If you have knee pain, that can affect your ability to swing the golf club correctly and your ability to move the club correctly through the golf ball. Most people will complain about their knee pain walking between holes, but it actually can cause some significant swing faults. If you have knee pain in your trail leg, it will be your natural inclination to not load as much into that leg, which decreases the amount of power you can get or may shorten your backswing. If the pain is in your lead leg, it can be hard to shift your weight onto that side or cause you to fall back away from the ball during the swing, also costing you power.
Let’s discuss some of the physiological reasons for knee pain. Knee pain is often not the result of a flaw in the knee, but unhealthy muscle tissue referring the pain up or down the leg to the knee. In healthy muscle, the muscle fibers are all parallel. In unhealthy muscle, the muscle fibers form what are called trigger points, which are essentially places where the muscle fibers have bundled up rather than remaining straight and parallel, essentially shortening the length of the muscle. As more and more trigger points build up, the nervous system begins to interpret this as a problem, and can only relay that information as pain. Trigger points in the quad muscle in particular often refer down to the knee.
Self-treatment of this kind of unhealthy tissue is easy. As a word of caution, if these techniques don’t help within two weeks, you probably don’t have this exact issue and should go see a professional for help with your pain. To improve the health of the quad muscle, take a softball and lay on the ground. Put the softball between your quad – the inside if it’s the inside of your knee that hurts, the outside if it’s the outside, and the middle if it’s the middle – and the floor. Roll the ball back and forth until you find a spot that’s particularly uncomfortable. Keeping the ball there, bend your knee back and forth to strip away the trigger point. You can also do the same technique with a foam roller if the softball is too uncomfortable, but the softball will be more effective.