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Knee Pain is Keeping You from Your True Self… And What To Do About It!

acl atlanta decatur dr. mike knee pain mcl motor control physical therapy strength training Feb 13, 2024

Let’s face it - we love being active, competing, and challenging our bodies to do hard things. With that comes the normality of a few aches and pains along the way. Every sport that requires a foot to touch the ground can be affected by knee pain. Despite the commonality of knee pain in sports, there are often a few specific factors that contribute to knee pain.


Three common role players include:
1. Overuse/Repetitive strain
2. Strength deficits
3. Poor motor control

What should we do about it?

Oftentimes simple tweaks in exercise selection, frequency, intensity, or volume can have a significant impact on overuse situations. Which of these variables needs to be modified depends greatly on your choice of sports/performance activity. A rule of thumb to keep in mind is that as intensity increases, volume should decrease, and vice versa. Frequency can be viewed from the perspective of how many times/week the knee is being loaded. This variable can be tougher to control for athletes who are in-season and/or approaching competition, however this is when more attention needs to be brought towards the other variables at play.

It’s completely fair if strengthening may feel counterintuitive because many of the positions and movements that hurt your knee likely resemble the exercises needed to get stronger. Adjusting things such as external load, trunk inclination, shin angle, range of motion, and tempo can all be modified to offload the knee joint enough to reduce irritation. The use of blood flow restriction training at significantly reduced loads is a great way to load the quads without aggravating the knee.


Common mechanical faults include poor landing patterns and compensation for mobility deficits. Motor control of the hip is best addressed with specific exercise targeting the deep rotators of the hip and lateral glutes, eccentric quad control, and soleus contribution, particularly when using single leg patterns. It’s often beneficial to isolate the position where movement faults occur and place focus here. Mobility deficits may be present anywhere throughout the leg and impact movement compensation at the knee. These tend to take a little longer to maintain improvements, so it’s important to remain as patient with this aspect.


Choosing to see a physical therapist to address your specific needs has been shown to be extremely effective in getting you back to moving! Not that I’m biased or anything…


If knee pain has kept you out of the game, give us a call at 470-355-2106 or fill out the contact form in the link below.

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Thanks for reading,

Dr. Mike, PT, DPT, CSCS, PES

Let us help you figure out to live your best active life today! 

 Remember, Movement is Medicine! 

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