Went to the physio to get my knee checked out because it's been really sore lately! It's been really sore around the top and outside of the knee cap. Most pains I have had in various places over the time I just put up with and they go away but this has hung around for a few weeks now so I thought I'd go get it checked out. People have been scaring me with the stories of knee reconstructions enough that I did something about it!! LOL!
Turns out there are a few things which could be contributing.
1. Tight IT band pulling on the knee cap - making it rub where it should not be rubbing. Trying to stretch this out more and possibly getting some massage on it could help.
2. Weak VMO muscle. The large outside quad muscle (there are 4 quad muscles) is really big and strong where as the inside one (VMO) is not very big or strong. This will also pull the knee cap to one side and have it rub where it should not be rubbing.
I am tending to point my feet outwards a little - even when I am just standing still... I notice it when I squat... When I squat I tend to point my feet outwards a little and then make my knees go in line with my toes which tends to engage the outside quad muscle and not the inside one. So the first thing I need to do is when squatting make sure my toes are pointing straight forwards and then make sure my knees still go in line with my toes.
He gave me a really basic exercise to try and strengthen the VMO which is surprisingly hard to do... isolating and tensing one part of the quad without the rest..
Static Inner Quadriceps Contraction
Tighten the muscle at the front of your thigh (quadriceps) by pushing your knee down into a towel. Put your fingers on your inner quadriceps (VMO - Vastus Medialis Oblique ) to feel the muscle tighten during contraction. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times as hard as possible pain free.
3. Tight Glutes. He got me doing one leg squats and some other one leg hip liftie thing which he said most people could not do very well; but I could and so he said I have really strong glutes!! BAHAHAHA.... I got a strong BUTT!! LOL! The problem is that they are also very tight glutes so he showed me some other stretch I have to do which will stretch them out.
Good news is that NOTHING SERIOUS is really wrong with my knee!! WOO!! I am very happy about that! And I am also excited to say that he said there was nothing I was really banned from doing in terms of exercise but just to realise that some things were going to make my knee sorer than others (until the VMO gets stronger...) YAY!
Will write a post shortly with various exercises to strengthen the VMO.