Why We Look Above and Below With Knee Pain

When dealing with any type of knee problem we need to understand the relationship that the knee has with the other joints in the body, particularly the hip and the foot.  It can be said that the knee is caught between the foot and the hip, and as such the foot, knee, and hip make up what is known as a kinetic chain.  In fact, many of the muscles that act at the knee also cross either the hip or ankle joint. As a result of this relationship, with any knee problem both the foot and hip must always be closely examined as an abnormality in either area will greatly influence problems at the knee.

Examples of how the knee is influenced by the kinetic chain include overpronation of the foot and ankle, lose of ankle motion, decreased hip and pelvic stability, and loss of hip hinge function, to name a few.  These dysfunctions will have a greater effect with repetitive strain, further leading to knee dysfunction and injury.  As you can see, even though pain may be at the knee the entire kinetic chain must be evaluated and treated to fully resolve the condition.

Common knee diagnoses associated with these dysfuctions include patellofemoral syndrome, patellar tendonitis, knee bursitis, meniscus injuries, and iliotibial band syndrome.

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