A common presentation in our clinic is a recreational runner who has started to experience some knee pain when running, often over the outside of the knee. This is often linked with an increase in running frequency or when someone has commenced running after a prolonged period of inactivity.  Their first thought is logically, “I have done something to my knee” and There is a myriad of conditions that affect the knee that could be causing the pain, but stepping back and looking at the body as a whole often reveals much more information than focusing on the site of pain. 

A very common cause of knee pain is actually a weakness in your Gluteal muscles (Bum muscles), particularly a small muscle called Gluteus Medius, which is responsible for lifting your leg away from your body (Abduction), but just as importantly it helps to prevent your hip “collapsing” and allowing your knee to “buckle” inwards. This is seen when standing on one leg and exacerbated when squatting, as shown in the photo below. While running if your hip is “collapsing” and allowing your knee to “buckle” slightly on every stride it creates strain at your knee which often results in inflammation and pain.

stable hip with strong Gluteus medius

“collapsing” hip due to weak Gluteus medius

Knee “buckling” during squat

stable knee position during a squat

As a first line approach to helping address a patient’s knee pain I always assess  the stability through their hips and educate them about the importance of gluteal strength. The first exercise we focus on is a basic sit to stand, where emphasis is on keeping your spine in a neutral position, pushing through your heels to get off the seat and most importantly keeping your knees over your feet (don’t allow the knee to “buckle”). We sit many times a day so this is a great exercise that you can do throughout the day, or it can be done in 2 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

Click here to watch Mark’s video demonstration of the sit to stand exercise on the OGOSH YouTube channel!

I often will give this as the only “strength” exercise to start with as getting this foundation movement correct will set you up to be able to perform more advanced exercises safely and correctly. In my coming blogs i will run you through some more advanced gluteus medius strength exercises you can use to help maximise your running!

Click here to book an appointment with Mark online or contact our friendly team on 5255 5040 (OG) or 4202 0446 (L) to discuss how Mark can help you achieve your health goals!