Trigger Point Technologies Institute
You know how when you have knee pain and you try to tell someone where it hurts, it’s always difficult to say? When it’s the lower part of your knee, you know right where it is: just below the knee cap. But any other place, you can never be that specific. Sometimes the top outside, sometimes the top inside, other times it’s the outside of the knee, inside of the knee … or is it the really the knee at all? Maybe it’s IT band syndrome, or loss of cartilage, or an ACL tear, or meniscus issues. You get the idea, right?
Fortunately, it’s not always as bad as others make it out to be. There are so many trigger points that define how your knee operates. We at TriggerPoint Technologies see the majority of knee pain in the small of the knee just below the kneecap. Look at the biomechanical evaluation for knee pain, and you will understand that, once the soleus loses its elasticity, you lose dorsiflexion in the foot. Once this occurs, the anterior tibialis tightens up and causes the patella to track improperly. The picture, below, shows where the anterior tibialis inserts in the knee.
Understanding the anatomical relationships will help you to treat the problem and not just the symptom. Once you release the soleus (as seen in green on the biomechanical evaluation page), you regain the ability to raise your foot, thus allowing your AT to function properly and not pull down on your knee. First, use the TP Massage FootBaller to create elasticity in the soleus, (see picture A, below). Then you can also take the TP Massage Ball™ or FootBaller to roll through the anterior tibialis. Make sure to stay off the bone. This combination of treatments will take care of any adhesions that may have occurred. For long-term relief from knee pain, however, you must also treat your biomechanical problems, since these assist in the building of the adhesions or trigger points. You must rid yourself of the problem rather than only the symptom.
There is more to consider in the analysis and treatment of knee pain. Once the anterior tibialis is overworked, stability in the knee is lost. This is when the rectus femoris (quad muscle) takes over the responsibility for stability and functionality of the leg. The rectus femoris (see biomechanical evaluation, elongated red region) connects on the top of your kneecap, demanding that the kneecap be pulled upward when the rectus femoris is being overworked. It is essential to treat both areas to eliminate general kneecap and knee pain. If you think about it, when you bend your knee and your quads are incredibly tight, what is your kneecap supposed to do? Interesting isn’t it?
The TP Massage QuadBaller is specifically designed to work these areas, and the TP Massage Ball™ is also effective. Remember to breathe when manipulating the muscle otherwise, since oxygen intake is integral to the treatment. Please see pictures below (in each case, (a) shows the QuadBaller at work, and (b) shows the TP Massage Ball™). When using the TP Massage Ball™, the pressure applied by the ball is very localized and specific, which is why we developed the QuadBaller. The QuadBaller allows you to manipulate these areas with much more ease, as well as addressing a greater area at one time. Same awesome results, just a bit more efficient.
bThe inside of your knee can be influenced by the trigger points in the inner quad (please see trigger point referral chart for knee pain). Addressing the trigger points can eliminate the dysfunction for a period of time. You still have to address the biomechanical problems that are causing the Trigger Points. If you never address the problem, the symptoms are always going to be around. Think about stretching. If you stretch a muscle that has no elasticity, what are you actually stretching? The answer is the head and the tail of the muscle. So you’ve got to create the elasticity in the quads before you stretch the muscle, otherwise you could be inadvertently contributing to the knee pain.
b Pain in the outside top of the knee also results from the quad, specifically the vastus lateralis (see treatment pictures below); pain in the outside lower part of the knee results from the anterior tibialis.
b If you have knee pain, you should also read about IT band syndrome, because once the pelvis starts to tilt knee problems can result from IT band problems. Furthermore, the psoas can play a big role due, given its dominating strength and influence over the pelvis