Daily Mobility Exercises by Dr. Kelly Starrett Forums Knee Bilateral knee pain around patella for the last 5 years

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    • #71076
      AvatarJeffrey Scott

      Hi everyone,

      After reading some threads in the knee forum there seems to be lots of great advice being given. I’ll try to keep this as short as possible, but please let me know if you need any more info.
      Around 5 years ago I was running every other day during the summer and one morning woke up with knee pain above both knees. It was quite a sharp pain but only noticeable when weight bearing on a bent leg. Walking around or a gentle jog didn’t aggravate it, but cutting or playing sports did.
      I’m in the UK and at the time was playing a lot of soccer (3-4 times per week during the winter) but it was the running that seemed to start it. I had to stop all sports for around 4 years. In the last 18 months I’ve started a bit of sports again, but I can only play once a week otherwise the pain gets too bad.
      To cut a very long story short, the treatments I’ve tried (in order) include:
      • Initially tried rest, ice and compression for a month or so
      • When that didn’t work some basic physio
      • Custom made orthotics (no improvement)
      • Arthroscopic surgery on both knees to remove a plica above the kneecap – no improvement
      • Extensive weekly physio with a sports therapist in London for 6+ months (no noticeable improvement). He worked a lot on glute activation and core strength.
      • Cortisone injections – didn’t help at all
      • Fat pad injections below the knee – no improvement
      • Eccentric loading protocol – VERY painful so stopped after a few weeks, as pain seemed to be getting worse.
      • Another physio for 6 weeks – no improvement
      • A third physio around a year later – again no improvement
      • ART therapy (guy said he couldn’t help after one session)
      • Self myofascial release and stretching – I’ve been doing this on and off for years but never really noticed much of a difference.
      Other pain areas:
      My knees cause me the most issues in my daily life, but I also have tendon pain all over. Tendons such as the adductor, hip flexor, triceps and achillles are constantly aching. When I tried weight lifting last year, I spent a lot of time learning about form for the upper body but my shoulders got very painful after a couple of months, and since then haven’t settled down.
      I’ve been tested for pretty much everything, including Lymes, rheumatoid arthritis, thryoid issues, low vitamin d levels etc and everything has come back negative.

      The only reason I can think of is that my body is so far out of alignment that it’s causing excessive load on my tendons. The strange thing is that I can rest for months and the pain in a tendon doesn’t get better. 

      When the pain started I’d just finished a long exam period at university, and now I work at a computer, so I spend a LOT of time sitting at a desk.
      The Pain Now:
      The knee pain is mainly directly above and below the patella, around the tendon attachments. The whole outer edge of the patella is sore to touch though. I notice it most going down stairs or doing single leg squats.
      I can play a 30 minute game of 6 a side football OK if I take it easy, but everything flares up in the morning for a few days.
      For the last couple of months I’ve been using a massage ball on my quads and IT band while trying to do the “wall” stretch from mobilitywod, but  there hasn’t been a noticeable improvement. My hips are tight though – I still can’t get my hips beyond straight in the wall stretch, and I can’t sit cross legged.
      I’d really appreciate any suggestions for the knee pain or any of the other pain areas I mentioned. I’m willing to try pretty much anything. Thanks for reading!
    • #75117

      Has anyone looked at your running technique?
      This could be where the problem originates.
      Are you addressing any of your tendon problems with mobs?
      The pain in the tendons doesn’t go away even when you rest because the cause of the issue is still present.
      Until you identify the root cause it will continue to come back.

      Yo spend alot of time sitting are you in an organized position?

    • #75118
      AvatarJeffrey Scott

      Hi Kaitlin, thanks for replying.

      When I had the orthotics made my running technique was recorded and I was found to have very flat feet. I don’t run anymore though – since all the pain started I’ve probably been on 3-4 runs as it’s the worst thing for it.
      I have done some basic mobilisation of the patella, but aside from that I haven’t done any specific tendon mobilisations. Is there any you recommend?
      When sitting I try to keep my knees and hips and 90 degrees, but I definitely slouch sometimes.
    • #75126
    • #75562
      AvatarKevin Cho

      I was also experiencing similar knee pain for several months.  I was mobilizing regularly, but ignoring movement patterns and motor control. Even though I thought I knew.  It turned out I was landing with my right leg overly bent and was loading it maximally in range, because I was also loading it first in range.  I worked on terminal knee extension (lots of videos for this mob). I also smashed my hammy and did a ton of band distracted hip mobilizations.  I was also overextended, but I don’t think this was as big of an issue.  Lesson learned: sitting is death.  I fixed almost everything and feel way better, but have damaged my patella (chrondomalacia) and now need a scope. Get your hips and hamstrings working and your knees secondary to your hips as prime movers.  One of my friends had the same issue which was fixed through TKE mobs, deadlifts, and box squats. He also has very flat feet, which he is getting rid of partially via new-found external rotation torque.

      Good luck!

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