Knee, leg and back pain; new studies reveal important facts behind why we hurt.
Year ago, I began telling our patients about the connection behind back pain, knee problems and the way we walk, otherwise known as gait. A few years ago, I published Cheating Mother Nature (1), what you need to know to beat chronic pain which puts the reader in control of finding the right person to help them help themselves.
As many sufferers of knee, hip and leg problems know, there are differing opinions about why we hurt depending on the doctor you visit, and the scientific observations are regularly published (2, 3) by the medical community which never quite put the pieces together of why we hurt. Since most doctors who read these studies have little training in mechanics, engineering principals or body mechanics, few people in healthcare understand the problems we expect them to treat and as a result, few of the solutions they recommend are likely to do anything other than give us some short term relief, a frustrating experience at best.
Years later, hips and knees go bad and problems worsen which will affect our later years. Fortunately, with the right set of eyes and knowledge, many knee and hip and foot problems may be minimized, resulting in a better aging experience and an improved quality of life.
Since most healthcare practitioners will often see your problem through their lens, something known as physician bias, we are often at a disadvantage as healthcare consumers, as they are the experts, aren’t they? Readers of Cheating Mother Nature know that a knee problem begins in the hip and foot, affects the knees and the core muscles, creating a chain reaction of instabilities that can eventually damage your knee. Recently, a young athlete found this out after having two anterior cruciate repairs in his knee that probably were preventable had he understood why the problem existed. He has improved markedly with chiropractic management, gait retraining, manipulation and exercises. He didn’t improve after two surgeries that ignored his persistent tight hip capsule and asymmetrical gait.
As a consumer of health care services, it is more important than ever to visit the right people first, to avoid having to undergo surgeries that are useless and even dangerous, and can leave you in more pain than prior to the intervention. Knowing and understanding body mechanics is important for anyone who is involved in sports or even just life. There are ways to become informed, and the book Cheating Mother Nature can certainly help.
Once you know more about why you hurt, you will make better decisions, and avoid surgeries and other unhelpful procedures because you will better understand why you hurt and be more selective about who will be allowed to help you.
As a healthcare provider, even I am constantly learning new things, and as science progresses, we learn more ways to help. The important thing for you is to be able to determine who are the best people for the job. Often, they may not even wear a white coat and they can explain things in plain English using facts, a good evaluation and an understanding for how to best proceed to help you.
3. The relation of step length to MRI detected structural damage in the patellofemoral joint: The Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study.
Stefanik JJ1, Gross KD1,2, Guermazi A1, Felson DT1, Roemer FW3, Niu J1, Lynch JA4, Segal NA5, Lewis CE6, Lewis CL1.