Knee injuries can be quite frustrating when trying to return to sport or activity. Sharp, dull aching, they seem to linger and always let us know “I’m still here”. But is it really the knee that is the source of pain or discomfort? The joints in our body like to alternate between mobility (bigger range of motion) and stability (less range of motion. When we look at how the knee moves in relation to the hip and ankle we start to see that the knee is quite a stable joint in comparison to the others.
The lower limbs:
- Ankle: mobile joint
- Knee: stable joint
- Hip: mobile joint
The fact that the knee is only moving largely in two directions shows that there must be other culprits at hand contributing to the knee pain. Because what this says is, the knee is being asked to increase its natural rang of motion or requirements because one of the other joints are not doing their job, which is to be more mobile. What we end up finding with our painful knee is a problem at the hip and/or the ankle-foot complex.
Some examples that could be contributing to the knee pain include but are not limited to:
- Poor ankle dorsiflexion (pointing your foot to the roof)
- Poor arch support (aka flat feet)
- Limited hip external rotation
- Weak gluteals
- Weak muscles in the shin
Such issues as stated above can increase what we call the ‘knee valgus angle’ or ‘knocked knees’ which can lead to knee cap tracking issues as well as loading issues when we strike the ground. This is what is driving our ongoing or “niggling” knee pain. The knee is being asked by the ankle and hip to “DO MORE” which will eventually lead to bigger problems down the track.
You can treat the knee symptoms over and over again and guess what you’ll find? A knee that is still painful during activity or sport. We must address the knee pain from the floor up, if we can improve the function at the hip and ankle we should see a much happier knee for longer periods of time.
If you are finding that you can relate to some of the above and have issues resolving your knee pain, gives us a call at 9905 9099 and we will be more then happy to help get you moving better!
This article is written by Dr.Braeden Melmer, Chiropractor – Neurohealth Chiropractic
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