How Tight Hips Can Cause Knee Pain

Back Pain, Client Stories

Tight Hip Flexors? Do you need Stretching or Strength?

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To help you understand how tight hips can cause knee pain you must first appreciate that the knee does not work in isolation.

For example, activities that often cause knee pain like squatting, lunging, walking and running all require the feet, ankles, legs and hips to move together in a coordinated fashion. Let’s take a look at running and walking as an example.

A Quick Look at the Parts

Walking and running requires you to transfer weight from side to side as you step forward with alternating feet.  Part of this weight transfer is possible because the feet have the capability to roll inward toward each other (i.e., pronate). When the foot pronates, the ankle rolls in with it, which in turn helps rotate the lower leg, knee and thigh toward the midline of the body.

The thigh bone, which fits into the pelvis to form the hip socket, should also rotate inward in time with the lower leg as weight is transferred from left to right and vice versa.

So How Can a Tight Hip Cause Knee Pain?

As you now know, pronation of the foot enables the ankle and lower leg to roll inward.  However, if the hip is tight or lacks the flexibility to turn inward at the same time, then a tug-of-war ensues between the upper and lower leg and the knee joint is caught in the middle. This stress to the knee can lead to pain and dysfunction.

What Causes a Tight Hip?

 A primary cause of hip immobility is extended periods of sitting.  Whether at a computer, driving, eating, playing video games and/or watching TV, prolonged sitting places the hip sockets in a constantly flexed position.  Over time, this can lead to movement restrictions in the hip. Overdoing athletic movements that require only one or two ranges of motion for the hips, like bike riding or running, can also lead to muscle and soft tissue restrictions and subsequent hip immobility.  This immobility or tightness of the hips is a major contributor of knee pain.



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Also Read : Hip Mobility – Leg Raises, Gluteal Bridge, Hip Hinge

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