction. Basically, it means lightly loading the body before a workout. I strongly recommend taking this on board. Before your set of squats, try removing all or most of the weight and warming the muscles up with a light load.
Effective recovery techniques are also so important for avoiding injury, Nick adds. I recommend avoiding ice baths as this will diminish training adaptations. But do try compression garments, stay hydrated, active rest techniques and nutrition supplements to support effective recovery.
Further isolated strength training can help too, particularly with symptoms in the knee. Any increased quad strength helps spread the load across a bigger surface area, putting less pressure on the knee joint when performing the squat lift, Nick concludes.
If youre still getting little niggles despite taking on all of the above, its worth rethinking your training plan and making small adjustments to sets, reps, weights, rest time, frequency and types of exercise.
Squat Alternative: Box Squats
- Look for a CrossFit jump box thats fourteen or fifteen inches tall. Feel free to adjust the box as you please to make it suitable for you. Ideally, your thighs should be under the knee-level when you reach the bottom of your squat.
- Do the box squat without plates first, so you can get comfortable without the movement. After 1 set of 10 rep, put the box in a squat rack. Position your feet a bit wider than the usual hip-width distance.
- Ensure your toes are rotated out in between fifteen to thirty degrees, depending on what youre most comfortable with,
- Start the movement by breaking with your hips. Push your knees out as you sit back. You do not have to push your knees out in exaggeration, kneecaps should be parallel with your toes.
- Touch the box with your butt. Do not plop.
- When going back up, squeeze your glutes at the top.
- 3 sets at 10-15 repetitions for your workout.
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