why does my knee hurt when i do squats
Knee pain while squatting is often a symptom of injury or dysfunction in another joint. There are several possible causes for the pain. These causes often involve lack of mobility at the ankle or hip joints. This immobility can cause you to shift more of the squatting stresses to your knees, leading to overuse injuries. Consult your physician for a proper diagnosis of your pain. Full vs. Partial Range-of-Motion Squats
You may have heard the advice that you should not squat any lower than where your thighs reach parallel. The fear was that the more acute knee angle you reach below parallel increases unnecessary pressure on your patella. However, halting the squat at parallel or above does not engage your hip flexor muscles and concentrates the sheer forces across your knee. For this reason, it is important to develop a full range-of-motion squat, even before using weight. If you find your heels lifting off of the floor as you reach the bottom of a squat, your ankles lack the necessary flexibility for the movement.
Ankle immobility can cause the angular rotation that should occur across the ankle joint to shift upward to the knee joint, increasing the workload of your knees for each squat repetition. Inflexible ankles can also forcibly reduce your range of motion. Reduced range of motion again increases the shear forces across your knees. Your gluteal muscles are a complex of muscles that work to extend legs at the hip joint, and to externally rotate your femur. Inactivity of the gluteal muscles is very common if you spend the majority of your day sitting down. If these muscles are inactive, the role of hip extension is assumed by muscles that rotate your femur internally. In these cases, your knees will have a tendency to collapse inward when squatting, which can cause unnatural stresses to your knee joint, ultimately resulting in pain. Like the inactivity of your glutes, tightness in your hip flexors is a common problem that arises from sitting all day. Your rectus femoris muscle is one of the heads of the quadriceps, responsible for extending your knee.
The rectus femoris also assists in flexing your hip; as such, it crosses both your knee and your hip. Tightness in this muscle can cause uneven tension on your knee cap, resulting in pain or even patellar deviation. If youБve experienced some trauma to your knee, make an appointment with your doctor to rule out fracture or other serious situations. If youБre simply having some general pain when you squat, you may try treating your pain at home. Look at how youБre moving throughout the day. You may need to change up your exercise or daily routine for some time while youБre experiencing pain. Consider limiting or temporarily stopping activities that are causing you discomfort. If you donБt want to stop all physical activity, consider switching to cross-training that isnБt as tough on the joints. R. I. C. E. The R. I. C. E. method involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation: Rest by stopping activities that make your knee hurt.
You should also avoid everyday situations where you may need to put weight on your affected knee. Ice by applying cold packs to your knee for at a time, several times throughout the day. You should never put ice directly on your skin, so cover your ice pack with a light towel or blanket. Compress to prevent swelling. You can find elastic bandages at most drug stores. Resist the urge to wrap your knee too tightly. Light but snug tension is best. Be sure to leave a hole open over your kneecap. Elevate your knee as often as you can. You can lie down and prop your knee up on pillows so it rests higher than your heart. R. I. C. E. is a good method to follow if you believe your pain may be the result of sprains or strains. But applying heat to the knee may help if your pain is related to arthritis or stiffness in your joint. Heat improves blood and oxygen flow to the area, but it can also increase swelling and inflammation. You may use a store-bought heating pad for relief or using everyday items like rice in a sock, or wet towels in a zip-top bag.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications may help ease your pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are good choices because they help with both discomfort and inflammation. You may know these medications as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). There are other OTC pain-relief methods available, including creams and gels. Capsaicin, for example, is an alternative for people who canБt take NSAIDs. ItБs a compound found in and can be applied as often as a day for several weeks. Massage with a licensed massage therapist ease tension in the muscles that surround your joints, giving you relief and helping to prevent future injury. Sports massage may be best for injuries related to sports and overuse. The technique is similar to Swedish massage, but it focuses specifically on affected muscles. Ask your doctor for recommendations for massage therapists in your area, and call your insurance company before your appointment to see if you have coverage.
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