• Chris Kelly

My knee hurts! Can anyone help?

Running and walking shouldn’t hurt all the time.  

This is a relatively easy conversation with someone who has picked up a bit of knee pain, but saying this to someone who has experienced a knee replacement or a runner who logs 50+ miles per week is another story entirely.

I am still young and idealistic enough to fantasize that the application of enough knowledge can conquer virtually any problem. But the reality is that sometimes pain is not going away for good. The body develops a story as we age and is more prone to manifesting it in what we perceive as pain.

For example, I have played soccer since I was seven years old. I was introduced to the bench press, squat and the barbell curl at 13. I once threw my back out before a crucial high school soccer game by using too much body English while attempting to curl a new max weight (#stupidgainz)

I now stand for a living and my story is that I experience extension based back when I stand for too long or perform too much of any one activity.

This makes sense because literally everything I have done for the past 30+ years has driven me in to this position. But because I understand the extension based back pain is my issue, I can manage it by giving my body a steady diet of what it lacks (lumbar flexion and hip extension).

I accomplish this by doing a “Daily warm up” and then performing posture reset exercises throughout the day as needed. They don’t take much time and alleviate the need to stretch for hours several days per week (which I wouldn’t do anyway) This is important because it illustrates an important principle for managing pain in virtually any area of the body. Namely- what needs to move that isn’t doing the job?

In this series of article, I will give you examples of case studies of different issues I commonly see. This week I begin with the knee.

My hope is that it provides you a thought process and place to start with whatever issue you may be dealing with.

Ouch, my knee hurts:

Knee pain is something I see a lot in clients that cannot fully lock out or flex their knee. If they knee cannot go thru it’s full range of motion with each step, it’s ability to absorb shock is greatly reduced and we end up getting damage to passive structures such as the ACL, MCL and Meniscus.

I also want to make clear that just because you have a torn ACL, MCL or damage to a meniscus does not equate to experiencing pain. In fact, one study showed that 89% of the population have knee damage that never exhibited pain or symptoms of osteoporosis.

The difference in people with pain is the repetitive movements that lead to one area being over used. For example, if more pain is occurring on one side or the other, chances are we are shifting more weight on to one side versus the other. Keeping this very simple, I am going to provide a set of questions to ask yourself when experiencing knee pain as well as answers below:Can I do these activities with full range of motion? If not, train them via the videos included.

Tibial rotation

Hip external rotation

Hip internal rotation

Big toe extension

Ankle dorsiflexion/plantarflexion


Can I shift my weight fully from side to side (aka can I feel my hamstrings, inner thighs and side abs in this drill?)If no to any of these,

I filmed an entire warm up for walking and running designed to un-kink the knee.


If stuff still hurts or you have further questions which go beyond this article, email me and lets talk.


😊Conclusion:

Feeling and moving better doesn’t have to be super complicated. It just requires a consistent approach. Join me next week as we tackle neck/shoulder pain and until then, be good to one another and don’t curl too heavy!

Until next time,

Coach Chris

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