Do your knees hurt when you hike or run? Have you taken some time off hoping it would go away, but…it hasn’t?

There’s some good Fall races coming up (including the RIP5k in the beautiful Laurel Hill Cemetery) and if you don’t want miss them, keep reading!

Sometimes it’s a diffuse pain on the front of your knee, and other times it’s pin-point specific on the inside or outside of your knee.

“100% of the time, your knee pain is traceable back to a structural change that has occurred in your body,” say’s Philadelphia physical therapist, Dr. Chris McKenzie.

One such change is weakened lateral hip muscles, called the Gluteus Medius. (yes, there’s more than just the Gluteus Maximus!) These muscles are responsible for keeping our hips and knees in proper alignment.

Unless they are specifically strength trained they will always get weaker, and can create a multitude of problems up and down your leg and spine. Most common to show up first at the ‘pain party’ is knee pain.

“Unlike what TV commercials would have you believe, all the anti-inflammatory medications (Alieve, Advil, etc.) in the world won’t fix a structural change—-you actually need to do something to correct it–to fix your structure,” say’s McKenzie.

In order to fix your knee pain (or any pain for that matter), you need to correct the structure that is the root cause of the problem.

Those Gluteus Medius muscles are often the root cause.

Here is a challenging exercise which directly strengthens those glute muscles; Side plank with hip abduciton:

Lying on your side, pop up into a side plank. Keep your body completely straight. Now lift your top leg up and slightly towards the back (11 o’clock or 1 o’clock depending on the side). Lower the leg back to the start position. Repeat until you can’t lift properly anymore. Do this 1x/day, every day.

For some this will be too challenging—that’s ok! Just hold the side plank position for as long as you can (or drop to your knees like in the video), and repeat on the opposite side. This will challenge a great deal of your core strength too.

This is not the cure all for running and hiking knee pain, but will get you moving in the right direction. I have even had people tell me their running times improved just by strengthening up their hips.

If you would like to learn more about your specific knee pain, please schedule an appointment with Dr. McKenzie at 3425 Conrad St, Phila PA 19129. 267-332-8102 (Chris shares space inside East Falls Chiropractic).


Sign up for the RIP5k Race, right here!

The Details:

When: Saturday, October 7th at 5pm (registration and FREE pre-race prep/stretching from McKenzie Sports Physical Therapy begins at 4pm).

Where: Laurel Hill Cemetery 3822 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia PA 19132

How Far: 5K..3ish miles. Unique and challenging, you’ll wind through beautiful (or creeeeepy) headstones at Laurel Hill.

What to wear: Runners and spectators are encouraged to wear their favorite Halloween costume. Prizes will be awared afterwords for the best costume.

Post race: Awards, drinks and post race care by McKenzie Sports Physical Therapy.

To learn more and register for the RIP5k race, click here. Cya at the cemetery!