Clicking knees and related pain in patellofemoral syndrome

knee clickingHaving recently been asked about clicking during squats, and how it relates to knee pain and the overall effects of patellofemoral syndrome, it seems like an apt time to revisit this topic. Clicking knees, with or without pain, can be very disconcerting, and it’s not something that’s always commonly understood. It is not uncommon to experience clicking even if you do not have knee pain. This can happen when there is a short section of the knee’s range of motion with poor tracking but the rest of the range is otherwise fine, so that the patella is not uniformly tight and painful throughout. The cracking is the sound of the air in the joint popping as the patella quickly moves into a new position. So why does this happen, and what can be done about it? Continue reading

7 common questions about sissy squats answered

sissy squat formPowerful as they are, sissy squats are an exercise that is new and unfamiliar to most people, as it has a specialist focus. We receive a lot of questions about perfecting sissy squats form, both online and in person, so here’s our attempt to cover some of them – to make sure your sissy squat form is as good as possible to rectify your patella maltracking. Continue reading

Can sissy squats help cure cartilage-based knee problems?

sissy squats knee cartilage Following from our article regarding different causes of knee pain, we’re now going to address the question of what knee strength exercises can do for a different condition to patella maltracking – worn out cartilage. Longstanding movement problems can lead to the wearing down of your cartilage around the knee, and if this wears down then the bones will rub without protection, causing knee pain. Can sissy squats help relieve this pain, as it does with patella maltracking? Continue reading

What causes knee pain? Patella maltracking and other problems

what causes knee painAt KneeStrength.com, we focus very much on overcoming patella maltracking as a means to dealing with knee pain. This is because the incorrect tracking of the patella, caused by muscle imbalances pulling the knee cap to one side, is one of the most common forms of knee pain. It is also the problem we have most personal experience with.

It is important to note that patella maltracking is not the only cause of knee pain; but bear in mind that the correct body mechanics we teach to resolve knee pain generally apply to other problems that may arise. Sadly, treating physical problems by correcting body movements is not something that healthcare institutions like to admit. So what other problems may you face with your knees, and how does correcting your body mechanics fit into the treatment? Continue reading

Managing knee pain when attempting to squat to parallel

managing pain squat parallelWhen suffering with patellofemoral pain there are two traits of the squat exercise which can initially bring on pain or discomfort in your knees. Here we will explain those traits and come up with short-term workarounds to help the beginner get started with squats, make some progress, and do so with limited discomfort in the knees. Continue reading

Is foam rolling always necessary before doing squats?

is foam rolling always necessarySometimes people ask us whether it is always necessary for them to do foam rolling before performing lower body exercises such as squats. The question usually comes up because they are finding the rolling takes up quite a lot of their scarce time, which they feel should be set aside for exercise.

There is no doubt about it, lower body foam rolling can be very time consuming. In our self-treatment videos, part 3a and part 3b, we go through six basic foam rolls we recommend for people suffering from knee pain. Even if you were only going to spend a minute on each roll, that would take up 12 minutes (one roll for each side of the body) – more like 15 minutes if we include time to transition between each roll. Those with particularly stubborn knots in their muscles might not find this is enough time and it would take even longer. Explained like this, it’s easy to see how this sort of work can eat into a training session. Continue reading

Why being ‘lucky’ with knee problems isn’t always good

lucky knee problems

“Does patella maltracking come back after it’s been heavily reduced?” one of our clients recently asked. It was an ongoing concern that if he stopped doing his knee strengthening exercises, his knee problems would eventually return. And it was a concern closely linked to the irritation that other people, at the same age with similar sports interests and training routines, had no problems to speak of. These are two matters that are closely linked and worth discussing though, because the long-term strategy behind avoiding knee problems is very important – and people who don’t necessarily have to devise a strategy are at a significant disadvantage later in life. Continue reading

Getting Fit in the New Year – Using Resolutions to Resolve your Problems

new year fitness resolutionsWith every New Year comes flurries of determined resolutions, and we’re no stranger to them as most seem to relate to getting fitter (or slimmer). Especially after the Christmas season, it’s a time for people to step back, take stock and consider how their physical health could be improved. The same way you might take stock after a heavy party, an indulgent holiday or a particularly big cake. But how many of us make these promises to ourselves and don’t follow through? It turns out that those who do make their commitments at New Year are more likely to see results. Continue reading

Explaining clicking knees during squats

knee clicking squatsClicking joints during exercise, or movement in general, can be both confusing and frustrating. The origins are not always clear, so when one of our clients found she experienced clicking in her knees during a wide-stance regular squat, but not during the similar movement of the sissy squat, we decided to give it some thought. Even though both these exercises involve bending the knees, the fact there was minimal clicking when performing sissy squats (or more traditional narrower knees style squats), but that there was clicking with the wider kneed, split-the-floor-with-the-feet style squats, tells us something straight away. Continue reading

The counterintuitive truth behind treating trigger points with strength training

trigger points strength trainingIf you’ve been following our guides to healing patella maltracking, particularly our foam rolling articles, you should already be aware of trigger points. These are the knots that are created when your muscles are overworked. They tighten your muscles and can cause referred pain, and can be treated with foam rolling or other forms of massage – including the more intense use of PVC piping, broomsticks, or localised lacrosse balls. These methods are excellent ways of removing knots from the muscles, but if you rely on them too much you are left dealing with the symptoms of the problem and not the cause. Continue reading