Here’s the crunch: the focus should stay clearly on the stuff we can change. And you CAN CHANGE how the Quads work, slowly and steadily, over a few months. Many have done it.
Jenny McConnell the famous knee Physiotherapist concludes from much research: “Poor quadriceps function, as well as increased body mass index have been associated with increased OA knee pain”. Paul Hodges again: “decreased quadriceps strength is strongly correlated with increased knee pain, patellofemoral cartilage loss on MRI, and tibiofemoral joint space narrowing.”
Here’s the rub: The Quads are extremely difficult to improve (to quote Paul Hodges again), because even the “fear of knee pain decreases quadriceps function”.
WTF?? Even anticipating that a Squat or Lunge will hurt, will decrease your Quad function, and increase the likelihood that it will hurt?
Talk about a dysfunctional muscle! Weak, extremely pain and swelling sensitive (even a teaspoon of saline injected into the knee has been shown to reduce Quad function), prone to tightness, muscle imbalance, fascial dysfunction, and of course inhibition, atrophy and weakness.
If you have a Grumpy Knee, you MOST DEFINITELY HAVE Grumpy Quads. Guaranteed. So how can we break the cycle for ourselves and our clients?
Now if you wrote in to me about your knee pain…. make your Quads the focus, NOT your pain. Not your “OA” or other diagnosis you’ve been given. Ultimately it all comes down to Quad function – that’s your journey; that’s the work you need to focus on. A ton of things like pain and swelling might get in your way, and you’ll need more patience than you think you have capacity for, but stay ON THAT BUS until eventually you reach your destination. Pain-free, loose, balanced and functionally strong Quads.
HOW to improve Quadriceps function? There’s a ton of ways to slowly overhaul your Quads if you really have what it takes. And many don’t, it’s sad to realise. Certainly not clients who are scared of any pain and hard body work. You will have your work cut out convincing them to do their homework!
Next week we begin a series of videos showing you how to get the tightness and trigger points out of your Quads. Nothing is more important for rapid improvement of this muscle’s function, and consequently how your knee feels. [If you only start with strengthening, you will get there, but you are taking the harder road in my opinion.
START your Grumpy Knee rehab with loosening, releasing, triggering, de-sensitising the Quadriceps.
So why don’t you step up this effort before I see you next week? Can’t do any harm trying….Quadriceps.