The anatomical and physiological differences between men and women are obvious in many ways. But one way that’s often overlooked is how these differences relate to knee-related injuries, of which women may be between two-to-eight times more at risk for than men.
When it comes to the lower extremities, an issue in the foot, ankle, knee, hip, or low back can cause one to move differently, which can cause biomechanical changes elsewhere along the kinetic chain. These alterations can place additional stress on the joints, which can lead to an elevated risk for injury. As such, a problem in the feet or in the hips can affect the knees.
Researchers have observed that differences in the anatomy of the feet of men and women can lead to variations in how loads are distributed in the foot, and these differences become more apparent at the onset of puberty. For example, female feet and ankles have greater joint mobility and ligament flexibility, which can increase the risk for ankle sprains. A woman’s arch will also flatten (pronate) more while walking, which can increase the risk for heel pain, tendonitis, bunions, calluses, and more. Additionally, footwear choices, such as high heels, can also alter the biomechanics of the foot, which can change normal joint motion elsewhere along the kinetic chain.
In addition to differences in the feet, the anatomy of the hip can differ between men and women. Generally, females have wider hips. This means the angle the femur makes from the hip to the knee is greater, which can place more stress on the knee. This can potentially elevate the risk for “genu valgus” (knocked-knee), which can give rise to ACL tears and patellofemoral (knee-cap) pain syndrome—both of which are more common in women than men.
While it’s not currently possible to easily alter one’s anatomy in the foot, hips, pelvis, or knees, it is possible to address musculoskeletal disorders in these various areas before they can lead to secondary injury elsewhere, which can include the knees. For example, some problems in the foot can be addressed with orthotics. Your doctor of chiropractic can also apply manual therapies and provide instruction on stretches to restore normal motion to the affected joints so abnormal pressure is not applied to the knees.
You may wonder, what is wrong with my knee?
Pain in the knee or pain on the knee is a problem that needs attention. Kneecap pain can be particularly annoying.
Do I have a muscle strain in the knee or neuropathic pain?
You may be worried about a torn meniscus or a Baker’s cyst or kneecap pain.
Pain in the knee or pain on the knee is concerning for sure. Some who may be concerned about neuropathy may be concerned if this is neuropathic pain. Many who have been diagnosed with neuropathy have been on high-dosage chemicals and wonder why their knee pain remains persistent. Pickleball, golf, and tennis are common sports to cause knee pain. Some try strong chemicals to no avail. Some have tried applying chemical gel to the affected area with temporary relief at best.
As a last resort, some type in pain management to find relief. Hopefully, you won’t have a torn meniscus but if you do it doesn’t mean surgery is your only option. Obviously, most want to avoid a knee replacement. Sometimes it can be a patellar tendon irritation easily resolved with conservative non-surgical treatment. Persistent or worsening pain intensity and/or frequency necessitate a visit to see a professional before it becomes a surgical case.
At Coast Chiropractic Centers we look forward to providing relief to those suffering from any type of pain. Call me, Dr. Tim Harcourt, at (239) 278-3344 or stop by on your day off for a walk in visit and mention this article for an awesome discounted first visit to include history, exam, and adjustment or Class IV high-intensity laser treatment.
If you would like to avoid getting knee pain in the first place or to take a proactive approach to your health and wellness, our membership program called Club C may be just the thing for you with great cost savings, convenience, and even more importantly, a plan to get your health back and keep it.
Don't let knee pain stop you from enjoying the beautiful SWFL! Dr. Tim Harcourt is here to give you the relief you need.
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