Preventing and Treating (most) Knee Pain

Knee pain. It does not discriminate. I’m by no means an expert on knee pain, but I’ve accumulated some tips and tricks over the years that I’d love to share with you. These are assuming that, if you’re a biker, you’ve had your bike fit or at least tried adjusting your seat height a few times, and if you’re a runner or hiker, you’ve found a pair of shoes that fit correctly. Here are the main points, but check out my video for exercise demonstrations and more in-depth explanations:

  1. (Video time 0:55) Knee pain that is relatively gradual in onset (there was no direct injury to the knee) may be due to weak glutes, tight muscles and IT band, or a combination of the two that result in poor kneecap tracking (also known as “patellofemoral syndrome” or “runner’s knee”). Let me stress, this is not your fault! I was embarrassed when my physical therapist told me that my glutes weren’t strong enough, but when I finally accepted it and did the exercises, my knee pain did go away. So, it’s okay that you aren’t perfect.
  2. Start with RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. This is a general rule for all musculoskeletal injuries.
  3. (1:35) Exercises (start with 3×10 one or two times daily) to strengthen weak glutes include:
  4. (4:00) RollingFoam rollers are cheap, portable, and great after a workout and before bed.
  5. (4:40) PRE-WORKOUT ROUTINE: I like doing a few of the exercises before my workouts (and races) to activate the muscles I need to keep my knee happy. Also, this isn’t related to knee pain, but core strengthening is undervalued and just a few abs or rolls with the ab wheel before a workout will help you engage your core and breathe with your diaphragm during the workout!
  6. (5:15) Stretching: Figure 4, runner’s lung, hamstring stretch, and pigeon are good ones.

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