It’s really miserable when your knees ache. Standing waiting for the bus or a train becomes an agony. Or even walking to the bus stop or station in the first place.
In fact, most of life is a bit of a trial when your knees hurt. It seems that barely a movement in life takes place without the knees coming into play somehow:
getting out of bed,
walking to the bathroom,
stepping into the shower,
standing in the shower,
stepping out of the shower,
standing to brush your teeth,
sitting down to eat,
standing up again afterwards
– and we haven’t really started the day yet!
If you have knee pain, you’ll want relief! If you have the occasional twinge of knee pain, you’ll want to stop it from getting worse. You may want to take advantage of this my forthcoming, limited-numbers offer on “Toe-in-the-Water” Alexander Technique lessons to make sure of that.
Is knee pain common?
Yes, knee pain is incredibly common, especially as we get a little older. The overall prevalence of knee pain is about 19%, but it is only about 4% amongst children and higher amongst older people. In general, more women suffer knee pain than men.
There are many causes of knee pain, and some knee pain is ‘referred’, meaning that it’s origin is somewhere else (usually the hip, thigh, or spine).
What is to be done?
Whatever the cause of your knee pain, assuming it’s not a disease, here’s an idea that’s likely to help:
- sitting on a firm, preferably horizontal, chair (like a dining chair or desk chair), put a cushion or other support under your thigh near your knee. It needs to be big enough to lift your foot off the ground so that your lower leg can hang from the knee. If the chair isn’t high enough for this, you may have to raise it up on some books – it depends on the chair, and on how long your legs are! If you can’t get this to work while sitting, you can work from standing.
- Once you have found your way to let your lower leg dangle, maintain an awareness of what you can see and hear, as well as of your sensations in your leg and elsewhere;
- at the same time really let your lower leg dangle. Think of it being released all the way from your lower back and your hip joint and your groin; and think of your thigh as long, with the lower leg bones are hanging from below the end of your thigh.
If you are sitting, you’ll be able to maintain this hanging lower leg for some time, but make sure that you keep your awareness and thought process going, and see if you can stop your mind from wandering off elsewhere. Better to try this frequently and for short periods, than occasionally for a long time.
If you are standing, you may only be able to do this in short bursts – that’s fine. A little and often is best.
Bear in mind that the most important pieces of this are maintaining an open, inclusive awareness (of what’s around you as well as of your sensations); the thought of release all the way from your lower back, hip joint, and groin; and the idea of allowing your lower leg bones to hang from below the end of your femur (thigh bone).
Over to you
Do let me know how you get on with this in the comments below. And if it turns out that this isn’t helping your particular knee problem, get in touch by email and we can try a different approach – for knees, there is no ‘one size fits all’.
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Or contact me to get in the queue for my forthcoming limited-numbers offer on “Toe-in-the-Water” lessons in the Alexander Technique. I shall look forward to hearing from you.