A bad knee is a disappointment to any athlete, but unfortunately, it happens to most people without preamble. Depending on its degree, it can be life-altering and prevent you from exercising. If you have knee pain, there are two possible paths you may take. The first one is that of a physician who may tell you to stop exercising and the second path is to ignore the warning signs of pain and continue pushing through until injuries stop you.
There is something you can do to prevent knee pain from grounding you and thus continue with your normal CrossFit workouts. The following are the major causes of knee pain and ways of addressing them.
Poor Foot Stability
Most athletes who complain of knee pain coincidentally have a history of pains somewhere on their arch right on the same foot. The link between poor foot stability and arch pain is a dysfunctional foot. The job of the arch is to roll across the surface transferring the forces of impact to the rest of the body. A flat foot is the same as a car with bad breaks and as such can’t effectively slow down as it rolls inward. If the foot rolls to a greater degree, it will pull the knee with it. The result of this is stress on the ligaments which hold your knee together.
Poor Ankle Mobility
This is one of the leading postural deviation experienced by many CrossFit athletes. The limitations in ankle mobility are mostly caused by our choice of CrossFit training shoes or the types of CrossFit workouts we choose to do. This problem affects our workout generally because there are a lot of squatting exercises we must do that depend on ankle mobility. If you lack ankle dorsiflexion, you will experience problems when decelerating your body and therefore end up with your knee traveling to a bad position.
While it is true that your knee is such a hard worker, it isn’t very smart. Its operation is influenced by the foot and the posterior muscles. The muscles generate force through the rubber band effect and because of this, glutes which can’t properly lengthen and accommodate the load during deceleration into a squat causes the knee to fall out of track and cave inwards. Your posterior connects to the leg and knee region through glute Maximus which attach through the IT band into the lower leg.
Poor Core Stability
Our body systems are organized as a series of alternating sections of stabile and mobile parts. Most of the CrossFit exercises comprise extension and flexion of the hips. To operationalize this, the spine works as the muscle anchor to flex and contract the hip by way of pulling the quadratus lumborum or femur to maintain pelvic stability as you transfer weight from one leg to the other. If this stability is lacking in your core, the origin and insertion points for your muscles change ultimately preventing you from maintaining proper control of your joints during motion.
As a CrossFit enthusiast, you should not just stop because of pains and aches, but rather pursue alternatives to address the problem. You may want to regress to some other activity as you give your body a chance to recover and build stronger fitness levels.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 05 May 18