Did you know that overtaxing your adrenals (hello modern life) can directly contribute to injuring yourself while exercising? Crappy thing that, given that exercise is one of the best ways to manage stress. Accordong to this article:
Muscle-organ correlations were discovered by Dr. Goodhart in the 1960′s. He found that there are predictable muscle imbalances when organs are in stress. In the case of the adrenal glands one of the primary muscles involved is the sartorius, a major pelvic as well as medial knee stabilizer. (sartorius is the longest muscle in the human body, it runs down the length of the thigh.) This is why so many people including athletes injure their knees when they are under stress. There was a pre-existing imbalance from the adrenals that caused an improper or an inadequate response of the sartorius muscle. So the demand on muscle exceeded its threshold to handle it and this results in an injury.
A picture of sartorius to give you a general idea where it is:
Adrenal fatigue is a remarkably common, and unpleasant, modern syndrome. If you are wondering whether you might be at risk, or suffering, from it, do this quiz.
I work with many clients who suffer from adrenal fatigue, and one of the first things they have to learn to do is slow down. We are always being told that exercise will help us manage our stress, but once your adrenals have been overstimulated for long enough, it becomes counterproductive to do the sorts of exercise that stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, like intense cardio, strong weight training and the like.
Nobody really wants to get a bum knee from trying to manage their stress, right?
If you are the kind of person who NEEDS to run (or exercise) in order to feel half-human, you might want to make sure that sartorial of yours is prepped beforehand and stretched afterwards.
Here's my favourite yoga pose for stretching the sartorius muscle. For more good ones, check out the yoga for runners download.
Also, if you start feeling weirdness or pain in your knees, ankles, or any other joints, it really is worth getting advice from a good physiotherapist. You might be getting joint issues because of adrenal fatigue: there are any number of other causes too. One leg longer than the other, say. Or you might need different shoes. Or be trying to move in a range of motion that's not right for your body...
Prevention, better than cure, all that stuff. You know it!
Take care of your knees, and the rest of yourself, this festive season!