Dealing With Knee Pain (Q Angle)

This article talks about some possible reasons for knee pain and how to address them.

There are differences in men and women – one of which is the hip width.

The hip width affects the frequency of knee injuries in men and women. And unfortunately, women have knee issues more often than men.

So how does the hip width affect the knee?

See the expertly and masterfully drawn stick man and woman below:

Yup. Masterful. *Cough*

Anyway, as we all know, women tend to have wider hips proportionally than men. The Q triangle I depict in the pictures above shows the angle from the hip to the knee. This is also known as the Q angle.


Because women have wider hips, the angle from hip to knee is greater. Thus, women have a greater Q angle. Take note of this, we will come back to this point later in the article.

The next thing to understand is that the knee functions as a pathway for the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia) to move through. After all, the knee is simply where the thigh bone attaches to the shin bone.

Thus, if one of the bones is being pulled out of alignment, the movement will cause unnecessary friction in the knee cap. Think of it (the knee) as a train and the train tracks. Sparks will fly if the train tracks do not align properly.

Understanding this, we must realize that although there is knee pain, it is not always a problem with the knee. The problem could lie in the hip or in the feet.

For example, if the feet inverts, the shin bone will not move through the knee cap smoothly. It will cause unnecessary friction.

Likewise, if the hip is weak, it cannot control movement of the thigh bone through the knee – there will be unnecessary friction at the knee.

So remember that Q angle we talked about earlier?

For women, they have a wider Q angle, thus their thigh bone is coming into their shin bone at a sharper angle. This can cause unnecessary friction at the knee. This is one reason why knee pain is more common in women.


Anyway, the solution is the same for both sexes. The Q angle explanation above is just to highlight that women might experience knee pain more often.

At the hip, we have to strengthen the glute medius. The glute medius helps control the lateral movement of the thigh bone. With a strong glute medius, we hope to let our thigh bone move properly through the kneecap.

To strengthen the glute medius, you can do crab walks or lying lateral leg raises. Please Google them. I do not want this article to be too long.

Also, if you have Tight Hips and IT Bands, do stretch them. Again, please google Hip / IT Band stretches.

At the feet, we may have structural issues, sometimes we have too much or too little (flat feet) of an arch. If you find that you have this problem, get a shoe that corrects for it and supports the feet.

If your feet is inverted or everted, the shine bone will not move properly in the knee cap.

If not structural, i.e. your feet moves wrongly but it’s not because of a high or low arch. It could be weak feet. A good way to help strengthen your feet is to practice your balance – walk on uneven sand or stand on bosu boards.

Finally, there are other possible reasons for knee pain such as wear and tear of the cartilage and ligaments. This article does not cover them. Those can be more complicated and require supplementation or maybe even surgery.


Knee issues can arise from many possible causes. It is a complex problem. A short article cannot do full justice to this issue.

However, I sincerely hope that you look into these simpler solutions before giving in to despair and thinking it’s a more serious issue.

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2 thoughts on “Dealing With Knee Pain (Q Angle)

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