So, where is this problem coming from? How do I know if I might have a problem? And most importantly, how can I prevent it before it’s too late? Let’s take a crack at the first one; where is it coming from? Lots of speculation on this one, but not sure if anyone has really figured it out. Christopher Mcdougall, the author of ‘Born to Run’ seems to think that it has come from the modern shoe with a high heel and lots of stability/cushion. I believe there is some truth to that, he’s a very good investigative reporter and has a lot of convincing arguments. But I think it has a lot to do with modern society being a sit down or standing still society. Most modern jobs we have do not require complex movement. Even modern farmers just sit in a giant tractor for days on end.
And now a fairly very important question: how do I know if I have a problem? Pretty easy answer: Do you have knee or hip joint pain consistently? If the answer is yes, then you have a problem. Pain is a great teacher, it lets us know that something is wrong and needs to be changed. But pain can only be a teacher if the student is ready.
Now for the million dollar question; what can I do to prevent this problem before it’s too late? Too late = replacement. Now, I would recommend lots of research and getting a lot of opinions on the matter before you do anything, but here is my OPINION on the matter. This is a BIG question and cannot be covered fully here, but if you ever need a consultation, please give me an e-mail or call. From what I’ve seen in my practice, is that 99% of the time hip alignment is the primary cause of hip and knee problems. You can self-adjust this, but I would recommend a chiropractor to make sure everything is aligned. The only problem with that, is most people have a hyper mobile hip. This could make you go back out in a matter of minutes. The best way to prevent the problem long term is to keep adjusting the hips as often as needed and strength training correctly. I would recommend working out the Gluteus Medias and the IT band primary with strength training, stability training, and even power training IF you are ready for it. That’s basically the side of your thigh and butt. Leg swings on the ground are pretty safe, but to perform a correct lung or squat, you might want to hire a coach for a couple sessions if you want to really do it correctly. Once you learn it correctly, doing side to side squats under a bar, side lunges, side leg press, and side to side jumps are very good for increasing you hip strength and stability. Balancing on an uneven surface is also very good for learning to stabilize your hips as well. To go along with Chris D., you might want to get a shoe with less stability to increase your own stability in these areas. Walking and running on your toes is actually the correct way to move, and stabilizes you knee far better than heel walking. Go ahead and test this out for yourself. Walk on your toes, and feel how your knees lock up. Then go back on your heels and do the same thing. Go back and forth to see the difference and you might become a believer. One might want a coach to learn proper running form and walking form too, but if you’re a do-it-yourselfer like me, your bathroom will look like crap. Coaches help. This will help some people, but not all. Every situation is different and requires a keen eye to analyze the situation and make a good program through research and experimentation. Hope this helps! Have a great day! :)