This article is the fourth in a series of five articles covering the five essential components to knee pain recovery…
None of what I am going to share with you today is to be taken as medical advice. This approach is what I used to get myself out of knee pain that I learned over the past nine years.
These are truths as I know them. Use what you like and disregard the rest. If you have any concerns as to what you are to do, please consult your licensed health care professional.
Think about how most knee injuries happen. A short twist, turn, misstep, stopping too fast, or a quick jerk to the side suddenly sends a shooting burning pain in your knee.
Your body is tense and thus not flexible enough to adapt to this sudden movement.
Then it is very difficult to think about stretching, especially when your knee is painful, tight and swollen.
In trying to heal after an injury like this, none of the conventional stretching can actually get to the place your knee needs to be stretched in order to address the discomfort at its source.
Most of the stretching taught today will teach you to stretch your hamstrings, your calves, your quadriceps – which are the muscles in the front upper part of your leg.
I believe this stretching is important however I also believe this is only half of the equation.
Stretching needs to be both actively and passively.
So what does that mean…
Passive stretching would be addressing all of the muscles in the legs like I have already described before. Your hamstrings, calves, quads, etc.
I have found the best places to stretch like this is when I am watching a movie and have plenty of time to sit on the floor and let my body let go of the tension in my legs with no pressing time constraints.
Active stretching is just as important for your recovery from knee pain. The main reason for this is at the time you injured your knees or when they hurt you are generally using them actively (walking, running, etc)
So an “active” stretching program is key to getting your body capable of mirroring the types of movements your body would be going through on a daily basis. Training your body in this manner is important to relax the tension from the current injury and prevent further injuries down the road.
The main focus here once again is in the tendons and the ligaments.
How can you get to those places that are so difficult to get to?
The place that I’m talking about is in the knee joint itself. It is of the utmost importance that the stretches you perform to address the pain, tension, discomfort, tightness, and stiffness in your knee benefit the knee twofold.
Meaning the active stretching that you’re doing both stretches AND strengthens the knee joint.
I can’t emphasize this one enough. The active stretching program you incorporate into your knee pain recovery program must both stretch and strengthen the knee joint at the same time.
This is so important to incorporate this in your knee pain recovery program from your knee injury.
If you are not doing the correct stretching both active and passive you are increasing the tension in your body, making it more difficult for you to get over what you are trying to get rid of, namely your knee pain.
You are essentially working against your body, compounding the problem for yourself in the long-run.
So in summary a stretching program you undertake to address your knee pain must involve both active and passive stretching in order for you to achieve a complete and total recovery from a knee injury.