A user guide for your knees courtesy of the NY Times

A user guide for your knees courtesy of the NY Times

Do you ever wonder why some people have knee problems while others don’t?

The NY Times recently offered a section that discusses the function of the knees as well as the anatomy and some exercises that you can do to strengthen the structures surrounding the knees.

The knee is actually a pully system, that relies on the kneecap for leverage to move the leg.  It also relies on foot posture and symmetry both in the feet and hips, to equally distribute the weight from one leg to another.  Finally, for proper knee function, the hips, and pelvis muscle be level which allows for a properly functioning core region.

A stable core is not established by doing constant exercises alone.   Tight fascia must be loosened in the legs and back and any asymmetries from the ground up should be balanced.  Foot orthotics is the best accepted way of balancing mechanical asymmetries from the ground up, however, foot drills can help tone and train weak feet and calves.

Proper shoe fit can also be a cause of knee pain because it will restrict appropriate movement of the foot and its articulations.

The calf and the leg act as shock absorbers.  If tissues in the calves and hips have shortened and tightened, this affects the core and distorts it.  The effect is that motion in the feet is compromised which also compromises motion in the hips.  These forces are felt in the knees.

Your local chiropractor will perform a holistic evaluation to determine how the knee and the surrounding structures are functioning.  One of the easiest at home tests you can do to determine risk for knee pain is a simple squat.  When you do this, can you get down without dipping or shaking? Can you stand on one leg for 30 seconds without falling over is a second excellent self test to determine core stability.  When you see your knees buckle or rotate to the side, you will understand how your current level of function affects your knees.

Devices such as wraps can be used to improve kneecap tracking, however, this works on the symptom which may actually be a foot or a hip or back related problem.  Eventually, the device will not be effective as the problem in the knee worsens over time.  See a professional that will evaluate your body mechanics, not just your knee. A sports  chiropractor is your best choice since they will do a holistic evaluation (look at everything) and the can help you understand why your knees are sore or symptomatic.

Check out the NY Times article on the knee

A User Manual for Your Knees

By Dr. Jordan Metzl

Your knee routinely feels the force of five to eight times your body weight with every step, making it the most taxed joint of the human body. A knee is designed to withstand millions of steps during a lifetime, but sometimes all that stress can cause your knees to break down. What can you do to prevent knee pain? And stop the pain you may already feel? We’ve designed our knee guide to teach you how to keep knees working for years to come.

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