The squatting position is quite common for most of us in our day-to-day engagements or exercises. For example, you might have to squat to pick up objects dropped on the ground or while lifting heavy objects from the ground. Your workout routine or the sport you engage in might also require some degree of squatting.
Whatever the scenario, you might sometimes experience some pain in such a position – some discomfort in joint parts like under the kneecap, according to the trigger.
There are many possible causes of knee pain as you squat. Both reduced muscle stability and joint inflexibility are often contributing factors. You do not have to enroll in yoga classes since the Feel Good Knees – a 5-minute ritual, and The Comfort Zone program can help you eradicate knee stress by maintaining limber joints.
Luckily, you can now significantly boost your joint mobility using The Comfort Zone short stretching sessions. However, the not-so-great news is that the mobility changes will quickly vanish if you fail to adhere to a regular exercise routine. Therefore, having a proper program is essential. Below are some of the main focus areas and tips to help you reduce knee pain when squatting.
Enhance Ankle Mobility
Your ankle mobility is a significant aspect that affects the squatting mechanics. Squatting deeper down will result in more significant problems if you lack this aspect. The significant repercussions will be the heels and knees lifting from the ground and caving inwards. These two movement patterns increase pressure on your knee region and are linked to knee pain as you squat. Additionally, the movements’ dysfunctions and ankle stiffness are factors in various common conditions and can trigger knee pain.
Low ankle mobility is also a patellar tendonitis risk factor. An athlete with little ankle flexibility is worse at impact absorption as they land after jumping. This contributes to extra stress on knee joints as time progresses.
There is a tendency to have flatter feet and squatting with the feet turned out for people with knee arthritis. These two-foot positions are undesirable and result from poor ankle motion range. A patient with kneecap arthritis (patellar) shows 20% reduced ankle mobility. In addition, about 73% of patellar patients show arthritis signs behind their kneecaps. A painful knee as you squat is among the most typical complaints linked to patellar, and loosening up your ankles can help boost knee functionality, reducing arthritis-linked knee pain.
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome is among the most prevalent knee pain cause for people of all age brackets. Ankle mobility is the main factor while assessing the condition’s underlying cause. This all shows the importance of having flexible ankle joints. Now, let us determine whether your joints are supple or not. This fast and straightforward test only requires a wall and a ruler, and you can determine whether your joints are stiff.
Ankle mobility home test
- Put the ruler on the floor 90 degrees to the wall with the zero mark being towards the wall.
- Place a mark at 9cm from the wall and put your big toe on the mark.
- Take a step backward and get into a lunge position with your rear knee on the floor. You can place the knee on a cushion if the knee is pressure sensitive.
- With the big toe still on the mark, try touching the knee to the wall without lifting the heel or letting the foot fall inwards. Keep moving the knee forward, aligned with the big toe.
- If you cannot make contact with the wall using the knee, it could be that the calf muscles are compacted hence a stiffer than normal ankle joint. Again, it would help to try The Comfort Zone repeatedly, stretching over the day and retest for such a case.
- Keep the heel planted
- Push your hips close to the wall
- Maintain the position for half a minute
- Do the same for the other side
Enhance Hip Strength
Assuming your knees to be the horse, the hips become the chariot equivalent. Muscles surrounding your hips play a significant role in how the knees move, especially as you squat. Sub-optimal function and weakness of your hip musculature affect every typical knee condition: ACL injuries, knee osteoarthritis, ITBS10, and PFPS8.
Your glutes help push the knees outwards (external rotation) during squatting down. If you cannot correctly coordinate them or are weak, the knees tend to cave inwards (Knee Valgus). This applies unusual stress to your meniscus, knee cap, MCL, and ACL. Keeping the glutes engaged is helpful with knee alignment since it forces the knees to be in line with the toes as you go down deeper into the squatting position.
Put On Supportive Garment or Brace
Are you on the move and lack time for exercising? A knee brace or sleeve is a better fix to reduce knee pain as you squat. Scientific research and anecdotal evidence hint at knee sleeves helping to reduce pain. They offer compression around the joint, which helps keep inflammation and swelling under control.
Knee Braces for Painful Knee as You Squat
A knee brace goes further to stabilize and offload your knee joint. Many conventional hard-shelled knee braces help in keeping the knee laterally aligned. However, an off-loader knee brace is an innovation to offload your entire knee or parts of your knee joint. The braces are preferred by people experiencing knee arthritis. With a tri-compartment off-loading mechanism, such braces can actively reduce knee pain and pressure as you squat.
If you are confused about the type of brace to meet your requirements, you could compare Donjoy and Levitation knee braces. Donjoy braces are among the conventional offloaders, whereas Levitation is a tri-compartment offloader.
Squatting can be an excellent means of building your glutes and toughening the leg muscles. But the popular exercise move is usually associated with knee pain for some people. At times, knee pain as you squat can result from an incorrect posture or the shape of your knees, all of which you can avoid with Feel Good Knees and The Comfort Zone program. If you experience knee pain as you squat, do not abandon the exercise, as The Comfort Zone stretching program has a solution for you.