Glute Strengthening and its Relation to Knee Pain

Jul 10, 2017

The summer months often bring a return of activities that we cannot participate in year round (trail running, baseball, etc). As training/activity frequency + intensity increases and consistently nice weather becomes a part of our day to day lives, biomechanical related knee pain is a common problem to encounter.  Recent research has demonstrated that in cases of knee pain caused by dysfunctional biomechanics of the lower extremity, strengthening of the gluteal muscles (hip) can be more effective at decreasing pain than knee strengthening exercises alone. The gluteus medius muscle, glute med for short, is especially vital when we look at strengthening the hip. The typical presentation of a weak glute med is a pelvic drop of the opposite hip when standing on one leg, ingoing knees (which stresses the structures on the inside of the knee, often causing knee pain), and pronated ankles (which stresses the structures on the inside of the ankle and can also put strain on the knee joint).

This knee pain resulting from weakness in the hips is a common complaint from runners experiencing pain on the inside of their knees after a run, but is not limited to an athletic population, as another common complaint is pain in the knees simply going up or down stairs. While the purpose of this blog is to bring attention to the impact that this muscle can have on the knees, a weak glute med can create many other problems in the lower extremity; for example: Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, medial tibial stress syndrome, and low back pain. These examples go to show how interconnected all of the muscles are in the human body and how one dysfunctional muscle in the kinetic chain of the lower extremity can create issues throughout the entire limb.


If you are experiencing knee pain which is limiting your physical activity this summer, give us at Active Physio Works a call at 780-458-8505 for a thorough assessment to get you set up on the path to recovery.

Category: Sam Dalk, MScPT

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