Knee Pain from Soccer Kicks

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Remarkable Speaking. I'm here with Wil Seto of Insync Physio in Vancouver, one of Vancouver's best physiotherapy clinics. And we're gonna talk about something interesting knee pain from kicking soccer balls. What's this all about Wil? 

Wil: Yeah, so quite often we think about soccer injuries and we think of like a contact injury. And so with non-contact and you just have the ball and you're kicking, I can bring up a specific client that one of our physios saw and came in with just that. He used to be a more competitive, avid soccer player, used to play like Div Two, Div One soccer.

But now this plays like a little bit lower level, but likes to maintain it once per week. And very active otherwise. Rides a lot and runs for fitness. So this is actually really important in terms of understanding like what else you do. So that's why I'm bringing up sort of this profile, is because this specific type of injury, when you think there's no contact, and this person's experienced pain immediately on kicking a ball and there was no one near him and he went to go kick the ball and just suddenly felt pain in the back of his inside of his knee. 

When he came into physio, saw the physio, and the physio like assessed him, you know, asked him a bunch of questions of what he did first. And but yeah, the other thing was that this particular individual had a desk job, so he sat, you know eight hours a day. And and didn't do any stretching postgame. Didn't do any other mobility work but loved to play soccer. Go to the gym for weight lifting, light weight lifting, and ride his bike a lot. 

So upon assessment, turned out that there was no, like anything sinister going on in terms of like a tear of anything, you know, whether it was ligament, meniscus or even like a muscle strain or anything like that. Those are the big concerns that the patient had coming in seeing one of our physios. And so what it ended up happening was that as we assess it, it turns out that it was a hamstring tendon overuse issue. So more specifically it's called a hamstring tendinopathy.

Mark: So you'd think that with, you mentioned he did some running, is that not enough? Like what's going on that there's a tendinopathy in his hamstring into his knee? 

Wil: Yeah. So when the physio looked at everything in big picture, his running was like, he wasn't generating power in his stride through his glutes, in his big power house muscles for extension, because he wasn't able to extend through his hips.

And so, as a result of not being able to extend through the hips, and you could see it very clearly is what the physio was saying, is that when they assessed him on the treadmill and the gait, that he was basically, oh and this is an interesting thing, like he could still play. He's still playing and you know, it's just like, he gets pain the next day after playing. So that's the other presentation of his symptoms. And so he's able to play a full game still. He plays once a week, but it's just like it's not getting any better until he started seeing the physio and having this addressed. So he came in for a second visit and finally getting better because he is getting this addressed.

So the other thing that needed to be addressed, are those tight hip flexors, his posture, he's sitting a lot. We changed them up until like standing, but making sure that not only is he standing, but then he has that mobility in order to keep his hips open on the front side. And the activation portion, making sure that he's using his gluteus medias muscles, which is butt muscles, basically that stabilizes his pelvis.

And then his radius medius maximus muscles, which are the muscles that help him extend hip. And so if he's not activating those properly, then he's gonna compensate and he's gonna try and use other muscles. And then with him, he is trying to overuse his hamstring to compensate. The other piece of information that was really interesting is that he rolled over his ankle pretty badly about a year ago. And he didn't do any rehab for it because he was pretty proactive in his mind and he just kind of did exercise and got back at it and didn't have any problems until this more recent thing with his hamstring. 

Mark: If you're having knee pain when you're kicking the ball playing soccer or it could be from your hamstrings of all things, and you need to get it diagnosed by experts. Get in to see the experts at Insync Physio. You can book online at It's really simple. They have two locations, one in Vancouver, one in North Burnaby. Or you wanna talk to human. Call them (604) 566-9716 in Vancouver, (604) 298-4878 in North Burnaby. Thanks Wil. 

Thank you Mark.