If your knee pain could be fixed by just stretching it out – it would be fixed by now.
This post is inspired by an Instagram Reels that we did that involved Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and hamstring stretching…you probably need to follow us @Limitless_PT_Performance !
Time after time, we see people opt for what seems like the logical choice in dealing with knee pain – stretching hamstrings and quads a million times per day. We get it. And we’ve written about this before in these articles:
How to Fix Achilles Tendon Without Stretching
But the reality for MOST of us dealing with knee issues is…we need to focus on this stuff instead:
(1) IMPROVING QUADRICEPS AND HAMSTRING STRENGTH…
The knee joint (where tibia and femur meet) and it’s family (patellofemoral joint, attachment points of the complex ligament webs that stabilize the knee, and the tendons that anchor the quad into your tibia) has it’s own support system, sure — your ACL, PCL, meniscus, MCL, etc are passive structure that keep your knee strong and capable of mighty things. But the muscles surrounding your knee play an ENORMOUS role both in protecting your knee joint(s) and in helping you to use your knees for higher level performance. While a good stretch might feel nice, it can’t produce those kinds of results!
(2) GETTING SOME HIGHER LEVEL MOVEMENT ANALYSIS…
Many times, we see that factors such as poor control over one’s spine, pelvis, hips, or ankles can contribute to an athlete leaving a bunch of healthy knee function on the table (metaphorically speaking). Finding a Performance Physio that can help you more deeply analyze your gait (running analysis), your weightlifting movement patterns, or the strengths/weaknesses of other connected body regions can take you to the next level in your knee health journey.
(3) TEMPORARILY MODIFYING THE PARAMETERS OF YOUR WORKOUT…
We rarely tell our athletes to STOP doing the activities and exercises that keep them sharp, healthy, and performing at their best.
But that doesn’t mean we always keep doing the same things that consistently cause pain and dysfunction.
When pain or injury come into the picture, taking some time to modify the parameters of aggravating movements is a great option. This means trying things like swapping Spanish Squats in place of Front Squats, or changing up your typical 5×5 barbell strength set days for a 3×15 KB or DB movement, or even trying a new form of cardio for a week or two while your knees can take a chill pill and recover.
What we rarely recommend, however, is to just rest it out and stretch it out!
WHAT DO YOU THINK? HAVE YOU ALREADY TRIED STRETCHING THOSE HAMMIES FOR MONTHS ONLY TO SEE MODEST TO NO CHANGE IN YOUR KNEE PAIN? SHOOT US A MESSAGE NOW IF WE CAN HELP AND LET US KNOW YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH STRETCHING IN THE COMMENTS!