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If you read my previous article, “Top 3 Training Mistakes Volleyball Coaches Make With Their Athletes”you know that I suffered through “Jumper’s Knee” (a broad layman’s term that describes dull aching pain above and/or below the kneecap) for over 15 years. Obviously I went through many physical therapists, doctors, and athletic trainers during this time period. Some of them helped more than others and regardless of their ability to help my chronic knee pain I am grateful for their effort. There was a lot of emphasis on strengthening my quads with weight training, gaining more flexibility in my hamstrings through stretching, and releasing my IT Bands via foam roller. These are all still tools I utilize with my own athletes and they often help but sometimes they aren’t the missing piece to the “Jumper’s Knee” puzzle. In fact rarely is there just one piece to this puzzle. Patellofemoral pain can come from a variety of different sources and one source that doesn’t seem to get enough respect in my opinion is the external rotators of the hip. A lot of treatment is focused near the knee joint but these external rotators of the hip are pretty powerful and can twist the femur so that the knee cap has trouble tracking properly when the knee is flexing and extending. This puts unnecessary stress on the patellar tendon and often results in “Jumper’s Knee”. So, one simple exercise I use is demonstrated below by Joe Defranco of defrancostraining.comand is called Self Myofascial Release.

Now, this is not going to be the most pleasant exercise you’ve ever done. But then again, “Jumper’s Knee” is far more painful and debilitating.

You can also stretch them. Below is a super cheesy video on how to do it.

Like I said, it’s cheesy but it gets the job done. Hopefully releasing and stretching this group of muscles is one of the pieces to your knee pain puzzle. It sure was a big one for mine.

Some other things you can do involve bringing down systemic inflammation with a non-inflammatory diet like I describe in my articles, “Best Breakfast For Fat Loss and Athletic Performance” and “Elite Nutrition For Elite Athletes”.

Give all this a shot and let me in on your results!!