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Bodywork: Your Natural Solution for Knee Pain Relief

Last Updated: April 12, 2024

Don’t Let Knee Issues Sideline Your Life

If you’re someone who deals with knee pain, you’re not alone. It affects people of all ages – from young athletes to older adults. And it can really get in the way of living your best life. 

Whether you’re an athlete pushing your limits or just dealing with the wear and tear of everyday life, knee discomfort can really put a damper on things. But before you reach for those painkillers or consider surgery, let’s explore a natural solution that might just change the game: bodywork!

A close-up of a knee being gripped due to pain, with a digital overlay highlighting the bones and muscles.

What’s Behind That Knee Pain?

First things first, let’s figure out what’s causing your knee to act up. Knee pain can stem from a variety of issues:

  • Sports injuries: Those intense workouts or games can take a toll on your knees.
  • Repetitive motions: Whether it’s from your job or a hobby, doing the same movements over and over can strain your knees.
  • Arthritis: As we age, arthritis can cause inflammation and pain in our joints.
  • Other factors: Things like overuse, poor posture, or muscle imbalances can also contribute to knee discomfort.

Bob Tricomi, LMT, the owner of Bodywork Masters, wants his clients to understand why their knees hurt. He explains, “When your knee hurts, it’s often because certain muscles are too tight, pulling the knee joint out of place. This can make your knee move unevenly. Over time, this uneven movement wears down the cushioning cartilage in your knee. Without this cushion, your knee can end up with bone rubbing against bone, which is painful. It’s important to realign your knee to keep it healthy and avoid needing surgery to replace it.”

No matter the cause, bodywork has the potential to offer relief for a wide range of knee problems.

A close-up image of a knee with a bodyworker using both thumbs to apply deep pressure, targeting myofascial trigger points in the knee of a male client to release tension.

How Bodywork Helps Your Aching Knees

Bodywork works wonders by targeting the muscles, tendons, and other tissues surrounding your knee joint. By kneading and rubbing these areas, massage therapists can help:

  • Relax tight muscles: Say goodbye to that stiffness and tension!
  • Reduce inflammation: Massage can help decrease swelling and promote healing.
  • Improve circulation: Better blood flow means more nutrients and oxygen reaching your knee.
  • Increase flexibility: Loosening up those muscles can enhance your range of motion.

Research confirms massage significantly cuts knee pain and stiffness while increasing flexibility. 

Bodywork Techniques That Ease Knee Pain

Lots of bodywork methods can tackle knee pain, but some popular choices are:

  • Trigger point therapy: Targets  tight, painful knots in the muscles to reduce pain. Good for issues like jumper’s knee!
  • Deep tissue massage: Gets deep into the muscles to release tension and break up scar tissue. Eases osteoarthritis and injuries.
  • Myofascial release: Applies gentle, steady pressure to loosen up the layers of muscle and connective tissue called fascia. This helps the muscles move more freely and increases flexibility.
  • Assisted stretching: Uses massage motions to gently stretch and lengthen tight muscles around the knee. The quads and hamstrings benefit big time!
Diagram of Patellar Tendonitis or Jumper's Knee.

DIY Knee Therapy Between Sessions

While professional bodywork therapy is fantastic, you can also practice self-massage at home to complement your sessions:

  • Foam rollers are good for loosening up your own tight muscles and connective tissue. Slowly roll the foam roller over the muscles around your knee for 30 to 60 seconds each.
  • Tennis or golf balls also help squash trigger points when used directly on sore spots for 30-45 seconds before releasing.
  • Apply gentle pressure with your fingers to knead and release tension in your muscles.
  • Try heat therapy with a warm compress or heating pad to relax your knee before self-massage.

Tricomi, advises caution when using a foam roller on a very tight and misaligned knee. He says foam rolling alone cannot release adhesions (stickiness between tissues). These adhesions need to be removed through specialized bodywork techniques performed by a professional.

Tricomi warns that if the tissues around the knee are extremely tight, using a foam roller could accidentally tear the tissues. This would make the pain and discomfort worse.

Instead of foam rolling, Tricomi suggests a careful approach tailored to each person’s specific knee condition. Proper bodywork methods are important for reducing knee pain and aiding recovery.

Why Pro Sessions Are So Helpful

Don’t underestimate the power of a professional bodywork therapy session! Here’s why it’s worth booking an appointment:

  • Licensed massage therapists are trained to assess your specific knee issues and tailor their treatment accordingly.
  • Consistent sessions allow therapists to access deeper layers of tissue and provide targeted relief.

Most people need multiple sessions to get long lasting knee pain benefits – but it’s so worth it!

Bodyworker treating injured knee of male patient on a massage table.

Real Success Stories

Emily, a high school basketball player, struggled with Jumper’s Knee, which threatened her chances of getting an athletic scholarship. However, after undergoing two months of intense deep tissue massage twice a week, focusing on her quadriceps and kneecap tendon, she made a remarkable recovery just in time for the playoffs. Emily’s story clearly demonstrates the awesome effects of regular bodywork for knee issues.

Tim, another client, struggled with severe knee pain caused by arthritis. The constant aching in his knees made it difficult for him to sleep through the night. After trying various treatments with little success, he decided to combine myofascial release therapy with a weight loss plan. We used myofascial release techniques, focused on loosening the tight tissues around his kneecaps, which helped improve his range of motion and flexibility.

Coupled with losing 25 pounds over a span of 6 months, this comprehensive approach finally provided Tim with the relief he desperately needed. Now, with monthly massage sessions to maintain the progress, Tim’s knee pain is well-managed, allowing him to enjoy quality time with his kids again. He can play with them, run around, and truly appreciate being an active father without the constant hindrance of aching knees.

Bob has helped many clients find relief from debilitating knee pain and get back to their active lifestyles. One such client shares his experience in a powerful testimonial:

“Bob has been great for me! I came to him on the recommendation of my wife, whom he had helped a lot with her shoulder. When I showed up, I had chronic knee pain which was starting to spread up and down my leg. I was convinced that I needed surgery, and this was my last stop before seeing an orthopedic surgeon. Bob took a look, started to work, and in an hour the pain was already reduced. Within a couple of weeks, the pain was gone. Amazing result! I’ve continued to work with Bob, as he’s been focusing on other problem areas that I’d been ignoring up to that point. I’ve mentioned him to a number of friends, and would recommend him to anyone with significant joint pain or movement issues.”

– David A.

These real life examples show how custom massage treatment plans can get clients thriving once more. But sticking with it long term is key – the results are so worth it! 

Selective focus on a joyful woman smiling while lunging with a group of elderly ladies while all taking an exercise class at a fitness club after conquering knee pain.

No More Knee Pain!

As you can see, bodywork can be super helpful in reducing various knee problems without resorting to medications or invasive procedures. 

Commit to bodywork as maintenance – your knees will thank you! 

Additional Resources


A 2018 study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, have found massage to be beneficial for people with knee osteoarthritis. The 2018 study, which assigned 200 patients with knee OA into one of three treatment groups, found those receiving a one-hour whole-body massage weekly experienced significant improvement in pain and mobility after eight weeks compared to those receiving light touch or standard care.  

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