One of the first things we check with anyone who has undergone knee surgery or is dealing with knee pain is their ability to get into full knee extension. Missing that end range of motion means our knee is stuck in a flexed or bent position and is under constant tension and contributes to knee pain when we stand, walk, run, do anything active.
How To Test:
Can you get into full extension? On the floor with legs straight out in front of you. Contract your quads. If your heel comes off the ground, you can reach full knee extension. If the heel doesn't come off the ground, you may be lacking full knee extension.
How To Mobilize:
An easy at-home mobilization:
- Step 1: Wrap elastic band around ankle and scoot away from wall to gap the knee joint.
- Step 2: Prop your heel up on foam roller (or anything else)
- Step 3: Contract your quad and apply downward force on thigh (femur) to full extend knee joint.
- Step 4: If you knee more extension, try internally rotating you tibia (lower leg bone)