Lower Extremity Relief at an Overland Park Chiropractic Clinic
Hip, knee and ankle pain are complaints that we see in the office with our patients on a daily basis at True Health that range from an ongoing annoyance to really reducing their quality of life due to pain and decreased ability to do the things they want to do.
Very often we hear patients say that their hip, knee or ankle pain in Overland Park is due to old age or an old injury. While these things are true and play a role, we want to explore factors that are at play that many are unaware of. These factors that we are about to describe hold the potential for the drastic reduction or prevention of these complaints. Since both the number of hip and knee replacement surgeries have recently gone up approximately 200% and 100% respectively, it is worth looking at some ways to prevent the joint breakdown and care for the joints in our lower extremity.
Why do people develop lower extremity pain in Overland Park?
One aspect to consider when analyzing hip, knee and ankle pain is understanding how the muscles of these joints are being controlled. As chiropractors we look upstream at the spine first for subluxation or misalignments of the that negatively impact the nerves going to the leg. If a person has a lower back or pelvic subluxation which is inflamming the nerves in the lower back, that can defiantly cause the muscles of the hips, knees and ankles to work less efficiently. Patients are often shocked to discover that their ankle, knee or hip muscles aren’t working as well as the same muscle on the other side of their body. When we begin removing interefernce from the nerves in the back and the leg through adjustments, the effected limb gets stronger and patient almost always say they wish they had started this process years earlier. We do too. Misalignments in the spine negatively impact the muscles of the leg which cause an increased wear and tear on the joints.
Just like the bones of the back can misalign, so can the bones in the knee, hip and ankle. When this happens the joints can become inflamed and irritated. This can occur from falls, twisting an ankle, missteps, bumping your knee, poor posture, undiagnosed scoliotic curves, previous joint surgery recovery, etc.. Not only can the joint become irritated from the misalignment, the joint itself is then bearing weight in a less than optimal way which can speed the process of wear and tear and eventually arthritis over time.
Similarly, if someone has a postural issue in which they lean slightly to one side while standing and walking, that too will put more weight on one knee, hip and ankle. When one knee or hip wears out, remember it’s the same age as the other knee or hip. Could it be that, the bad hip or knee has been taking more of your weight each step over years?
What you can do for relief?
Things you can do at home to encourage healthy hip, knee and ankle joints would be keep the muscles strong and the tissue flexible. Learn how to do proper lower body exercises that involve the hip, knee and ankle. Lunges and squats are great examples and can do wonders for strengthening up our quads, hamstrings and gluteus. Major weights are not required; often body weight work is enough.
If you’re dealing with tightness in the hamstrings, pain in the hips or pain in the bottom of your feet when you get out of bed in the morning, consider doing some foam rolling to loosen up the muscles and tissues of your legs. Foam rollers aren’t expensive and rolling out your hamstrings, IT bands, hips, calves and feet can be a great way to improve flexibility, decrease pain and overall feel better.
Another common complaint we hear when it come to leg pain in night time cramps. While this can be a nerve issue from the back, it often has a strong nutritional component as well. Muscles actually need minerals to relax, so if you’re short on minerals, which many people are, you can get night cramps. Try magnesium powder (Natural Calm is the kind we use) which can be purchased at any health food store or online. Moreover, Calcium can play a role here. We sell a great Calcium product at our office that we feel is superior, but if you not a patient, look for Calcium lactate or Calcium citrate as they are more absorbable than most other products.
How Chiropractic helps our patients at True Health:
At True Health we begin upstream at the spine and pelvis then analyze the area and the areas above and below for misalignments and altered biomechanics. We find that knees can be misaligned side to side, front to back as well as the patella (knee cap) can lose its normal position. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that each foot has 26 bones which can become misaligned and painful when tissues or stress are put on the area. When we find these misalignments we can gently guide the bones back into place with our hand held adjusting instruments and work the tissue out with manual therapies or dry needling. Often this simple yet profound therapy shocks our patients with its effectiveness and has kept many patients from ingesting more organ damaging anti-inflammatories and having to go through more invasive and expensive therapies.
When it comes to ankle and foot pain from plantar fasciitis, previously sprained ankles or even old surgeries, dry needling and acupuncture can play a major role in helping our patients. The adjustments help us maximize the bone and nerve component to the pain, but the dry needling helps us treat the soft tissue or muscle of the complaint. This powerful combination is why we get such good results with these cases. Dry needling consists of using acupuncture needles to break up scar tissue, encourage blood flow and reduce hyper sensitized tissues so the muscles can work properly and pain patterns can be broken in a short amount of time. If the tissue that we’ve treated needs ongoing support we often will use a certain type of supporting tape called kinesiotape. This tape provides support for the tendons and encourages blood flow. This is a perfect adjunct for our treatment and provides support for the patient between office visits.
We hope you found this article helpful and opened your eyes to new ways of caring for aching joints of the lower extremity in Overland Park but also ways in which you may be able to prevent an unwanted injury or joint replacement surgery in the future. As always, we are here to help so reach out to us if you have any questions.
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