Shiatsu treatment for Knee Pain

Written by Masanori Funatsu,
Translated by Hikari Ikenaga, Shiatsupractor & Judy Thompson, Shiatsupractor

In day to day life, there are many people suffering from knee or lower back pain. There are many different causes of knee pain. In standing, walking and kneeling, the burden of the upper body weight is borne by the knee joints. There can be upward as well as downward pressure and an injury easily happens during flexion, extension and rotation. Lateral pain used to be common but now medial pain is more common.

How to knee Function

The knee joint is the most complex joint in the human body. It dose not have just one pivot point. In the case of flexion, the pivot point can change. This adjusting allows complexity of movement.

Dislocation is caused when the joint rotates over 70 degrees and there is no sliding. With no movement of the pivot point, the knee joint can only flex to 120 degrees. No kneeling is possible.

  1. If the joint can flex only 0 to 20 degrees, only rotation is possible.
  2. If the joint can rotate and side, the knee can flex from 20 to 150 degrees without dislocation. Kneeling is possible if the knee flexes 150 degrees.

Causes and Conditions

Knee pain can be caused by over exertion. Tightness of the knee joint can be caused by lack of exercise. Injuries to muscles, ligaments and tendons and fatigued muscles as well as lower back and limb pain are all connected to knee pain. Aging (arthritis knee deformities), accidents (contusion, sprain, fracture), chronic rheumatism of the joint, injury to the patella, too rapid growth during adolescence, fluid in the joint and sports injuries, gout knee arthritis can all cause knee pain.

There are subjective as well as objective symptoms. Such as: inability to walk due to pain, starting to walk is painful, standing up is painful, standing for an extended time is painful, kneeling is painful, when lying on the stomach the knee is painful, there is continuous pain, there is pain when ascending or descending stairs.

Shiatsu treatment of Knee Pain

Conditions related of the knee pain.

Chronic fatigue, Osteoporosis
Diabetes, Arteriosclerosis, Myocardial infarction, Stroke, High blood pressure
Stomach pain, Feeling of cold, Low blood pressure
Muscle and joint rheumatism, Hip joint dislocation
Headache, Frozen shoulder, Gout
Herniated disk, Sciatica, Low back pain
Sprain, Contusion, Fracture
Others accident, too much exercise

Muscles and Nerves need for treatments

Quadriceps femoris
Rectus femoris, Femoral nerve
Vastus lateraris, Femoral nerve
Vastus intermedius, Femoral nerve
Vastus medialis, Femoral nerve
Adductor magnus, Obturator nerve
One part of adductor magnus, Sciatic nerve
Sartorius, Femoral nerve
Biceps femoris, Sciatic nerve
Semimembranosus, Tibial nerve
Semitendinosu,s Tibial nerve
Illiotibial tract, Sup.gluteal nerve

Lower limb

Tibialis anterior, Deep peroneal nerve
Extensor digitorum longus, Deep peroneal nerve
Extensor hallucis longus, Deep peroneal nerve
Peroneus longus, peroneus brevis Superficial peroneal nerve
Gastronemius, Tibial nerve
Soleus, Tibial nerve
Flexor hallucis longusk Tibial nerve
Flexor digitorum longus, Tibial nerve
Tibialis posterior, Tibial nerve

Shiatsu treatment of knee pain

(may be associated with shoulder pain)

Full body basic Shiatsu treatment


Standard pressure, Sustained pressure, Interrupted pressure, Palm pressure


Fukuga position

sacral region, gluteal region, femoral region, popliteal fossa

Gyouga position

femoral region, patellar region, lower limb

Ouga position

gruteal region, Namikoshi pressure point

Stage of pressure intensity

light pressure, medium pressure, strong pressure

Step 1

left side of body- strong pressure to the sacral and gluteal regions as well as sustained pressure to the Namikoshi point. Apply standard pressure to the posterior femoral region. To the reaction Points of the shyoufu, lnmon tusbos, apply strong, medium pressure. Then, grasping the posterior femoral region with the fingers, treat the lateral femoral region with thumb-by thumb pressure.


Treating the reaction points of ichiyuu, gouyou, shouzan tsubos, using standard pressure. (light, medium pressure). Treat the calf of the leg with the thumbs on the lateral side and fingers on the medial side, “squeezing” as in the basic treatment using light and medium pressure and the sole of the foot with strong and sustained pressure. If there are sensitive points, we can use strong, sustained presser on then.


Continuing with the patient in fukuga position, flex the left knee 45 degrees. Treat the reaction points of hikan and ryoukyuu using standard and sustained pressure. Move to the inryousen and sanlee tsubos of the lower limb applying sustained pressure. Treat any sensitive points in the same way. Then apply pressure to the right side ofinryousen. Return the leg to straight position.

Step 4

Holding the posterior femoral region with the fingers, apply pressure with the thumbs to the anterior femoral region. Using strong and sustained pressure, treat ryoukyuu and kekkai reaction points. Using interrupted pressure, treat reaction points of cyuutoku, youkan. Then, bend the knee at a 45 degrees angle and treat the reaction points of gori, shitsukan, kyokusen using light but sustained pressure.

Step 5

Extended knee. Behind the knee treat sensitive points with interrupted and sustained pressure. Using standard pressure, treat youryousen, sanlee and inryousen. Then using strong, sustained pressure on any sensitive points. Treat the toes as in the basic treatment.

Step 6

Ouga position- treat the Namikoshi point, lower back and legs.