How the femur position can cause knee pain…and how to fix it!

Zeena is seated next to these words: Feeling pain in your knees? Without an injury? Try these stretches now?

If you are experiencing knee pain and have not had any specific trauma on your knee, then read this! It might have to do with your femur position. 

A lot of knee pain issues have to do with alignment and posture. It could have to do with your feet, it could have to do with your hips, it could even have to do with your shoulders. One of the things that we look at as posture therapists is how the whole body and the whole kinetic chain is influencing all of the load joints. 

Focusing specifically on the knee, I often see an imbalance in femur position. Your femurs are your big thigh bones, connecting your knees and your hip. The femur has the ability to rotate at the hip joint, which is a really important part of walking and overall movement. When you walk, you need your femur to turn out and turn in through your gait cycle. If this is not happening, it strains the joint below the femur (the knee), and above the femur (the hip). 

The Goal

Ideally, we want your femur to rest in a neutral position(facing forward), but often they can sit either externally or internally rotated. Make sure to watch the video, and you will see an example where my client has a kneecap that is turned in, indicating an internally rotated femur. 

Today, in part one of this series, I’m going to go over a couple exercises to help with internal femur rotation. Before you get started, I recommend taking a picture of yourself and examining it for rotation in your kneecaps. Don’t try to look down at your knees, because that will mess up your alignment. Stand up tall, put a camera in front of you, and take a picture. If you see either of your kneecaps turned in, then you’re going to try the two exercises I demo in the video. 

Now one caveat here, there are so many options for ways that we can rotate the femur. I’ve picked two simple ones that use the floor, because floor exercises promote symmetry from right to left. If these don’t work for you or don’t feel great for you, then that is the time to come work with me in 1-to-1 posture therapy, so we can work on correcting your femur position. 

Next Step

Let me know in the comments how it worked for you. Maybe stand up and recheck your knees and see if you see a difference. If you don’t on the first day, do it every day for a couple of weeks and then check again. And if you have any questions you know where to find me. 

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