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Knee Pain and Chiropractic Care


A very common condition we see in our office is knee pain with no particular mechanism of injury (in other words, the knee became painful over time and didn’t occur as a result of a specific trauma or disease.)

Knee Pain - Nashville TN - East End Chiropractic

When there is a specific traumatic event (like having your legs knocked out from under you in a football game) or a disease process (like rheumatoid arthritis), It is very easy to understand why the knee tissues have failed.

Most knee injuries fall outside of these categories.  Most knee injuries happen over long periods of time as a result of repetitive abnormal stress.  The condition is usually unilateral, meaning that only one knee is symptomatic.

The question is, why are knees so problematic?  Really, as far as joints go, they are relatively simple.  They only move along one plane of motion – they flex, as in moving the heel toward the buttock, and extend, as in straightening the leg.  There is a tiny bit of normal rotation in the knee joint, but let’s not split hairs here.  Compared to the shoulder, which moves in many directions, the knee is very simple.

The answer lies in the fact that most knee problems do not originate in the knee.  Most knee problems originate in either the pelvis/lower back region (above the knee) or the foot/ankle region (below the knee).

Dysfunctional hip, pelvic, or lower back motion transfers a lot of extra stress to the knees. In these cases, one knee is usually taking more impact than the other, and the impact is occurring at an abnormal angle.  This quickly wears out the cushioning tissue and over-stretches the ligaments that support the knee joint.

Foot Pain - Nashville TN - East End Chiropractic

Sometimes the root of the knee problem lies in the foot or ankle.  Collapsed longitudinal arches in the feet are a frequent cause.  The tibia and fibula (leg bones) sit on top of the arch of the foot.  When the arch collapses (there are many reasons for this – we’ll save those for another blog), the leg bones fall as well, causing uneven stress on the knees.

Chiropractic manipulation has a very good track record of restoring normal motion patterns to the hip/pelvis/lower back complex.  Foot dysfunction also responds well to chiropractic care, along with orthotics in some cases (refer to blog on orthotics).  There are also some minor manipulations that we can perform on the knees.  We have found, though, that this is often not necessary if we restore normal motion to the hips, pelvis, lower back, and feet!

In summary, if you have knee problems, try our office first.  Your knee problem may turn out not to be a knee problem at all!  We will assess the situation and if we can help you with it, we will gladly do so.  If we feel that it is a problem that would best be handled by another professional (orthopedist, physical therapist, physical trainer) we will gladly refer you to the appropriate professional.



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