Sign up for our Positive Stance™ Newsletter

Knee pain

Lemontree
Lemontree's picture
Offline
Last seen:
6 years 11 months ago
Joined:
07/28/2010 - 7:17am
Knee pain
Fifteen months of using the 8 Steps techniques has left me stronger, more flexible, more confident, and happier. A few things still bother me; here's one:  while glide walking, I feel pain in the front of my knees. At first, the knee pain was felt throughout the day after walking (like when I sit down, it hurts), and now I feel it throughout the day and while walking. Glidewalking feels wonderful to me otherwise and I don't want to go back to the old clomping style of walking. I'm wearing New Balance Motion control shoes, but I have worn Keen sandals on my walks and I still feel it.  I've re-read the Glidewalking chapter at least twelve times and gone through the steps slowly, and I need some new ideas to try. Help!
natecase
natecase's picture
Offline
Last seen:
5 years 5 months ago
Joined:
07/24/2010 - 4:37am
When I first was trying to figure out the glidewalking technique from the book in the weeks before I took the class, my left knee started hurting and I have never had knee pain in my life.  I slowed down to where I was walking in slow motion to see if I could figure out what was going on. I found that right before I put my left leg down, the muscle at the top of my knee on the front of my leg would grip just before my foot touched the ground.  My right leg wasn't doing this.  I think I was trying to soften the footfall on the left side by pulling back with my front leg muscles before landing. I was able to make it stop but I couldn't walk any faster and I gave it up completely so I could start fresh at the class.  At the class, I figured out that I wasn't focusing enough on correctly landing the front leg with a bent knee.  I feel like I was still trying to be tall when walking by making my legs tall even though with a bent front knee and the other leg straight out behind me, I had to be a little lower to the ground than when standing.  So I think of it more now as being tall with the spine and letting the hip sink into the walking.  Also, it seems for me, that getting the front leg completely relaxed means that the whole leg feels like it acts a little bit like a spring after landing. I let my weight sink into it after landing so that the whole leg absorbs some of the weight, kind of like doing a miniature lunge and then activate the muscles to straighten and pull the leg backwards. The other part of it for me that I noticed is that even though it is very quiet and gliding, my upper body isn't just floating along. It kind of goes up and down slightly like a very a smooth wave.  This is because the pulling leg is straight up and down when the swinging leg is crossing making me taller and then when the front leg is landing and the heel is back on the ground that makes me lower.  I don't know if you are doing what I was doing but I would say try to focus on relaxing that swinging leg not just at the knee but also at the groin so that the whole leg can be a little springy and not stiff.  Hope this helps.
Esther Gokhale's picture
Founder
Offline
Last seen:
1 hour 17 min ago
Joined:
09/10/2008 - 8:36pm
Natecase says it well, I think. Make sure you are truly relaxing the front leg, both at the knee and at the hip. When you first find this way of walking as a series of mini-lunges, you may rise up and down some, but you want to evolve your form to where there is relatively little up and down.
Lemontree
Lemontree's picture
Offline
Last seen:
6 years 11 months ago
Joined:
07/28/2010 - 7:17am
Esther and Nate, I rested my knees by not walking for a week, and started up again (typically it's thirty minutes a day with the dog).  Upon reading Chapter 8 yet again, I just now got that it's okay to really use the psoas muscle to move the leg forward.  In the past I was relying mostly on gluteus medius, then after a while of that I realized I should be using my feet, too.  Now I'm going to try really using the psoas. So is the point of this walking just not to use the quadriceps, and not to plop down the legs each time?  How much should I rely on the psoas muscle?  I may get a video made of my walking again.  I had one before but that was the wrong technique and I deleted it.  If you have any ideas for me, toss them to me, please. Nate, I printed out your comments and studied them.  It seems my legs are bent when landing and not stiff, but your note was quite detailed and a good description of what might have been my problem.  Thanks for the time you took to write that out for me. 
Esther Gokhale's picture
Founder
Offline
Last seen:
1 hour 17 min ago
Joined:
09/10/2008 - 8:36pm
I wouldn't say the point is to not use the quads. To not plop down on the legs each time seems like a worthier point, but really the point of glidewalking is to walk in the healthiest possible manner, the way you were designed to walk. This gives in a multitude of benefits. You get from one place to another, you exercise various muscles especially the glutes (which in turn has a myriad benefits), you spare all your weight-bearing joints, you stretch your psoas and calves, etc. etc. Glad to hear about your progress and exploration!
dkiser
dkiser's picture
Offline
Last seen:
1 month 1 week ago
Joined:
09/10/2016 - 5:52pm

Hi,

I read the above posts with interest, but I am wondering if anyone has additional input given what I will describe below:

I took the Gokhale Foundational course almost two years ago and have practiced the Gokhale method religiously. I also signed up for the continuing education classes since completing the foundation course. I had left knee surgery several years ago and really have not had any knee problems since. 

My biggest challenges are when I am walking with other people (I loose focus and concentration) and when I am hiking up and down hills. Recently, I was hiking in Acadia National Park, in Maine, and it involved going up big boulders and down big boulders. Sometimes we had to slide on our butts down one boulder to reach the next one below. Other times, just stepping from one boulder to the next hurt my left knee (right knee now hurts a little). We went hiking in an Indiana state park yesterday and my knee(s) hurt more. 

I am going to take a break from stairs and strenuous hiking (walking a few miles a day on flat ground sometimes hurts my knee a little, but not much). I will continue to do daily Gokhale exercises and practice good posture.

Thanks for any input!

Dave

p.s. I am 67 years young!

 

Teacher
Offline
Last seen:
1 day 20 hours ago
Joined:
11/09/2010 - 2:51pm

Hi Dave,

Here are a few concepts it is good to think about when walking up and down hills and steps. First of all concentrate on kidney bean shaping your feet which takes the pressure off the inside of your knees where most people have knee issues. Several years ago a very large dog ran full speed into my left knee and fractured my left tibia at the tibial plateau. Now every day when I walk up and down a particularly steep hill with my dog, if I kidney bean my feet I have no pain in my knee but if I forget to do that or don’t do it well enough my left knee will feel uncomfortable.

The second concept to think about is that when you are walking up steps or up a steep hill, place one foot on the next step before you use the gluteal muscle of your other, lower leg to push you up to the next step. You are pushing yourself up with the lower leg rather than pulling yourself up with the upper leg and want to place the upper foot on the next step before you push with the gluteal muscle of the lower leg so you don’t have the whole weight of your upper leg to push up. 

When going down steps or down hill, your upper leg is bracing you and preventing you from putting a lot of weight on the lower leg as you descend. You place one foot gently on the lower step bracing yourself with the upper leg and bending your knee to allow you to reach the next lower step or boulder, or position on the hill. Your gluteal muscle of your upper leg gives you control of your step going down so you don’t jolt or pound your knee.

Good luck. Gludewalking can really be helpful in hiking and climbing and descending steps!

Warmly,

Roberta Cooks MD

Gokhale Teacher

Log in or register to post comments