Have you ever been told that your glutes aren’t firing? Or that they aren’t working properly and that is the cause of your knee or knee pain?
We hate to break it to you, but that is total BS!
This age old verbiage to patients to not only inaccurate, but it actually prolongs your rehab! Let me explain.
Yes, it is true that people with hip and knee injuries tend to have weaker glute muscles. So why then do people with very strong glute muscles also get these same types of injuries? Or why don’t some people with weak hips have knee and hip pain at all?
This is because it is a correlational relationship; not a causational relationship.
That means that people with knee and hip pain often have weaker glute muscles but it doesn’t mean that if you have weaker glute muscles that you are for sure going to get knee pain. Furthermore, there is no evidence of reduced glute muscle activation during walking or running in folks with knee and hip pain and those without it.
Let’s look a bit deeper.
The role of your glute muscles is largely to stabilize your pelvis and control where your upper leg (femur) goes when you’re standing, walking or running. Let’s get this clear: YOUR GLUTES ARE FIRING IF YOU ARE STANDING ON ONE LEG AT ALL! You can’t avoid it.
While weaker glutes may lead to increased fatiguability and potential compensation, rest assured, those little booty muscles are most certainly firing.
What actually tends to be the bigger issue is the lack of motor control and the ability to stabilize the hip or knee with dynamic movement in patients with these types of injuries. Strong or weak, you must still learn how to move well in order to stay pain free.
Having strong glute muscles will allow you to do more of what you enjoy doing before they fatigue and compensations start to kick in. So, strength is important here but the ability to control your movement at varying speeds, directions and intensities is equally as important and is often times overlooked in return to sport rehab in the conventional setting.
What’s the takeaway here? YOU’RE NOT BROKEN! Your body is working just fine. We just need to learn how to use it well and get you on a program to gradually increase stress to that area over time. Plain and simple. That’s where working with an experienced therapist that you can reach out to any time comes into play. Let us be your guide through this process and help you learn how to move better for life.