One of the things we hear frequently from people is that they are giving up activities they love. Hiking, climbing, walking, and running. People are giving these things up because they experience knee pain (or hip or back pain) during and after. The activity is blamed as the cause.
This has got to stop
There is a wide spread belief out there that certain activities are hard on the knees. And they can feel that way, but it isn’t because the activity is “bad” for us or we are just getting older. Knee pain happens when there are restrictions or misalignments in the body that cause excess tension and stress on the knee joint. And it can come from almost anywhere in the body.
Let me illustrate
We met with a new client a few weeks ago who was struggling with knee pain. His goal was to be able to be active without worry, be able to go hiking without worrying or even thinking about his knees. He wanted to be able to use the StairMaster at the gym or lace on his running shoes for an afternoon run without concern about a knee injury. When he first came to us, he was wondering if the level of activity he was accustomed to was causing his knee problems, but he wasn’t ready to give them up yet. Could we help?
The short answer was a resounding, yes!
But it was going to involve more than addressing the knee joint that was causing him trouble.
When he first came in, we took a look at how he moved through some basic ranges of motion including squatting, standing, and twisting. Just a few of the troubles we found included a forward rotation of the pelvis resulting in an ‘S’ curve of the spine, one hip pulled higher up into the ribs than the other, one leg angled out to the side, and rigid ankles and collapsing arches in his feet. No wonder his knee was having trouble!
There are 62 bones in the lower half of the body, and in each foot alone more than 30 joints and over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
In order to help, we needed to address the tightnesses, restrictions, and rotations happening in the joints, bones, and tissues of the pelvis and hips, the fronts, backs, and sides of both legs in the hip sockets, above and below the knees, and in the ankles and feet. We also needed to get the pelvis more aligned under his body.
ALL of these have been contributing to his knee pain. And as we’ve been chipping away at the restrictions holding bones and tissues in rotation and misalignment, he’s started to feel better. He has been using the StairMaster at the gym again. And hiking on the weekend. And running in the afternoons. He isn’t 100% yet, but he will get there. And when he does, he will also have the tools and experience to keep his body moving well and feeling good.