Unlocking the Connection: How Ankle and Hip Dysfunction can lead to Knee Injuries
So your knee hurts... but no one can seem to find anything wrong (or majorly wrong) with your actual knee?
Did you know that ankle and/or hip problems are often the root cause of many knee complaints?
The knee is a complicated joint that unfortunately bears a lot of the brunt when stability and mobility are not available at the hip and ankle.
When the joints above and/or below the knee aren't working right, it can put more pressure on the knee, which, long-term, may cause a number of knee injuries, including ACL tears, meniscus tears, and patellar tendinitis.
Lack of flexibility and mobility in the ankle and hip is a common cause I see in the clinic. According to a study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, people with less ankle dorsiflexion have a higher risk of knee injury. Similarly, a study that was published in the Journal of Athletic Training found that a limited range of motion in the hips increased the risk of knee injury.
Muscle weaknesses are another common reason for ankle and hip problems. A study published in the Journal of Sport Rehabilitation found that people with muscle weakness in their hips and ankles were more likely to hurt their knees.
Injuries to the knee that are caused by problems at the ankle and hip are often avoided by fixing these underlying issues. A study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy found that a program of exercises designed to improve ankle and hip mobility and strength decreased the number of knee injuries.
Knee injuries usually have more than one cause, so it's important to see a doctor or allied health professional to get a proper diagnosis, treatment plan, and rehabilitation program.
It reminds me a quote by Ida Rolf (the creator of the treatment technique known as "Rolfing")
"Where you think it is, it aint"
Dr Dray (Osteo)