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How can strengthening my hip and butt muscles help prevent knee problems?

Rick Olderman
Physical Therapy

Correcting strength and range-of-motion problems at the hip benefits the knees because these muscles control the femur (thigh bone), which then helps control the knee. The only difference is that more attention should be paid to how the knee is moving.

What I mean by this is most knee pain stems from the knee excessively rotating or collapsing in when walking, sitting, or standing. When the knee collapses in, the thigh bone rotates inward (internal rotation). This is stressful to the knee joint tissues. Observing this and preventing it, together with correcting pelvic muscle weaknesses or range-of-motion issues will fix most knee pain. The muscles to target are the external rotators of the leg, the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius.

Fixing You: Hip & Knee Pain: Self-treatment for IT band friction, arthritis, groin pain, bursitis, knee pain, PFS, AKPS, and other diagnoses

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Fixing You: Hip & Knee Pain: Self-treatment for IT band friction, arthritis, groin pain, bursitis, knee pain, PFS, AKPS, and other diagnoses

Hip and knee pain are often a result of poor pelvic muscle performance in combination with poor walking habits. This combination creates tracking problems in the hip socket or excessive rotation at...

There are a number of muscles in the lower leg and lumbo-pelvic-hip complex whose function may be related to the knee. The adductor muscles and glutes are two major muscle groups responsible for controlling knee movement. It is important to restore and maintain normal range of motion and strength, and eliminate any muscle inhibition, to ensure joints are operating optimally.

Over activity of the hip flexors and adductors muscles coupled with weakness of the gluteus muscles cause a number of issues including increased internal rotation of the upper thigh bone and caving in of the knee joint during functional motion. When this occurs the knee is susceptible to acute injuries such as ACL tears as well as chronic injuries such as patellofemoral pain syndrome, jumper’s knee and illiotibial band friction syndrome. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.