How your knee pain may be associated with your hips…
Do you suffer from chronic knee injury? Maybe it comes and goes after exercise? Heard the term Patellofemoral pain syndrome used?
The expertise of a physio can help connect the dots surrounding knee pain through analysis of the biomechanics of the leg as a whole. By assessing the details of how you walk, run or play, a physio can pick out those minute factors that hinder biomechanics of the leg. As a physio I commonly see immobility or weakness of the hip contributing to knee pain.
Here's why…As the foot contacts the ground the ankle naturally rolls in and the shin bones follow by twisting into face each other sightly, meaning the knee joint will follow. If the hip is stiff or weak and fails to follow the movement of the lower leg, the thigh bone (femur) counteracts the movement of the shin bones (tibia/fibula). To visualize, make a fist with both hands, put your knuckles together and twist one hand clockwise and the other counterclockwise. As you see, you're arms twisting in the opposite direction, imagine one arm is your lower leg and the other your upper leg. Now imagine that your knee cap (patella) is sitting on top of the two counter-rotating components, being twisted and pulled. OUCH! I commonly see patients with Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) as a result of these pressures. Over time the knee cap (patella) can fall into dangerous habits of mal-alignment and mal-tracking. The ongoing and long-term effects of a faulty patella can be severely traumatic.
Don't panic! With appropriate physio intervention this problem can be fixed quick, however the ongoing re-alignment of the patella and joint mechanics needs an appropriate rehab program. A physio treatment usually involves a tailored rehab exercise program including stretching, strapping or bracing and some hands on treatment, scientific evidence tells us this is the best approach to return to pain free movement.
Sam Mullany is a Physio working at Health Space Clinics in Kings Cross and Rozelle.
To Book an appointment with Sam, call 8354 1534