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Focus on hip stretches

A few years ago, I went to a physical therapist briefly. She said that knee pain can often be caused by the hip. Your whole leg is connected, so pain anywhere might actually be caused by weakness in a different joint or muscle.  Physical therapy moves are designed to be done every day to combat the imbalances that are causing pains.

I have not been the best at keeping on top of stretches and lifting, but recently I have been focusing on yoga moves to stretch the hip area, and especially the hip flexors. I do 15 minutes of yoga right after I get up. Three poses that I make sure to do are warrior I, pigeon pose and bridge pose. Sometimes I add a traditional hip flexor stretch (like a lunge with your back knee on the ground).

The particular knee that I am worried about has not shown improvement yet after about a month of almost daily yoga, but the rest of me feels better! I have more flexibility in my hips, and some minor shoulder pain has improved. People like to say that you only need to do a few minutes of exercise a day to get a benefit, and they are right. There’s a reason that line has been repeated often.

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  1. October 28, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    You are absolutely right that you should be emphasizing your hips. I would advise prioritizing hip and core strengthening over stretching, however. The bridge pose is a good exercise and you should consider the various progressions and modifications, such as single leg bridges, when you are ready. When people talk about core strengthening they are generally talking about the abdominals and maybe the erector spinae, but the hips are an important part of the core because they control the movement of the pelvis during activity.

    Because weak hips (specifically hip abductors and external rotators) are correlated to just about every knee pathology, two of my go to exercises are resisted clamshells and side-lying hip lifts. Done correctly, these exercises are reasonably likely to improve your knee. Best wishes!

  2. November 2, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Thanks for the good advice!

  3. November 8, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Also check out your squat pattern and your single leg balance…If these are off forces will build up in your knee.

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