Trigger Point Therapy - Popliteus and Knee Pain
Popliteus - an often overlooked muscle that takes a lot of abuse
Left untreated, trigger points in popliteus can lead to a number of more serious complications
Machine-based exercise, such as prone leg curls, can over-stress the popliteus, causing spasm and diminished screw-home capability. This, in turn, can lead to inhibition of the piriformis and deep hip rotators, with hyperextension at the knee.
Shortness of the muscle can be confirmed by observing slight flexion and internal rotation of the anatomical leg.
Popliteus - Common Trigger Point Site
Knee Pain and Stiffness
The popliteus is a muscle that takes a lot of stressful abuse, and eventually trigger points can become active, causing pain in the back of the knee.
At night the pain tends to reduce or ceases completely. Stiffness in the knee joint is often evident in the morning, with reduced ability to fully extend the anatomical leg.
On assessment, the foot can appear as if the leg has turned in (medial rotation at the knee). This is often a result of heavy squat exercises in the absence of appropriate neuromuscular stability at the joints and within the core.
Popliteus - Trigger Point Therapy
This area is rich in neurovascular structures that are predominantly located in the midline, and this may be one of the reasons that this trigger point is often overlooked.
Trigger points in popliteus can be readily treated by a competent therapist but the use of pressure tools for self treatment in this case is generally not advised.
As stated above, these trigger points will not only be the cause of (often "unexplained") pain at the back of the knee, and knee stiffness, but if left untreated may also lead to a number of long term complications as muscles elsewhere in the body work to compensate.
Avulsion. Cruciate ligaments (instability). Baker’s cyst. Osteoarthritis. Tendonitis. Cartilage (meniscus) injury. Vascular (deep vein thrombosis, thrombosis). Tenosynovitis.
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About Niel Asher Education
Niel Asher Education is a leading provider of distance learning and continued education courses.
Established in the United Kingdom in 1999, we provide course and distance learning material for therapists and other healthcare professionals in over 40 countries.
Our courses are accredited by over 90 professional associations and national accreditation institutions including the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). Full details of all international course accreditations can be found on our website.
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We are honored to have received the "Excellence in Education" Award from the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists.
Since 1999 Niel Asher Education has won numerous awards for education and in particular for education and services provided in the field of trigger point therapy.
Award Winning Instructors
Niel Asher Healthcare course instructors have won a host of prestigious awards including 2 lifetime achievement honorees - Stuart Hinds, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, AAMT, 2015, and Dr. Jonathan Kuttner, MD, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, NAMTPT, 2014.
If you are a qualified/licensed manual therapist or exercise/fitness professional you can expand your credentials with NAT certification.
In addition to national accreditation for continued education, each course that we offer includes "NAT Learning Credits". By taking and completing courses you can accumulate NAT credits to qualify for NAT certification.
There are currently 3 levels of NAT certification. Certifying NAT is a valuable way to show your clients that you take continued education seriously, and to promote your skills and qualifications.
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Niel Asher Technique
Since 1999 the Niel Asher Technique for treating trigger points has been adopted by over 100,000 therapists worldwide, and has been applied to the treatment of a number of common musculoskeletal injuries.
The Niel Asher Technique for treating frozen shoulder was first introduced and published in 1997 and has been widely adopted by therapists and exercise professionals working within elite sports and athletics.
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This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell.