Whether you are a runner who doesn’t want to be sidelined by knee pain or someone trying to avoid a knee replacement surgery with a long recovery time, one thing that you should know about is the link between the knees and the spine. For many patients, knee pain is simply a symptom of spinal misalignments. How can that be?
We’re going to take a closer look at the connection between the knee and the back. We will consider some indicators that knee pain is related to spinal issues. Finally, we’re going to provide hope to knee pain sufferers who are looking for a natural solution that doesn’t involve surgery or giving up your favorite form of exercise.
How the Knees Are Linked to the Back
A study was conducted involving 160 patients that connected various forms of spinal imbalance to knee osteoarthritis in seniors. Researchers learned that the angle of spinal inclination was the number one factor in increased knee arthritis, but that a number of spinal imbalances increased knee problems. This is not the only evidence that a misaligned spine can lead to knee pain. But why does it happen?
For one thing, the nerves that detect sensations in the knee are all linked to the lower spine. That’s why sciatica pain can extend down the leg and even cause knee pain. Pain often radiates from the lower back when this is the case, but pain can also occur in the knee without pain in the lower back area.
The lower back nerves are also responsible for how the muscles around the knee function. Therefore, a minor irritation in the lower back can cause dysfunction in how the muscles around the knees function. This, in turn, can lead to pain that may not seem to trace back to the spine. Doctors may try everything to correct the knee issue, but without looking higher to discover the underlying problem, knee pain just keeps returning.
3 Signs Your Knee Pain Stems from Your Spine
Here are a few things to watch for to determine if your knee pain may have the spine as its true source.
- You also experience neck or back pain – This is the easiest symptom to identify. If you are suffering from spine pain along with the knee pain, don’t assume the two are unrelated.
- Hamstring Tightness – You need the hamstring to be working properly in order for the knee to function correctly. If you are moving around with a tight hamstring, you can be doing damage to the knee. Hamstring problems, however, can be linked to lumbar issues.
- Hip or Quadricep Weakness – If you don’t have full strength in your hip or quadricep, the problem may be in your spine. Once again, weakness in these areas is going to make the knee joint work harder and wear faster.
So if the pain is not isolated in the knee, don’t assume the knee is the main problem area. If you are experiencing pain anywhere along the spine or throughout the upper half of the leg, you’re probably looking at a bigger issue that needs to be addressed. The question is, how can you do so naturally?
Hope for Knee Pain Sufferers
If you are looking for knee pain relief, we’d like to introduce you to upper cervical chiropractic care. What is upper cervical and how does it differ from general chiropractic? Here are three things you should know:
Upper cervical chiropractic is focused on just the top two bones of the neck. How can this help your knee if knee issues are connected to lower back problems? Spinal health flows from the top down. The body fights to keep the head balanced, so even the slightest misalignment of the C1 (atlas) will result in changes throughout the spine. The further you get from the initial problem, the larger those changes often become. So in many cases, the lower back suffers the most from an atlas misalignment. Again, you need to go all the way to the source to get long-term benefits from care.
Misalignments of hundredths of a degree can have far-reaching effects, so upper cervical chiropractors are taking extremely precise measurements using x-rays and other imaging techniques.
There is no popping or twisting of the spine or the joints. An upper cervical chiropractor won’t crack the bones in your neck or yank on your leg until the knee pops. Gentle adjustments coax the atlas back into place so your body doesn’t immediately start working against the adjustment. In fact, the atlas has a tendency to hold an adjustment longer, so you may be able to space your appointments out further and further the longer you receive care.
Natural Relief for Knee Pain
Before you turn to invasive surgeries or give up your favorite pastime, why not give upper cervical chiropractic a try. It is a gentle form of chiropractic that is safe and effective for the whole family regardless of your age or present health.
To learn more, contact a practitioner in your area. A consultation will help you to determine if this is the right option for you. If so, you may discover that a few gentle adjustments set you on the path to better health and well-being. Hopefully, you’ll be able to join the ranks of upper cervical chiropractic patients who are now happy to be free from knee pain.