Knee Pain After Squat
Common Causes of Knee Pain When Squatting – Here are some common contributing factors to knee pain when squatting. No matter what the primary cause of your knee pain when squatting is, movement and targeted exercises are usually a first-line treatment for each of these issues. They help strengthen the knee to reduce pain and prevent pain flares from occurring in the future.
- Patellar tendinitis. The patellar tendon is located just below the kneecap. Repetitive force through the patellar tendon from activities like repeated jumping (often called jumper’s knee ) can contribute to inflammation or swelling just below the knee. This can contribute to knee pain when squatting for some people.
- Quadriceps tendinitis. The quadriceps tendon is located just above the kneecap and connects the quadriceps muscles (front thigh) to the top of the kneecap, helping you straighten your knee during activities like climbing stairs, walking, running, and jumping. If the quadriceps tendon becomes strained or irritated, you’ll feel pain just above the kneecap.
- Patellofemoral syndrome. This condition can cause a dull ache behind or around the kneecap and is caused by irritation in those areas. It may get worse during activities such as squatting and climbing stairs. It can also be referred to as runner’s knee because it’s common among athletes, but anyone can develop patellofemoral syndrome, regardless of activity level.
- Meniscus tear. Just as it’s normal to develop gray hair on your head or wrinkles on your skin, it’s normal for the cartilage that cushions the knee joint to change with age. While these changes are often unnoticeable, they can contribute to knee pain, stiffness, swelling, or reduced range of motion for some people. You may also feel a catching or locking sensation.
- Osteoarthritis. Similar to the meniscus, it’s normal for the articular cartilage that cushions the knee joint to change with age. If these changes contribute to friction in the knee joint, you may experience aches or stiffness that can make everyday movements, including squats, more difficult.
- Weak glute muscles. Research shows that working the glutes, inner hip, and inner thigh muscles can help reduce knee pain. If you have pain with squatting and your knees cave inward during a squat, try strengthening your glute muscles to see if it helps, suggests Dr. Anderson. Start with the standing side leg raise (instructions below). Know that knees caving inward during a squat isn’t necessarily a bad thing, or something that contributes to pain, but it may indicate a lack of glute strength which can be a factor in the bigger picture of your knee pain.
- Limited ankle mobility. Everything in the body is connected. So if your ankle has a limited ability to flex forward or adjust side to side, it ultimately affects the angle at which your knee bends and it may force your knee to assume a position that’s more stressful for you. Simple at-home exercises can improve your ankle’s range of motion (see prevention tips and exercises below).
- Too little movement throughout the day. Staying in the same position for too long can be irritating to your joints and make them stiffer. There’s no right or wrong way to sit or stand throughout the day. The most important thing you can do to prevent and manage stiff joints is to change positions and move throughout the day. If you have to sit a lot during the day, make sure to change positions and take movement breaks. Same with standing. That’s why our Hinge Health physical therapists always say your next position is your best position,
How do you relieve knee pain from squats?
Iliotibial band syndrome – The iliotibial band, or IT band, is tissue that runs the length of the upper leg from the hip to the knee. When a person bends their knee, the IT band moves to support it. If the IT band becomes inflamed, it can rub on the outer knee and cause pain, especially during movements that involve the joint, such as squatting.
IT band syndrome often affects runners. People who do not stretch properly before exercising also have a higher risk of sustaining this injury. Warming up properly before exercising can help prevent injury. Warming up the body is especially important in older adults, as muscles become less flexible and can tear more easily as people age.
To warm up, use movements that mobilize the joints and increase the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles, such as marching on the spot. Stretching the legs before and after exercise can also help lower the risk of injury or strains. To squat correctly:
start in a standing positionkeep the feet shoulder-width apartwhile exhaling, bend the knees and lower the buttocks as though going to sit downhold the arms out to maintain balanceensure that the heels remain planted on the floorkeep the buttocks above knee level and only go as low as is possible without causing discomfortkeep the thighs parallel to the floorkeep the back in a straight, neutral positionmake sure that the hips, knees, and toes are all pointing forwardinhale and return to a standing position by pushing down into the heels and keeping the buttocks tight
The Arthritis Foundation recommend that people who are experiencing pain when squatting do squats against a wall. Using the wall for support can help people strengthen weak or injured muscles and reduce pain over time. People can do squats against a wall using the following steps:
stand with the back flat against a wallkeep a distance of roughly 18 inches between the back of the heels and the wallplant the feet shoulder-width apartexhale and lower the buttocks as though going to sit downdo not let the buttocks sink lower than the kneestense the abdomen and keep the back flat against the wallinhale and use the heels and leg muscles to stand back up
The Arthritis Foundation advise people who are experiencing pain when squatting to do 10 wall squats three times a week, Anyone with a medical condition that could affect their ability to exercise should speak to a doctor before making changes to their fitness routine. People can use the R.I.C.E method for relieving pain in the knee. The R.I.C.E method involves:
R est: Rest the knee and avoid bearing too much weight on it. I ce: Apply a towel-wrapped ice pack to the knee for 20 minutes at a time. C ompression: Place an elastic wrap or bandage around the knee to help prevent swelling. E levation: Whenever possible, prop the leg up so that the knee is higher than the heart.
Over-the-counter drugs, such as ibuprofen, can help reduce pain and swelling. Although people may need to avoid exercising or doing more squats, gentle movements or stretches can reduce stiffness and keep the joint mobile. If people are still experiencing knee pain from squatting or other activities after giving the knee time to heal, they should see a doctor.
They may need to work with a physiotherapist to improve the condition of the knee. In severe cases, surgery might be necessary. The time that it takes for the knee to recover will depend on the type of injury or condition affecting the knee. People who squat as part of their workout or during everyday activities should ensure that they are correctly performing this movement to prevent knee pain.
It is often possible to relieve pain by bandaging the knee, applying a cold compress, resting or changing activity, or taking pain relievers. If people continue to experience pain in the knee during or after squatting, they should visit a doctor to make sure that there is no underlying condition causing this symptom.
Can squatting too deep cause knee pain?
Abstract – It has been suggested that deep squats could cause an increased injury risk of the lumbar spine and the knee joints. Avoiding deep flexion has been recommended to minimize the magnitude of knee-joint forces. Unfortunately this suggestion has not taken the influence of the wrapping effect, functional adaptations and soft tissue contact between the back of thigh and calf into account.
- The aim of this literature review is to assess whether squats with less knee flexion (half/quarter squats) are safer on the musculoskeletal system than deep squats.
- A search of relevant scientific publications was conducted between March 2011 and January 2013 using PubMed.
- Over 164 articles were included in the review.
There are no realistic estimations of knee-joint forces for knee-flexion angles beyond 50° in the deep squat. Based on biomechanical calculations and measurements of cadaver knee joints, the highest retropatellar compressive forces and stresses can be seen at 90°.
- With increasing flexion, the wrapping effect contributes to an enhanced load distribution and enhanced force transfer with lower retropatellar compressive forces.
- Additionally, with further flexion of the knee joint a cranial displacement of facet contact areas with continuous enlargement of the retropatellar articulating surface occurs.
Both lead to lower retropatellar compressive stresses. Menisci and cartilage, ligaments and bones are susceptible to anabolic metabolic processes and functional structural adaptations in response to increased activity and mechanical influences. Concerns about degenerative changes of the tendofemoral complex and the apparent higher risk for chondromalacia, osteoarthritis, and osteochondritis in deep squats are unfounded.
- With the same load configuration as in the deep squat, half and quarter squat training with comparatively supra-maximal loads will favour degenerative changes in the knee joints and spinal joints in the long term.
- Provided that technique is learned accurately under expert supervision and with progressive training loads, the deep squat presents an effective training exercise for protection against injuries and strengthening of the lower extremity.
Contrary to commonly voiced concern, deep squats do not contribute increased risk of injury to passive tissues.
How long does squat pain last?
You’ve worked extra hard on the turbo trainer, really pushed it on those hill sprints or tried a new strength training routine at the gym, and in the days following, everything hurts, Your quads refuse to go upstairs – and let’s not even talk about going down again – your triceps shake when you hold the hairdryer, and you have to lower yourself onto the toilet like you’ve suddenly aged 50 years.
Welcome to the wonderful world of delayed onset muscle soreness, aka DOMS. A normal after-effect of hard exercise, DOMS can hit anyone regardless of fitness level and typically happens when you try something new or switch up your workout routine. The good news is that it usually only lasts a couple of days and, while it may not feel like it at the time, that sore, achy stiffness is actually a good thing.
DOMS is a sign your body is adapting to exercise and getting fitter. In the long-term, things should feel much less painful when you repeat the same workout again. Even so, it’d be nice if you could shortcut the worst of those day-two aches. So can you reduce the impact? And what about exercising with DOMS, is that a good idea? Here’s everything you need to know about the dreaded post-training aches.
Why are my knees weak when squatting?
5. Chondromalacia Patella – Chondromalacia patella is one of the most common causes of knee pain when squatting in young, healthy individuals. With chondromalacia there is softening of the cartilage that lines the back of the kneecap. People with chondromalacia patella typically complain of a dull, achy pain at the front of their knee and a grinding sensation when they squat rather than a sharp, stabbing pain.
What should hurt after squats?
1. Your quads are more sore than anything else – Good squats build the thigh muscles evenly. The day after squatting you should note that your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and adductors(the muscles of your groin/inner thigh) are all sore. Not just your quads. Major soreness in the quads from squatting (unless this is your goal) is a sign that your squat mechanics aren’t what they could be.