You can’t run. You can’t jump. You can’t squat. Even standing up from the toilet it a chore. Your knees are in shambles. And there you are, laying in bed, waiting for the physiology gnomes to tap your knee with a magical star wand and make everything “all better.” That’s your first mistake. Find out why laying around like a slug while your intestines stop churning isn’t the answer to chronic knee pain (and learn about two more mistakes you’re making.).
They bother you at all hours of the day. Getting in and out of the car. Standing up from chairs. Cutting a rug on the dance floor. And let’s not even talk about how they feel when you try to exercise or play any sports.
Conventional wisdom says to rest. Lay in bed. Slug out. Wait a little while before you go back to squatting, running, or jumping.
What do you do if your car breaks down? Do you leave it in the garage and hope it fixes itself? Knee pain isn’t natural. Something is wrong. It’s always going be wrong unless you fix it.
The traditional theories of chronic knee pain rehabilitation are based on an arbitrary concept of being damaged one day, resting for a little bit, and then all-of-the-sudden being healed the next day. There’s no transition. No regard for what caused the injury. No preventative measures. It’s sad to say, but popular rehabilitation teaches long term failure and continual re-injury. There’s a new way. A better way. A proactive way.
Waiting around for your chronic knee pain to heal is stupid. Unless (and this is a big unless) you have some sort of short term inflammation or problem (which, by definition isn’t chronic—for more on this make sure you check out my omissions as a part of my No -to-Risk Guarantee).
If it’s still fuzzy I got one more ogy for you: Say you have a friend named Kong. Kong likes touching hot things. Don’t ask me why. That’s just Kong.
You’re a good friend of Kong so you get rid of anything hot he has access to. It’s a good short term solution. But is this fixing anything? Is Kong really “healed?”
Just because you’re avoiding pain doesn’t mean you’re fixing the problem. And what do you do if you have a problem? You gotta’ fix it with some easy to follow directions. (More on this later.)
Take a look at the pictures below. They are random YouTubers doing standing vertical jumps. The guy on the left claims a 30? vertical jump. The guy on the right, 50?. (Which is very high, so let’s just say 40? to account for internet inflation.)
Aside from the raw numbers, there’s a difference between the two: I consider one a knee pain candidate, and the other a knee pain conqueror.
Below are more still shots from YouTube, but with NFL combine athletes (a little less random than, well, random YouTubers).
Notice how their body positions are more similar to the guy on the right half of the comparison shots above. It may seem like a coincidence, but it’s not. In fact, it has everything to do with both chronic knee pain and athleticism.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. You’ve heard that saying before, right? Makes sense. Except by focusing on the fire you miss the dude running out of the back of the burning building—you know, the dude that caused the fire.
Chronic knee pain suffers do a bunch of stuff for their knee. You’ve probably done leg extensions. Leg curls. If you’re really into this game of athletic physical culture like I am, you’ve probably done terminal knee extensions (those exercises with the band looped behind your knee cap).
I did all of them before. And all of them made my knee worse. No joke. My knees hurt more after I went on any rehabilitation program that put all focus into the knee.
Your leg is made up of a ton of muscles and three main joints: the hip, the knee, and the ankle. The knee is the middle man. Its health hinges on the joints above and below it.
This really hit me when I found out that most elbow pain (during chin-ups, golfing, tennis) is actually caused by the wrist. The body is one piece. If you have chronic knee pain, stop looking at your knee for answers.