PDA

View Full Version : Pain above knees



everphilski
05-06-2010, 05:33 AM
I have pain above my knees especially while my quads are in tension. It's a few inches above the kneecap, I'd guess its the tendon connecting the quad.

I've been limited in my weightlifting due to a finger injury; essentially I can stabilize the bar on my back and do some dumbbell work but no deadlifts, etc. Puts too much pressure in my finger. So I've been doing the following

Squats (3x5)
Step-ups *or* Lunges (3x5 each leg)
Bent-over rows [dumbbell] (3x8)
situps and pushups.

I can't pinpoint when the pain started other than it was a day after lifting. Had it for a week now, doesn't directly hurt when lifting (after stretching).

The only other issue I can note is sometimes when doing step-ups my left knee especially doesn't move in a smooth plane; it sligtly bows out when I am stepping. I wonder if there is some weakness in my knee stabilizer muscles that is causing the quad pain? I've been cycling for years which works your quads/hamstring but since all the motion is in the plane your adductor really isn't needed other than to just keep the knee in position; could it be my knee stabilization is weak? What can I do to compensate?

Thanks,

Philip

Sean S
05-06-2010, 06:59 AM
I had exactly the same thing when I tried to do olympic squats for a while. My knees were traveling so far forward that it was putting a ton of pressure on that quad tendon to the point that it hurt all the time. My guess is that your knees are tracking way forward when you squat and it's causing the problem. Again I'm guessing, but can't confirm without any video.
In my experience, most people can tolerate some forward knee travel in the squat, but if it causes knee pain it's likely excessive. Start with examining your squat technique.

everphilski
05-06-2010, 07:05 AM
Start with examining your squat technique.

Yeah, you might be on to something my knees do track forward some. I've been meaning to set up a tripod and video camera to verify my technique sounds like I should make that a priority.

When I squat I keep thinking to stick my butt out as far as I can, like you are trying to sit. However I always seem to roll my back forward putting the weight on my toes; my understanding is that you are supposed to drive with your heel. I guess the knees forward lets me better track the weight over my heels, if that makes any sense at all.

Any suggestions on what to watch/think/do? To help drive through the heel and avoid the knees moving too much?

thank you,

philip

Sean S
05-06-2010, 10:47 AM
Keep working on sitting back and push your knees out hard. You might also consider widening your stance just a little if you are in a narrow stance now. Not necessarily super-wide like a geared powerlifter, but a couple inches wider than you are now. If you are shifting your weight forward you throwing more of the load on the quads, which may be what is causing the problem. Reduce the weight you are squatting with if you need to in order to get the technique right. If you are working up in weight and your technique deteriorates, drop the weight back to where you are doing it correctly.
You should also ice the area after every SQ session for a while. Using some liniment and some neoprene knee sleeves may help as well to keep the area warm (warmer tissues are more pliable and less likely to strain or tear).
If you get some video, you can get some much more specific feedback.

Weaves
05-06-2010, 11:55 AM
When doing squats, make sure your knees do not travel past the tips your toes. Also try a wider stance with toes pointed slightly out (that actually helped me out with that same problem).

Busted Limb
05-06-2010, 11:56 AM
Does a wider stance put more or less pressure on the knees? I would think that if one had problems with the knees coming in on the way up a narrower stance would help that.

Bosch232
05-06-2010, 09:03 PM
I have pain above my knees especially while my quads are in tension. It's a few inches above the kneecap, I'd guess its the tendon connecting the quad.

I've been limited in my weightlifting due to a finger injury; essentially I can stabilize the bar on my back and do some dumbbell work but no deadlifts, etc. Puts too much pressure in my finger. So I've been doing the following

Squats (3x5)
Step-ups *or* Lunges (3x5 each leg)
Bent-over rows [dumbbell] (3x8)
situps and pushups.

I can't pinpoint when the pain started other than it was a day after lifting. Had it for a week now, doesn't directly hurt when lifting (after stretching).

The only other issue I can note is sometimes when doing step-ups my left knee especially doesn't move in a smooth plane; it sligtly bows out when I am stepping. I wonder if there is some weakness in my knee stabilizer muscles that is causing the quad pain? I've been cycling for years which works your quads/hamstring but since all the motion is in the plane your adductor really isn't needed other than to just keep the knee in position; could it be my knee stabilization is weak? What can I do to compensate?

Thanks,

Philip


This has been my personal experience, for what it's worth. Your mileage may vary. The knee pain you describe is just what I began experiencing about 6 weeks into WBB 1.1.

Two trips to a postural restoration physical therapist has yielded the following.. My knee pain originates not in the knees, but in my butt. In short: The left half of my butt is slightly weaker than the right half. The human body by default will attempt to find the path of least effort expended. What this does to my squatting is that my body wants to favor my stronger side (right side). This causes me to rotate my pelvis during the move to lift the load. It makes an imbalance that's pulling my knees out of alignment. He put me in the squat rack and watched me squat. I believe this guy's got me diagnosed correctly.

I've voluntarily stopped lower body workouts completely for two weeks to give the phys therapist's exercises a chance to do what they need to do. It's working. My level of discomfort has been reduced by about 50%. I miss the workouts and the gains, but I also am so happy to have this knee pain going away too. I am hoping to resume lower body workouts when HCT-12 goes public.

everphilski
05-09-2010, 01:09 PM
OK; I paid close attention to my squat form and, sure enough, my knees are too far forward. So I will work on the form issue.

Second question: what are some good exercises to work on the lateral stability of the knee? Under load my left knee especially tends to wobble a little. Even unweighted lunges, I feel very unstable side to side.

Living out of a hotel for the next two weeks, they have "a weight machine" which I presume is arm/chest/leg isolation exercises, will do what I can and then do bodyweight work to work on my knees... suggestions are welcome!

dips of course in the hotel room :)

Thanks,

philip

Sean S
05-09-2010, 07:04 PM
The "lateral instability" you are talking about is likely due to weakness or improper firing patterns in the hips and adductors. It's movement at the hip that is causing the movement at the knee. Unless you have lax, torn, or missing ligaments in the knee, the knee joint itself isn't the source of the instability.
You can work on bodyweight squats where you really emphasize pushing the knees out and not letting the knees track forward. If you can take a broomstick or something with you to mimic a bar to put on your back it would be even better. You can also work on lunges and really try to tighten everything (including the glutes and adductors) and really try to keep that knee steady. If lunging to a certain depth causes the problem, lunge only to a depth that you can stay stable. Then over time try to go lower and lower while staying stable. Beyond that, do whatever exercises you can come up with in the hotel.

ZenMonkey
05-09-2010, 07:57 PM
There is nothing inherently wrong with moving the knees past the toes in a properly executed olympic squat (including the overhead, front, and high bar). I do not know how this carries over, if at all, to the conventional full squat

OP, assuming your form is correct, some foam rolling, hydration and stretching should do the trick. Mobility work is good too.

Sean S
05-10-2010, 06:47 AM
There is nothing inherently wrong with moving the knees past the toes in a properly executed olympic squat (including the overhead, front, and high bar). I do not know how this carries over, if at all, to the conventional full squat

OP, assuming your form is correct, some foam rolling, hydration and stretching should do the trick. Mobility work is good too.

In general, I agree with you about the knees, but in my experience I've found some people can't tolerate much forward knee travel while others do just fine with the knees going way past the toes. For example, I can tolerate a small amount of forward knee travel, but if I try to do any sort of olympic SQ variation with alot of forward knee travel I develop terrible tendonitis to the point I can barely get in and out of a chair.
I agree with doing the mobility, stretching, and foam rolling.

ZenMonkey
05-10-2010, 07:18 AM
Right, that is why I said there is nothing inherently wrong with the squat.... rather than the person.

Fuzzy
05-10-2010, 07:29 AM
Had the exact same problem. Keep in mind I squat heavy very often.

Two biggies. Foam rolling every day and massage, and 30 grams of epa:dha fish oil.

Weaves
05-10-2010, 04:18 PM
To increase knee stability, consider performing leg exercises with 1 leg rather than 2 (except for barbell squats of course). 1-legged leg presses work very well for this.

ZenMonkey
05-10-2010, 04:59 PM
To increase knee stability, consider performing leg exercises with 1 leg rather than 2 (except for barbell squats of course). 1-legged leg presses work very well for this.


Hello friend! How are you? Welcome to the boards!

While unilateral hip movement ca be beneficial, there is little reason to just add it in, especially if there is something going on in the knee that is unknown.

If one were to do that, then he should not do it on the leg press, rather, do something like lunges or single leg squats.

Fuzzy
05-10-2010, 06:02 PM
To increase knee stability, consider performing leg exercises with 1 leg rather than 2 (except for barbell squats of course). 1-legged leg presses work very well for this.

This is not a matter of stability. It's a matter of bad tissue quality.