Don’t let knee pain hinder your fitness journey! While there can be numerous reasons for knee pain and discomfort at the gym, it is important to understand the potential causes so that you can mitigate future issues from arising. Knee pain can be a common concern for many active adults and athletes no matter your experience levels. Discussed in this article by one of our performance physical therapists at MOTION RX are the TOP three reasons for knee pain following a workout at the gym we see in our clients.
1. Improper Form and Technique: Aberrant movements are not always something that you need to correct, however, when pain arises in a joint, such as the knee, that is when you need to take a look at your faulty movement patterns. Improper form with exercises such as lunges, squats, deadlifts, and various jumping activities can cause increased stress on the knee. When your body is not accustomed to that stress, that is when pain can arise. Always ensure you are using proper form and if you are unsure about your form, consult a trained professional to guide you
2. Doing Too Much Too Soon: Having a sudden spike in volume & training is something that can cause knee pain. Making sure your body has enough tissue capacity is important in order to safely handle training loads. Slowly increasing volume so that your body is prepared to handle the load is a good way to avoid “overuse injuries.” Try to mix up your workouts in order to give your body ample rest days so that the tissues can recover. If your knee begins to hurt following your training days, it might be a sign that you are not adequately dosing your exercises.
3. Strength deficits or muscular imbalances: Weaknesses or muscular imbalances that are not adequately addressed can lead to knee pain because your muscles are not able to support your joints properly. For example, a weakness in your glute medius, or lateral hip muscles, can lead to excessive knee valgus during high intensity exercises. This increased knee valgus can lead to increased stress on the inside of your knee, thus resulting in pain or irritation. Incorporating targeted strength training for your legs into your routine can help to prevent any future issues in your knees.
TAKE ACTION! Don’t let your cranky knee pain prevent you from doing the workouts you love. The first step is understanding the root cause of your pain and addressing it with the appropriate dosing of exercise to avoid irritation. If you are experiencing persistent pain with your workouts or have high pain levels with everyday activities, it is time to reach out for professional advice! Together we can make every workout pain free and productive. Click here to get scheduled for your 1 on 1 evaluation with a doctor of physical therapy.