Daily Mobility Exercises by Dr. Kelly Starrett Forums General Can’t Straighten Leg –

Viewing 9 reply threads
  • Author
    • #70962

      I’ve been dealing with leg dysfunction for about 7 months. Daily mobility work has been hit/miss in controlling the symptoms, I’ll have sporadic days where I can walk without discomfort and others where I’m right back where I was months ago. It feels as though if my brain is confused about the firing order from the glute down to my knee and there is always tension along the whole chain; quad smashing in the evening typically provides relief of the quad, although by the end of the next day I’m right back where I started.

      I was diagnosed with medial quad tendinosis and at times the VMO seems to “shut down” to the point where I can’t immediately contract it on command, which I imagine adds additional strain on the knee. I live with a constant knee angle fault (picture below) and I cannot straighten the leg in the standing position. I’ve seen a reputable PT and he concluded that I was not missing terminal knee extension (tested on flat ground), although could not provide a diagnosis as to what might be causing this. 

    • #74697
      AvatarNathan Richer

      To clarify from the pic – it’s your right leg that does not want to straighten when you stand? if that is true, then you can stand with both your feet firmly on the ground touching at 3 points – the ball of the foot at the big toe, the ball of the foot at the little toe, and heel and your left knee is straight but your right knee is not?

      or is your right foot not touching in all three points? or is your left knee not locked out? thanks!
    • #74698

      Yes, David, that’s correct; the right leg doesn’t want to straighten when I stand, foot is in contact at all points. It’s as if it’s hitting a wall, although if I take my fingers and pull up slack above the knee in the quad tendon/suprapatellar area and apply rearward pressure, I can place it into a more straightened position, which consequently allows me to generate more torque/glute contraction, but then it reverts back. I hope that makes sense!

    • #74699

      For what it’s worth, I’ll further elaborate on the effects of VMO/isometric quad contractions, as these sometimes provide great positive change. There are typically two outcomes when I work these: 1) the muscle group is off tension, I can contract the quad without any restriction and the results are positive – I can see the kneecap being “pulled” with the contraction as it should. 2) the whole area above the knee feels like it’s full of adhesions and is resisting proper contraction – the kneecap doesn’t really move in this case and I know I’m not making positive change.

    • #74714
      AvatarNathan Richer

      I had to look up NKT! i have had some kinesiology done to me. the effect doesn’t seem to be long lasting. it may work for you or it might not which is happened for me. i think that is the usual thing with any modality which is you may need to try a bunch of them until you find the right solution for you. we all wish the body was more easy to treat but i’ve found it is definitely not.

      as for your immediate problem have you looked at:

      also if you can stand like that, it is likely that your pelvis is tilted down to the right.  so that is more motivation to fix this. i’m not sure if resetting the pelvis will help but you may want to do this to counteract some of the immediate issues:

      try the above for a few weeks and see if it helps. if you try NKT, love to hear if that does something.
    • #74767


      I saw a Neurokinetic Therapist who confirmed that my entire right side from the hip down has become one giant confusing mess of tension and inhibition. I was breaking a sweat not 2 minutes into his testing and he commented on the anxiety/neural component which has developed as my body has adjusted to this injury over the past 7 months. 
      Strangely enough, my symptoms were relieved by the end of the appointment and I was able to straighten my leg without discomfort; for the first time in a long time I felt like I was standing like a normal person. 24 hours later, I went into a rapid tailspin and I’m back to feeling like I did months ago. 

      I can’t seem to solve this and I can’t afford to pay for momentary relief. I’m smashing, rolling, flossing, pressure-waving, contracting & relaxing and left with more frustration than I’ve every felt in my life. I know the main source of the problem is from tightness/inhibition at the glute and hip, but no amount of SMR is fixing this :(.
    • #74768
      AvatarNathan Richer

      In anything you try, I do not think it will take one session to magically fix.  If NKT is working for you, you might consider going for a while regularly to see if it will eventually reset your CNS and things will get back to normal. it is encouraging that you had a 24 hour good result.  but to expect longer than that from the first session is probably too much.  

      There are other techniques for neuromuscular retraining but they all require you seeing a specialist and paying for the service.  It is unlikely that you’d be able to achieve it yourself. It is possible that you could find a technique which could leave you with some at-home techniques to practice.
    • #74780
      AvatarKatie Hemphill

      Hey Sly,

      Any chance you could post a video of you doing a handful of air squats from the front and side? I’m just curious about how you’re moving in general.
      I don’t mean to downplay your issue in any way, I’ve just found that often treatments are given to relieve symptoms like yours without much being done to address the cause. If your problem is being caused by some poor general movement habits (that are being magnified greatly if you’re training hard), it will take a more complete approach than mobility work in general to set things right in the long term. This is why Starrett prioritizes fixing motor control issues before mobilizing.
    • #75509
      AvatarBrian Kraus

      Hi, I had a fall exactly 2months ago. And I was diagnos with Contusion of Left Knee. Since then I was walking around with crutches for the first 2weeks. I started to bare fully weight after that until now. I went to see Orthopaedic Specialist last month and required me to go for Physiotherapy this month as Im scared to do squatting. My curious is when I walk or standing my left knee couldn’t seems to push all the way in like what Sly facing. I couldn’t walk like my normal knee. What’s the problem actually.

    • #76216
      AvatarSarah Norton


Viewing 9 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.