Knee Pain- Hidden Causes
3/15/07
Published in the Times Standard
 
      While injuries account for a majority of knee pains, both acute and chronic, I find patients with other[ seemingly unrelated] problems causing knee pain.
      The most common problem is called the short leg syndrome.  A leg length discrepancy can be from an old fracture that didn’t heal evenly, bone infection causing collapse, a bone that actually was stunted in growth or deformed (osteodystrophy-very rare) or a pelvic distortion.  If the pelvis is twisted or rocked back on one side, the leg is pulled up appearing to be short.  This discrepancy causes an imbalanced gait.  As you walk the weight of your body puts added stress on the short leg side.  The spinal joints become compromised and fixed in the lower back and eventually up through the cervical spine or neck.This is a compensatory mechanism and the body’s attempt to keep you balanced. These compensations over the years restrict movement, leading to degenerative/arthritic spinal joints and discs.  The weight bearing knee, hip joints, as well as the spinal joints and discs, begin to wear out faster due to this imbalance and restricted movement.  If left uncorrected, this imbalance and progressive degeneration  impinges on spinal nerves to the lower extremities. Knee pain usually at the back of the knee or calf muscle, as well as numbness and tingling to the feet can result. 
      The knee itself or the patella (knee cap) can also be misaligned slightly from a twist, fall or kneeling on a hard surface. This can cause pain exquisitely in the joint itself, especially when walking or standing. Correcting the misalignment often provides immediate relief. 
      Poor, weak or fallen arches can be the cause of your knee pain.  The normal foot stride is heel-strike to toe-off with the knee, being a hinge-type joint, bending as it should.  If the arches of your feet are low or dropped, the knee twists inward with each stride.  The result is knee pain even at rest and can cause hip socket to low back pain as the gait mechanics are distorted.  Correcting the arch problem through fitted orthotics or adjusting the necessary bone in the foot relieves the knee pain. 
      Muscle spasms can also affect knee pain by entrapping nerves or inhibiting circulation.  One example, the piriformis muscle, deep in the buttock’s musculature, is of particular significance.  If this muscle tightens or spasms due to pelvic or sacral distortion or mis-alignment, the sciatic nerve can be compressed.  In some instances, this nerve or a portion of it will pass through the muscle instead of under it.  This can cause pain to the knee or lower leg if the muscle is in spasm or tight.  By adjusting the sacral or pelvic distortion, the musculature and its mechano-receptive impulse is restored, allowing muscles to relax.
 
If you have undiagnosed knee pain, or have not found relief from knee pain, yours could be a chiropractic problem.  Call our office for an appointment or free consultation.  Your pain could be a memory with help through Chiropractic naturally!
 
 
 
Crosbie Chiropractic
Michael H. Crosbie D.C.
1828 Main Street
Fortuna, CA 95540
(707) 725-5668
www.crosbiechiropractic.com