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Save Your Knees

By Well Aligned

MON OCT 18, 2021

Knee problems are right up there with back and shoulder issues. What can we do about them? A healthy knee is able to move around, not dramatically but it doesn’t have to stay in a fixed position when we are standing or moving through our yoga postures. For a long time we were advising people not to let the knee go beyond the toes but we know better now.

As everything else in the body, when there is pain in the knees, we can work on this pain by addressing the whole body. A favourite exercise for the knees is the calf stretch. If you have added this to your daily routine, keep doing it and if not, start. One of the simplest things we can do for our knees is to stop overusing our quads – the muscles on the front of the thighs. We say simple but this isn’t always easy to do. Firstly, get the weight back over the heels and then see if you can make your kneecaps ‘dance’ (lift and lower). Once this is achieved, you can check in throughout the day to see just what is happening with the front of your legs and see if you can get the back of them to take some more of the load. Hello hamstrings and glutes!!!!

Your knee joints should last a lifetime comfortably. However, like the misaligned wheels on a car causing your tyres to wear out, a misaligned body can cause abnormal knee joint wear and tear resulting in inflammation and knee pain. Treating this without treating its underlying cause - your alignment - is like leaving your hand on a hot stove whilst taking a pain relief tablet.

A good start point to improving alignment is to keep working on your stance.

Basic Stance

The way we stand impacts on our knees. A vertical leg loads the knee evenly in all directions as shown in the photograph. Ideally we should stand with our feet pointing forward and aligned on the outside edge. The ridge of the hip bone should stack directly above the knees and the knees should stack directly above the hip joint. Most importantly the weight is in the heels.

Start working on your stance by being more mindful of your foot alignment and getting the weight in your heels.