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  • Writer's pictureJesse Lewis

How to Deal With Knee Pain

Are you tired of dealing with knee pain?



We’ve helped hundreds of people with knee pain so we know it can be pretty frustrating and can affect so many parts of your day. Whether it’s affecting your workouts, walking, stairs, or another part of your day, it can be tough to deal with it.


On top of that, most medical advice is super negative and will tell you that you have to rest it or it will get worse, you should stop running or exercising, or some other negative message that doesn’t make you feel good about recovery. Or, maybe you’ve had an MRI that looks scary or you’ve been told something scary about your knee. We’ve heard this over and over again from people we’ve helped. The good news is that you don’t have to live with knee pain!


Everyone’s knee pain is completely different and needs a very individual approach. But, there are some general tips and answers to questions that we’ve found to be helpful to a lot of people dealing with pain. Some of these might be very different from what you’ve heard before, but it’s all backed by research and also by all the stories of people with knee pain who have recovered. 


Get your quads strong!


Your quads are the biggest and strongest muscle in your leg and they go directly on top of your knee. If they aren’t strong enough, you will almost definitely have knee pain. Way too often, people are told their quads are overactive and they need to strengthen their glutes. While that might sometimes be true, the majority of time we can get your knee better by strengthening your quad. Focusing on your glutes when your quad is weak is like changing the tires of your car when the engine won’t start. The tires are obviously really important, but if the engine doesn’t start, we don’t need to worry about your tires. The same is true when it comes to your quad. Focus on the quad first, then work on your glutes.


Running, jumping and exercise are not bad for your knees


Contrary to popular belief, running and impact are not bad for your knees. In fact, research shows that people who run actually end up having healthier knees and less arthritis than people who don’t run. So even if you have knee pain, you don’t need to give up running, squatting, yoga, or any other form of exercise. Instead of giving it up, we’d recommend figuring out why you have knee trouble in the first place and 99% of the time you’ll be able to get back to any type of exercise you want to.



Your MRI doesn’t determine your future


If we take an MRI of everyone’s knee that we meet on the street, we will find something “wrong” in almost everyone. Almost everyone will have arthritis, a meniscus tear, inflammation, or something else that shows up. But, the huge majority of those people don’t ever have knee pain. So what does that mean for you? If you’ve had an MRI that shows a tear, arthritis, or something else it doesn’t mean you are destined for surgery or a lifetime of pain. I can’t even tell you the number of people that we’ve helped that had something show up on an MRI and now they are completely out of pain and back to running, tennis, lifting, yoga, or a bunch of other types of exercise. No matter what your MRI shows, there’s hope!



There is so much more that can be done about knee pain, but since your pain is different from every single other person’s knee pain, it needs a different approach and there is no one size fits all answer. These are some of the most common tips that we give, though. While all three probably don’t apply to you, I’m hoping that at least one is helpful.


If you learn nothing else, I hope you learn that your knee pain can get better and that you don’t have to live with it, let it stop you from doing what you want to do, or think that it will be a lifelong thing. It can get better!


If we can help in any other way, please feel free to reach out anytime. Our company mission is to keep people in the DC area active and exercising and to take the fear out of pain so if there’s a way we can help you do that, we’d love to!


If you're looking for help with knee pain, we're here for you! Feel free to email us at info@districtperformancephysio.com, contact us here, or text/call us at 202-922-7331.


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