Why is it that our bodies can feel different from day to day? Have you all of a sudden had joint pain in your shoulder, hip or knee then have it go away for no reason at all? The body is an integrated chain reaction. Meaning when we move a kinetic chain reaction occurs in our muscles. They turn on in sequence like a row of lights if our body is working optimally.
Proper mobility has a direct effect on muscular and joint pain. Many people suffer from aches and pains not because of an injury but because poor body mechanics. Sitting for long periods, inactivity, and only moving in one plane of motion is a recipe for pain in the human body.
Knee pain affects millions of people in the U.S. today and there are many causes of it. This article will look at how poor foot mechanics affect the knee. Poor ankle mobility will have an adverse effect on every joint above it (knee, hip and shoulder). Have you ever injured your ankle and also feel pain in your knee or hip on the same side or opposite side? That’s the body’s kinetic chain at work. You overcompensated due to the injury which altered your homeostatic state and caused muscles to do work they weren’t designed to do. The end result is pain, tightness or weakness.
Proper ankle mobility allows your foot to work properly so the forces generated from your body while moving are absorbed correctly. When we walk the foot does 4 things: Dorsi Flexion, Plantar Flexion, Pronation and
Supination. If anyone of the 4 movements are inhibited the ending result is usually knee pain because the bodies normal mechanics have changed. Poor ankle mobility may not allow you to toe off. That means using your instep and toe to propel your body forward. If you over supinate when you walk this can cause patella femoral knee pain. Look at the wear pattern of your shoes and it will give you the full story of your foot mechanics. If your wear is to the outside of the shoe it’s supination.
The kinetic chain can work positively for us or negatively for us all depending on joint integrity. In this case the poor ankle mobility causes knee pain due to over supination and poor dorsiflexion which causes improper muscle recruitment of the glute, hamstrings, calf and quads. The ability to dorsiflex your foot turns on the posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings and calves) of your leg. If you cannot contact the ground properly with your foot the rest of your body will feel it as well. The knee pain is always sudden. Meaning one day you were feeling fine and the next day you are not. It’s very important to check your ankle mobility and improve it as well. There are some simple exercises you can do at home to achieve this. Write the alphabet with your ankle while you’re watching TV. Rotate your foot in all directions, side to side, up and down and in circles. This will increase your ankles range of motion. Stretch your feet and even given them self-massages. This will promote blood flow and help break up tightness in the facia.
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