What’s Causing You Pain Isn’t Where You Think It Is

What’s Causing You Pain Isn’t Where You Think It Is


Who cries more: the victim or the perpetrator? Think about this EVERY time you feel aches, pains and strains in your body. Here's why:

If you have pain in your knee after starting to ramp up your marathon training (or squatting, cycling -- just about anything), for example, is it the knee’s fault? In other words, is it a "knee problem," or could another body part be the culprit (the perpetrator), while your knee is just the victim, suffering the pain?

Most likely the “perpetrator,” or cause of the issue, is downstream or upstream, which would be the ankle/foot joints or hip muscles not doing their jobs.

Read that again: very often knee pain has nothing to do with the knee itself.

Physical therapists joke that the knee is a “dumb” joint, it can only bend and straighten, stuck between the hip and the ankle...which really tell the knee what to do -- as you walk, run or jump. The same is true for the elbow in regards to the arm. Folks with “tennis elbow” often have issues at their shoulder, neck and shoulder blades.

A concept physical therapists consider in clinical practice is called "regional interdependence," the idea that a seemingly unrelated part of the body could be causing the pain that you're in.

What this means is that a problem with your big toe could cause pain all the way to the shoulder!

Everything is connected.

Think back to the song you sang in kindergarten... "The foot bone's connected to the - shin bone, The shin bone's connected to the - thigh bone..."

If everyone does their job the team will succeed, but if anyone is slacking, other areas have to pull the extra slack when they are not meant for it, and this is what causes the trouble.

So the next time you have knee pain and go to see a specialist, they better check your ankle, foot, shin bones, hips and core control. When symptoms get “treated” without even addressing the cause, pain may temporarily be relieved, but nothing will get fixed -- and, even worse, new issues could start popping up.

If you want to avoid this altogether, get a full head to toe orthopedic screening from a qualified clinician, or at the very least know there is likely a hidden perpetrator lurking nearby when the victim starts crying.