Ok, I’ll give you some background first, and pose my questions toward the end. I’ll be interested to hear what some of you think as to why I’m getting this knee pain, and what I can do to prevent it.
To start with, my entire torso is essentially left rotated. This is probably due to all the left rotation that I performed in sports such as volleyball, baseball, etc. No big deal when you are playing sports, but when you are trying to lift weights these “compensations” can get ugly. To make a long story short, whenever I squatted my right quad would get very sore and my left glute/hamstring would also get very sore. After having someone call my depth and watching myself squat from the front and sides, I discovered that my right side was always right at parallel, while my left was actually about 2" below parallel. At this point in time I had someone videotape me squatting from the back. There was no twisting or rotation when I squatted whatsoever, but it seemed as though the initial rotation from the static posture was causing my R knee to shoot way forward (and not sit back), thus the increased quadricep recruitment. In essence, my body was already rotated, so I was sitting back the same both sides, but the whole thing was screwed up from the start. I was consistently getting called for depth by PL judges because the front and right side judges would say that I was high, even though the left side would be VERY deep. It was like Louie used to say that your knees can go forward forever, and you would never break parallel. This was in essence what was happening on the right side, I believe.
So when I started seeing a chiro 2 years ago, they stated that I had a Right leg length discrepancy. From what I’ve read, true leg length discrepancies are very rare, but didn’t know this at the time. They fitted me for orthotics and a heel lift, which they put in the right side. Well this only seemed to make things worse, because now my R quad was taking on even more stress, I had increased tightness in the hip flexor coupled with anterior rotation of the pelvis, I COULD NOT activate my right glute (or make it sore when training) and my R knee was starting to feel beat up all the time. Since I’ve been receiving frequent Hellerwork (very intense myofascial release from a certified practitioner), I have finally started to feel some soreness/strength in my R glute, and I’ve since removed the heel lift from my orthotics. It’s obvious that between the heel lift and the natural rotation my body had developed that my entire R posterior chain was weak/inhibited when compared to the left.
Now when I squat, it looks like things are balanced out and both sides going to a good depth, however I’ve been getting a great deal of pain in my lateral collateral ligament (LCL). A true LCL injury is fairly rare, and is often caused my a varus force to the inside of the knee. Where I’m confused is that in the bottom position of the squat (deepest point of knee flexion), the LCL is slack, but that’s the point where I get all the pain. So after all that, here are my questions:
Any thoughts on why I’m getting the LCL pain? I thought it could possibly be d/t the increased depth on the R side and the ligament perhaps getting stronger in that position, but I’m not sure why that would be the case if the ligament is slack in the bottom.
What things can I do to improve ligament strength, other than higher repetition training? I can do that later, but I’m in a 4-week peak for a competition, and now isn’t the best time to remodel my workouts!
I’m currently icing 4-5x/day, getting ART done daily, taking high dose antioxdiants and fish oils, taking frequent mineral baths, performing static stretching and myofascial release with a foam roller, and only squatting 1x per week. No other movement I perform bothers the area, and to be quite honest it doesn’t hurt when I’m doing the squats, only afterwards.
If you’ve read all of this, you are a trooper. Hopefully this will promote some good conversation among the group.