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Beyond the Obvious – Understanding the Source of Pain

By March 5, 2019 March 6th, 2019 Feature, Musculoskeletal Health

Beyond the Obvious:
Understanding the Source of Pain

Have you ever treated pain in your joints, only to have it return a few weeks or months later?

Knee pain for example. The usual RICE treatment–rest, ice, compress, elevate–will help the knee heal, and hands-on therapy can accelerate healing. But what if the knee problem isn’t THE PROBLEM. What if something else is going wrong in the leg that compromises the function of the knee? In this case the knee pain will eventually come back, usually accompanied by further injury.

This too often is the case, and with knees it is easy to see why. Think about each joint in your leg. Your ankles and hips are made to move in all directions, while your knees only bend in one direction. Most compensated walking strategies involve lateral (side to side) motion in the leg, and because the knees do not bend sideways they tend to be the first joint to feel the strain. Imagine if you walked unknowingly with a small lateral strain on your knee. How long would it take before you became sensitive to the tissue damage?  How much damage might you generate before seeking help? Would treating just the knee solve your problem?

Because the human body is so adaptable, it can be easy to compensate the normal function of your body. For example, all it takes to drive the knee a little sideways is a stiff big toe or weakness in the hip. 

At Comprehensive Wellness we look for these underlying issues when we perform whole body biomechanical exams. Our exams include evaluation of posture, gait, movement, joints and soft tissue quality. By understanding why you move the way you do, we can formulate a holistic healing plan that addresses both the pain you currently have and the root causes or drivers of your pain.

Successful treatment programs typically integrate a variety of methods such as manual therapy techniques, joint rehabilitation, restoration of foundational body skills, and habituation of better movement patterns. It may sound like a lot, but we’re able to focus where you’ll target your work. Most of our patients regularly practice only 4-8 exercises and aim to keep just one body skill top of mind throughout each day. Even the most time-constrained professionals and busiest of moms have been able to integrate this type of programming into their life.

Learn more about our Kinesiology/Movement program.

Jeremiah Dees, CSCS, is a movement specialist with over 18 years of experience specializing in kinesiology. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley where he studied Human Biodynamics and Integrative Biology, while concurrently rowing on the national champion crew team.

Learn more about Jeremiah.