Monday, June 28, 2010

Getting to the Root of Knee Pain

Figuring out where knee pain is coming from can be a challenge for many people. The first question anyone with knee pain needs to ask is has the pain been gradual, or can you think of one moment that you started feeling the pain? The point is to establish whether or not it could be an overuse injury or it is something that occured with one specific movement or force to the joint. For example, a football player who takes a blow laterally to the knee from a tackle would have pain from an external force from one incident. In contrast, a right handed golfer might have left side knee pain from the constant repetitive rotational force on the knee, which would be considered an overuse injury. Either way, it is important to consult a physician to establish a course of action for recovery and rehabilitation.

One way that I have been able to help my clients with knee pain is with Muscle Activation Techniques. It can be a terrific tool in analyzing the body for musclular imbalances. Sometimes with overuse injuries (like with the golf example), people are stronger moving one way versus the other and the body can shift to compensate, therefore creating a muscular imbalance. That is why it is so important to understand when your body is out of alignment. There are many different possibilities as to what can be causing knee pain in an overuse injury, such as potential weakness in the hip muscles or even the trunk and spine (core muscles). If muscular weakness is found in the core muscles, it may be causing instability in the pelvis, which can ultimately affect the direction of forces on the knee joint. Using Muscle Activation Techniques to restore muscle strength is a safe way to identify and restore the body to balance.

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