Knee care: it starts from the feet up

Sometimes the answer to a problem is simple, but we either don’t want to believe it or we are too distracted to see it. What I’m talking about is an important aspect to treating knee pain – and keeping the pain away.

In my clinic I treat varying levels of knee pain in both young adults and the older generations. The reason for which you may experience knee pain is not always the same, and it makes sense to assess each use separately and plan the treatment accordingly.

Over the years I have been practicing in the field of musculoskeletal therapy, I have become increasingly aware and disturbed by the amount of total knee replacements I see and rehabilitate. No doubt, we are ‘knee dominant’ in our everyday life, but knee replacements and surgeries are unnecessary. Early ‘wear and tear’ and degenerative changes just seem more and more common these days.

I have always maintained the belief that as we age, we lose tone and strength in certain key muscles and therefore we become our own ‘Masters of Compensation’. ‘Knee dominance’, in my mind, is the idea of using muscles that are meant to make our knee stable e.g. hamstrings, which are important for other jobs like extension of the hip for walking, which is detrimental to our knees in the long run.

Successful treatment of knee pain involves an array of modalities, such as laser, soft tissue work and ultrasound exercise, but one thing that always remains consistent is the use of orthotics. In my experience, using the footlevelers system of orthotics has allowed my patients far greater success when it comes to eliminating knee pain and preventing further episodes of knee pain. The orthotics I recommend have a very small percentage (1.3%) return rate, versus the standard orthotics that have a return rate of up to 40%. Off-the-shelf orthotics can be a good budget option but they may cause side effects such as knee/hip strains. Corrective orthotics prescribed by a podiatrist are often rigid and can achieve good results for foot and leg problems but aren’t necessarily tailored for spinal alignment, or allow for normal ranges of motion of the lower limb. So, we were forced to think outside the box and consider functional orthotics. They are an alternative solution designed by Chiropractors called Spinal Pelvic Stabiliser’s. They are more flexible and provide greater comfort, shock absorption and they allow for whole body balance.

Your body has 206 bones, 639 muscles, 900 ligaments all connected with 94 km of nerves, so it is not surprising that your body needs a helping hand to keep it balanced. I believe very strongly in preserving the structural integrity of our knees, and this can begin from the feet up. The feet are the foundation of the whole body. Patching up a crack in the wall without first fixing the foundation can lead to the problems returning. Knee problems, back pain, headaches and even scoliosis may be caused by poor foot posture, even though the feet themselves may not be in pain.

Extensive research has shown these unique functional orthotics to have the following clinical benefits:

  • Improvement in lower limb alignment
  • Improvement of balance and proprioception (positional sense)
  • Enhanced sports performance, and
  • Reduction of injuries and fatigue.

For the month of July, Elizabeth will be offering all  current and new patients to the clinic   a free Foot leveler screening (normally valued at $50). Call the clinic today on 9886 1059 to pre-book your Foot leveler screening.

 

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