We don't often think about how we sit, or how our knees work, but something that I encounter with clients is a pain in or around the knee. But often we don't think that this pain or discomfort is coming from anywhere but the knee. I thought I would explain a little bit about the knee and this might make you think about things that could cause the pain for yourself.
So firstly the knee connects the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone), there are two joints in the knee, one where the tibia meet the femur and the other where the patella (kneecap) meets the femurs. These two joints work together in a hinge motion that allows the knee to bend and straighten, but also to rotate slightly from side to side. This joint is vulnerable to injury mainly due to the pressure it is put under when we walk, run, etc.
There are 5 ligaments in the knee, - Medial Collateral (attaches the medial of knee - femur to tibia) - Lateral Collateral (attaches the lateral of knee - femur to fibula) - Anterior Cruciate (attaches inside the knee - tibia and femur) - Posterior Cruciate (attaches behind the Anterior Cruciate Ligament - tibia and femur) - Patellar Ligament (attaches the kneecap to the tibia).
You then have the joint capsule which wraps the joint in a thick, fibrous structure. Plus you have cartilage of the knee, which have different functions, but in a nutshell they keep the joint strong, stable, flexible and lubricated to move smoothly.
Above and below the knee are muscles which also help the knee stay stable, well aligned and able to move, the quadriceps (front of upper leg) and the hamstrings (back of upper leg) and your lovely Iliotibial band (or IT band) which helps keep the knee stable. There are also tendons in the knee which help the muscles connect to the bones and an important one is the quadriceps tendon, which is at the front of the knee and connects the quads to the tibia, via the patella and patella ligament - giving the power needed to straighten the knee.
There are numerous other bits and pieces in the knee and much more complicated explanations, but this is just a whistle stop about the knee. Is it any wonder that we sometimes get knee pain or discomfort, there are multiple players in the knee joint which can effect it and if we under or over use a muscle it can really effect our movement.
Keep safe, vary movement and resting, and seek help/advice/medical attention sooner rather than later to save this precious joint.
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