Knee pain can be a big hindrance for the athlete or weekend warrior and is something that can be annoyingly common in the fitness world. One thing we tend to see at R3 Fitness is a knee valgus which is where the knees collapse inward towards the midline of the body, or “knock knees”. This collapse puts a strain on the alignment of the lower body and can cause a myriad of issues such as: meniscus tearing, ligament damage, arthritis and patellar knee tracking as well as causing a host of other issues involving the back and hips.
Some of the issues that may put someone into a valgus position can be from anterior tilting of the pelvis or may come from a flat arch of the feet causing the alignment of the legs to adduct inwards. Sometimes a knee valgus can stem from structural issues of bone and joint formation such as genetics, osteoarthritis, rickets, etc. In such cases, the issues stemmed from knee collapse most likely cannot be fixed but certainly knee alignment can be improved upon to create a better pattern.
Here are 4 ways we can help improve knee valgus and hopefully clear up some knee issues that may prevent you from hitting those goals you’ve set for yourself!
1) A foam roll is a fantastic tool that can apply pressure to the inner adductor which may alleviate symptoms of knee pain by releasing muscle tension. Foam rolling especially before a movement that requires movement in the knee and lower body extremity can improve your pattern and hopefully ease some tension.
2) If you notice you have tight calves and poor ankle dorsiflexion, then try foamrolling your calves and stretching them with an wall ankle mobility to help loosen the chain and clean up some of the pattern to provide knee relief.
3) Continuing up the chain, we can go into a RNT Static Lunge which hopefully can create a better movement pattern and strengthen weaker areas that may exacerbate knee issues. A band can provide great feedback forcing you to abduct away rather than adduct and knee collapse which can strengthen and improve patterning that may have played a role in knee pain.
4) We can perform more strengthening drills by banding the legs when performing certain strength movement patterns to clean up patterns that have energy leaks or improper movements. The Squat w/ RNT Abduction and Plate gets the core firing and creates feedback on the knees by collapsing them in and your body firing against the band to prevent the valgus.
Hopefully these helpful tips can keep injuries and issues at bay and provide you with a fantastic workout! Keep strong!