In Part 1 of this two-part blog series, we explained the hip joint's structure an how it affects the back. The hip is the connection point for the upper and lower body. All of the nerves, veins, and muscles originating in the upper half must pass through the hip to get to the knee, ankle, and foot. The hips and lower joints are intricately connected. Understanding the hip's relationship to the knee gives you the power to strengthen and heal it.
The Knee Joint
First stop down the body from the hip is the knee joint. The knee is where the femur (bone in the thigh) and the tibia (shin bone) meet. The joint is capped by the patella which we commonly refer to as the kneecap. Power in forwarding movement is aided by the kneecap due to the role it plays as a pivot point. Below is a front, side and back view of the knee joint:
Connecting Hip and Knee
The strongest bone in our bodies (femur) is the bone that fits directly into the hip is the top half of the knee. Anatomically, the muscles of the quad (thigh) are connected to the kneecap while the hamstrings run the length of the knee and connect to the tibia. Your quad and hamstrings make the knee bend properly.
Hamstrings originate at the bottom of your pelvis, running down the back on your thigh and connecting just under the knee. The flexibility of this muscle can cause knee pain. If the hamstring is tight and short, it will pull on the knee causing it to lock and grind easily. Always stretch your hamstrings by folding at your hips and touching your fingers to the ground.
Disengage for Longevity
Joints have many pieces that are capable of displacing pressure. Much of the time, the body relies on this because it is the path of least resistance. Keeping a micro-bend in the knee allows it to disengage, relieving the pressure and activating the muscles around the knee to stabilize the leg.
The knee does not have lubrication to keep it safe from wear and tear. To keep the knee safe for a lifetime, it is best to use the hamstring and quad muscles to keep yourself standing. Our muscles can regenerate quickly and will be more reliable for longer.
Faster In The Hips
The knee is key to how we walk, run, and jump. The hips are where the muscles that support our knee originate. Knee pain or weakness is directly related to the state of the hips strength and flexibility.
The most important point about hips is they are the junction between the upper and lower halves of the body. Our brain would not be able to communicate with the feet if the muscles and nerves in our feet were not connected to the ankles, knees, hips, and more. Remember we are a single organism. The human systems are not segmented as they are in an anatomy book or a work out schedule.
Yours in health,