Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Hip Bone is Connected to the Knee Bone!

Have you ever experienced pain at the front of your knee when squatting or with prolonged sitting?

This type of pain can be due to various causes, one of which includes patellofemoral joint syndrome. The patellofemoral joint is formed by the articulation between the knee cap (patella) and the femur (large bone of the upper thigh) and relies on precise tracking of these two surfaces to function correctly (see image below). If the patella does not track correctly within the femoral groove then excessive wear and tear of the cartilage supporting this joint can result leading to inflammation and pain.

Because the knee joint is a hinge joint, meaning it only moves forward and backward (extension & flexion), it is highly dependent on control at the hip and ankle joints, which have more motion available. Numerous studies over the last several years have shown that strengthening and improved coordination at the hip and ankle can lead to improved knee mechanics, decreased patellofemoral joint symptoms and preservation of the underlying cartilage.

Try these exercise to strengthen your lateral hip musculature and you’re knee will thank you.

Exercise #1: side plank

Exercise 2: fire hydrant

Exercise #3: hip abduction

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