A Little Knee Knowledge Goes A Long Way!
Everyone can have freedom from pain and limitation simply by understanding how the knee joint works and training the body to honor its design.
The knee is a hinge joint. It is meant to move the lower leg forward and back. Lift one foot and swing the lower leg forward and back. This is what the knee is designed to do. It is not designed to rotate or move side to side. It is the hip that is designed to rotate the leg, lift and straighten one leg and turn the toes out then in. That is your hip joint making that motion. But if our hips are too tight, because we sit all day and never stretch, the knee will be forced to rotate unnaturally. We may not feel it in our day to day but over time, it will wear out the knee joint. If the hips are open and handling the leg’s rotation, the knee is kept safe.
Now let’s look below the knee at the ankles and feet. The ankles and feet are designed to make the subtle side to side movements that keep us balanced and help us change direction quickly. The feet and ankles get weak because we wear shoes all the time and walk on artificially smooth surfaces. Weak feet and ankles cause the knee to compensate, moving against its natural design. Over time the knee weakens and degenerates. By keeping the feet and ankles strong and flexible, the knee is left to its natural function.
One more thing, a great number of us, especially athletes, have tight butt muscles, strong outer thighs and relatively weak inner thighs. This imbalance externally rotates the thighbones, turning the feet out like penguin feet. most of us have one or both feet turned out because of our tight outer hips and weak inner thighs. when we walk like this, the knee is not lined up with the direction of movement and the joint gets twisted and over time wears out.
Start to attune your yoga approach where by you are balancing the body by strengthening what is weak and elongating what is tight. If taught correctly, yoga can open your hips, wake up your feet, strengthen your ankles, build balanced muscular strength and retrain your body to move in proper alignment.
If you have a chronic injury, it might be a good idea to seek private yoga instruction from a teacher skilled in this area and or consider getting your body assessed through the use of body mechanics, which is based on biomechanics & physics. This tool addresses the individual, their specific condition & they leave with a personalized exercise routine designed to start correcting the problem.
See my pages on “Bio-Mechanics”