Knee Pain in San Mateo, CA

Olga brought running back into my life

Knee Pain in San Mateo, CA

During my first year of high school, I injured my hip while running a cross country course. The pain…was excruciating, and I …(re-injured) my hip multiple times following my first injury. I went through a series of physical therapy sessions, but I continued to have pain following workouts. Even walking long distances became difficult since my right leg was now significantly longer than my left. I had two sessions with Olga, …using the Anat Baniel method. The slow movements and gentle process was such a nice change from physical therapy exercises. I was shocked to … see (my legs) were the same length again… My first long run after (the lesson) went great, and I have yet to have had any problems during workouts since. It is such a relief to be able to run again without having to worry about experiencing pain after. Although I had never heard about the Anat Baniel Method, I can’t imagine how different my life would be without it. Olga brought running back into my life … and I couldn’t be happier.

– Kimberly H.

What causes knee pain?

Knee pain is one of the most common problems that unfortunately is very difficult to heal.
There are potentially many issues that may cause knee pain and discomfort, from torn meniscus, gradual loss of cartilage, various joint issues, tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis and many other medical conditions.

Regardless of what caused the chronic issue, and whether the condition is acquired or of a hereditary nature, there some common patterns observed in people suffering from knee pain. Understanding of these patterns can help understand what kind of exercises can be most effective:

  • Poor gait and balance
  • Muscle weakness or tightness
  • Improper alignment of the spine, pelvis or lower extremities
  • Uneven distribution of force while walking or running
  • Various compensation patterns that lead to secondary problems

Modified Pilates exercises

Pilates exercises can improve the muscle balance that support knee joints during movement while dealing with chronic knee pain. Many exercises can be modified to ensure the most optimal movements with an even load distribution throughout the body. There are many Pilates exercises, specifically using Pilates Reformer, that target improving walking and running patterns. The load can be carefully adjusted under the guidance of an instructor based on the movement pattern and distribution of effort.

Feldenkrais-based movements

The way our body responds to pain, stress or overload is through various compensation mechanisms. For runners, usually some muscles are overused or the effort is unevenly distributed throughout the body. This generally causes the pelvis and spine to “freeze”. Initially, this may help to go through the effort and perform. However, in the long term this leads to developing of unhealthy movement patterns that cause a chronic condition and additional injury. Most of the runners who have not mastered a natural way of movement end up chronically placing significantly more stress on their knees.

Feldenkrais-based movements focus on restoring the natural way of movement and learning to distribute weight throughout the body. The pelvis and spine play critical role in this movement. Once they move freely and respond to gravitational forces in a natural way, the effort can be distributed differently, reducing pain and allowing further improvements.

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