Patient: “Doctor, my right knee is killing me. It’s swollen and sore and I don’t know why! Maybe it’s just old age.”
Doctor: “But, isn’t your left knee the same age as you right knee?”
We often say “can’t be helped-just learn to live with it.” Too often Healthcare practitioners help us buy into this erroneous opinion. Many new chiropractic patients with recurring injuries or chronic pain who chalk up their maladies to “old age.”
This is often the case with knee pain, but is “old age” really the culprit? Of course not! Not everyone with knee pain has had enough birthdays for this conclusion. Many people with “golden birthdays” do not suffer knee pain at all. Both knees are the same age but, generally, only one knee troubles us.
Possible reasons for knee pain, include direct injury causing a dislocation of the joints. In addition, misalignments of the feet (arches) and ankles can create an imbalance causing stress and pain in the knee joints.
A common “gremlin” is imbalance of the pelvic region, including the hips and sacrum, which results in protection of one side of the body by shifting the majority of our weight to the other side. One sign of this postural/pelvic imbalance is unequal leg length. This doesn’t mean, if you put a ruler to both leg bones, they would not measure the same. The leg length inequality referred to is “apparent leg length” and is caused by skeletal (spinal and pelvic) misalignments. The structural imbalance results in spinal nerve stress and muscle spasms on one side of the body and will pull one leg up short.
Here are three simple ways you can check for skeletal misalignments:
1. Look at the bottoms of your shoes. Does one heel wear down faster than the other? This is a fairly clear indication of a correctable imbalance.
2. Do your pants have to be hemmed up more on one side, or does the hem of one leg drag the ground and fray where the other leg is fine.
3. You can also look in the mirror while wearing a belt across the top of your hips. Does the belt go straight across or is it slightly cock-eyed?
If you run these self-examinations and suspect your knee pain might be caused by spinal or skeletal structural imbalance, come see us and we will determine whether your suspicions are correct: that your knee pain isn’t just
“old age” and that precise chiropractic adjustments just may be the answer.