As “Mike”  stood there with a blank stare  in front of wall sized mirror that was fogged up from sweat,  he peered deeply into his own eyes thinking to himself  “If I could just  push through that last set of lunges” I can be through with todays insane Cross Fit work out.!!!”  Clenching his teeth and getting mentally pumped for this last set of  heavenly CrossFit  torture he  gripped  those 60 pound dumbells in both hands with a monkey grip  and began to inch down deep into the lunge. Old school thrash metal pounding into his eardrums  making him feel  absolute power.  Hyperfocused  in the moment his  legs transformed  into solid springs in his minds eye.    By the 8th rep in the depth of the lunge,  his subconscious mind  turned off the “ meditative  exercise zone”  he was in,  as he was rudely made very aware  a  tight searing and pain ripping  inside his right knee.  The adrenaline still fueling his drive to finish the set and push through the pain only made what was to come later that day much much worse…


This guy “Mike” was actually one of the gym members I train with regularly.   Being that I am Physical Therapist at a CrossFit helps me make friends fast to say the least.  This guy was doubled over in agony after that set to say the least.  Luckily,  I  was  there  when it happened  and  ran over to check him out.  He had no clue how to handle the problem at all.  The knee was not swollen or anything that was visible to the naked eye,  but he described it as if he was “SHOT IN THE KNEE CAP”.   Imagine this, a guy built like a gorilla rolling on the floor like a baby in a fetal position holding on to his bent knee- THIS WAS BAD!

All the members stopped their workout and  started blurting out “Mike” needs to go to the ER! He needs an xray! He needs a Brace! He needs a shot! ………

HE NEEDS-  HE NEEDS-  HE NEEDS —-a Physical Therapist-  

Lucky for him I was there.    Forget about the fact that I was there at that moment,  lets  assume this happened to you or maybe it has already. Most people assume the worst when pain hits.   Pain can cripple your mind and put fear into your heart and you start assuming maybe something ripped , tore or worse maybe something broke.   WHEN SUCH PAIN STRIKES, MOST PEOPLE ALWAYS ASSUME THEY “NEED” A DOCTOR…. AN XRAY….. AN MRI….. AN ER  THEY THINK  WORST CASE SCENARIO… BUT WHAT IF THERE WAS A BETTER FASTER CHEAPER WAY TO GET PAIN RELIEF WITHOUT ALL THE HUSSLE AND BUSSLE OF TRAVELING WAITING AND WONDERING WHAT WILL BE…………..

IMAGINE  IF THERE WAS DIRECT ACCESS TO A GUY LIKE ME “  DIAGNOSTIC PHYSICAL THERAPIST” INSTANTLY TO GIVE ADVICE OF WHAT WAS NEEDED BEFORE RUSHING TO THE ER, WOULDN’T IT BE GREAT ? — I will show you how this is totally possible in just a second  by  sharing a tool kit I created for Knee Pain that you can use to relieve knee pain quickly  caused by overloading during a workout, but first lets look at how this works.

I too have worked out super hard pushing myself to the utmost limit, overloading my knee to the point of exhaustion. The pain from overuse of a muscle when its overloaded to the point of failure is one of the most painful things we can feel.  Here’s why it happens.

This type of pain is really due to three reasons:

  1. Tissue Demand: When the demand of Load (weighted exercise) exceeds the mobility of the a joint then the muscles and nerves around that joint will shut off really to protect us from damaging the area.
  2. Nervous Tissue Protective Mechanism: Our Brain sends messages down to the muscles using the electric wire  called peripheral nerves .   These nerves can turn on a structure or shut off a structure just as fast if our body cannot handle the demand (load placed on it)
  3. Chemical Pain: Inflammation sets in locally at the joint that is overloaded, almost like a “fever” sets in to kill germs in our body when we are sick.  This chemical reaction rushes blood to the region we are overloading to heal the damaged tissue BUT it also triggers the muscles to literally shut off almost like turning off a light switch!

Emergency Rooms are filled with Student “Resident”  Doctors – who treat Symptoms NOT Problems.

Yes everybody at the gym was pushing Mike to rush to the ER.   In the ER he would have sat there for hours and hours behind the gun shot wounds, head traumas and lacerations and the resident Dr. would Xray him and say “looks like its not broken”  DUH I COULD HAVE TOLD HIM THAT .. HE NEVER LANDED ON IT, IT WASN’T A TRAUMA!!!!!

As for the local Orthopedist,  no urgent appointments were  available as usual and there, he would have received a brace and lolly pop or a balloon and a huge bill for the brace that wasn’t covered by his insurance plan— HE NEVER BROKE ANYTHING SO THAT WAS A WASTE.

Did Mike really need an ER or even an Orthopedist yet? Well lets look at this deeper.  Mike was in crazy pain,   and when I went to check him out as he laid out on the floor the first thing I asked him was WHERE DO YOU FEEL THE PAIN?  He pointed to the back of his hamstring, and top of his quad.  I asked him to try and straighten the knee fully and he said it felt ” jammed up”…   But it felt good to try to lock it out after a few reps.  Bending the knee is usually harder and more painful than straightening it so we just focused on what gave him relief….. SIMPLE.


Ligament or Cartiladge “meniscal tears” generally  heal on their own.  In todays expensive  Medical Model soft tissue cases are treated more often than not with a Physical Therapist first and if Physical Therapy fails, THEN an MRI is considered and THEN maybe a surgery.   A Physical Therapist as a First Choice would have been the ultimate way to go for Mike because he never suffered a direct blow or traumatic impact to the knee to suspect anything more than a really bad muscle strain. The Physical Therapist can slowly get Mike back to a training regimen that is safe and demanding and teach him the skills needed to prevent reinjury.


So here is the ultimate weapon that you can use for an acute overloaded  knee at the gym that will give you quick mobility and relief so you can begin to walk and move.


Standing against a wall push the back of the knee back into a towel slowly getting more and more deeper into the range of movement.

Trying this on your back maybe easier if the pain is too severe and even using ICE on top of the knee may help.  Overtime the knee should unlock and get straighter.  Try 10x an hour. If no Improvement then contact our office and we can schedule a free 15 min exam on Skype or over the phone and can at least direct you to the best solution for you problem.


In NYS Physical Therapists are Direct Access Clinicians and we can see you without a Drs. Prescription.  If you or a friend is suffering with knee pain and can’t work out and need advice DON’T WAIT JUST DO IT NOW – Call ALLCARE PHYSICAL THERAPY in Brooklyn and we can get you fixed and back to your life in no time.

Your Brooklyn Knee Pain Guru :0