Have you stopped running because of pain in the back of your knee? Maybe you are still putting on the miles, but you are left with a nagging, achy pain the next day? Your pace has slowed, and stride has shortened. The knee hurts and is hard to extend. Pain meds help, but the pain is still there. You’ve tried stretching your calf and hamstring muscles. The foam roller has become your best friend. But nothing seems to work.
Did you know there is a tiny muscle called the popliteus that sits right behind the knee? You would not think such a tiny muscle could cause an issue. The pain you are experiencing, the nagging discomfort keeping you from running may be a popliteus problem.
The popliteus is tiny, yet mighty. It performs several functions that keep your knee and lower extremity moving properly. Here are some of those functions:
It has been said that after certain surgeries the popliteus will contract up to 300%. This contraction can prevent the knee from fully extending. This will alter running mechanics substantially and can result in discomfort.
It is common for the popliteus to overcompensate for weakness in the hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, big toe extensors, and the psoas.
If you have been suffering from pain behind the knee and have tried everything to resolve it, you may have a popliteus problem. It is one factor that may be causing your knee pain. Why not find an expert who can figure out the cause and get you back to running now? At Body Evolution we work with patients one on one and have the time to investigate why your knee hurts. If you have a popliteus problem, we have a solution. If you are in Fort Collins or surrounding areas then give us a call to see how we can help you get back to pain-free running.
I'm just a guy helping active adults and athletes frustrated by nagging aches and pains naturally return to a healthy lifestyle.