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Don’t Forget To Train The Hips For Knee Pain

Gary gray once said on one of his applied functional video digest series along the lines of “the knee is stuck between the foot and hip and often knee pain is a result of an issue further away”.  This has stuck with me since then and whenever I have someone come in for knee pain, whilst I will certainly assess and treat the site of injury, from a movement and rehab perspective, I will always check out the areas further afield to identify if their are any mobility, stability or control issues.  This concept also fits very well into the osteopathic philosophy of the “the body is a unit” and therefore it is imperative that we try to limit the reductionist view point that we as manual therapists often take when dealing with a person with an injury.

The article titled “Targeting The Hips To Help Prevent Anterior Knee Pain” which was published in the strength and conditioning journal in 2006 makes some great points and I thought I would highlight some of these below:

Anterior knee pain is very common and the causes are many.

Just training the quadriceps to help with anterior knee pain may not be the best solution.  Often there may be some weakness in the quadriceps which may require training, but this may only be part of the problem.

The hip plays a very important role with how the lower limb function as a whole and it is important to remember that the hip functions in all three planes of motion and from a rehab and strength and conditioning point of view, we must train it to function well in all three planes of motion in a functional manner.

The step down is a great exercise to assess ones ability to control the knee via the hip.

In the early phases of a rehab program, isolation exercises in a non weight bearing position may be a good starting point.   As the individual progresses it is important to get them into more functional positions such as standing and the many variations of movements we can perform from standing i.e. squat, lunge, single leg work, step up/down.

Exercise examples from non weight bearing/isolated –> Functional positions could include:

  • Side lying leg raise
  • Clam shells
  • Crab walk
  • Step up/down, Lunge, Squat
  • Single Leg Squat/Reach

Next time you have knee pain or have a client with knee pain, be sure to not forget to check the foot/ankle, hip and further afield to see if there are any mobility, stability or control issues that could be contributing to the the injury.

This blog post was written by osteopath Heath Williams at Principle Four Osteopathy.  At Principle Four Osteopath we provide a range of services, including osteopathy manual therapy consultations, functional movement screening, exercise prescription, strength and conditioning and rehabilitation.

Principle Four Osteopathy is one of Melbourne City CBD and Docklands leading osteopathy clinics.  Both clinics are equipped with training equipment so that we are able to get you actively involved and moving towards a better moving you.

Principle Four Osteopathy CBD clinic is located at 29 Somerset Place, Melbourne 3000.

Principle Four Osteopathy Docklands clinic is located at 717 Bourke St, Docklands, 3008.

Book an appointment online at www.principlefourosteopathy.com or call 03 9670 9290.