Daily Mobility Exercises by Dr. Kelly Starrett Forums Knee Anterior Knee Pain while Squatting and Lunging

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    • #71062
      AvatarKelly Waters


      My pain first showed up a few months ago after I did a clean and I felt my right knee cave in at the bottom of the clean.  The pain is anterior, seems to be behind the patella, but more superior than anterior, dull pain.  There was no significant swelling.  I stopped squatting for months because of it, and have been seeing a physio about it.  However, the pain had been mostly absent for awhile because I wasn’t squatting/lunging heavy.  Over the past several days I’ve been lifting heavier weight, and the pain has come back.  I’ve ruled out any tightness along my rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, VMO, anterior tibialis, and hips.  I’m wondering if hamstring tightness could be contributing to it.  I know my hamstrings are strong (500# 1RM DL), so it could be tightness.  I fail the normal range of motion test for a straight leg raise.  Pain only shows up when squatting or lunging, or after squatting or lunging.  Soreness/dull pain.
      I saw a doctor.  Droor’s test showed significant ACL laxity on my right knee (not my left, though).  An MRI didn’t show any issues, not even inflammation.  I’ve been seeing a PT whose exercises have focused on lower extremity stability and strengthening of the patellar tendon.  I’m wondering what the problem is.
      My left knee, a different scenario, has been suffering from chronic patellar tendonosis.  But I’m more worried about my right knee, at the moment.  What could the condition be?  Runner’s knee?  And what can I do to get rid of it?
      Thank you,
    • #75069
      AvatarTaheer Ilyas

      Hi Brian, I would say work on your hamstrings. It can only improve the situation as it seems you have every other angle covered. I myself am short in the hamstrings, and making any change there really needed some discipline. So try working on them every couple of days and see if that helps…

      Two of my faves for the posterior chain:

      Let us know how you get on and good luck
    • #75075
      AvatarKelly Waters

      Thanks!  I experimented yesterday a little bit.  After doing some heavy squats, I did some light deadlifts.  Even deadlifts without weight was really bothering it.  Therefore, I was hypothesizing that hamstring tightness could be contributing to it.  After smashing them out and going back to deadlifting, the pain significantly decreased.  I don’t think this is the sole contributor, but loosening it up definitely helped.  Thanks for your help!  I would love to hear some thoughts from others too.

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