MARCH 15, 2016 – KNEE PAIN: A COMMON INJURY WITH COMPLEX CAUSES
ART® has a long history working with athletes of all kinds, and was actually developed when the founder, Dr. P. Michael Leahy was working with elite athletes to help them get back to peak performance more quickly. No matter the kind of athletic endeavor in which you partake, knee injuries are a common frustration that can be resolved with ART® In addition to being extremely prevalent, knee injuries can also be some of the most nagging, because they can take a long time to come back from, and can stop people from working out or training for weeks or months.
The knee must support body weight as well as flex and extend to generate the propulsive forces needed to move the body. To help the knee serve its very important function, it is surrounded by a complex group of muscles that must be strong, flexible, and coordinated enough to protect and stabilize the knee.
Knee injuries are so common because the knee is interconnected with other joints, namely the hip and the ankle, as a part of the kinetic chain. The knee is a hinge joint that is designed to move backward and forward, but the other joints in the kinetic chain, the hip and ankle, move front to back, side to side, and around in circles. Understanding how pain in one joint can come from elsewhere in the kinetic chain is an important part of how ART® providers diagnose a soft-tissue injury. Very often, knee pain is symptomatic of issues in the adjacent muscles or joints. If the hip or foot has even a minor issue such as over-tightness, weakness, muscle imbalance, or faulty alignment, it can overload the bones and ligaments in the knee, and places even more demand on the muscles around the knee as they try to keep it from moving from side to side or twisting.
When there is a problem anywhere in this kinetic chain, the knee is often the first place to develop pain, even if it is not the source of the problem. This is referred to as movement compensation. The forces generated by any athletic activity do not get properly distributed and they become focused at the knee. For this reason, when diagnosing knee pain, ART® providers know that they must examine the entire kinetic chain, and not just the knee and its surrounding muscles. Treatment that focuses on just the knee often results in re-injury because the root of the problem is not addressed.
Traditional treatments for knee pain often involve some combination of heat, ice, ultrasound, muscle stimulation, steroid injections, exercises, and sometimes even surgery. Many of these methods are ways to temporarily relax the muscles, and all of them deal exclusively with the knee and the muscles surrounding it. These treatments often take a long time to see significant results, and even then those results are temporary and the injury usually recurs. This is because the root of the problem has not been addressed, the entire kinetic chain has not been examined, and scar tissue has not been released.
An ART® provider watches you move and examines the entire kinetic chain using tactile observation to feel the texture and tension of each muscle, and releases the scar tissue that sustains the injury with palpation. This assures that the root of the problem is addressed and keeps the injury from happening again. Best of all, ART® treatment delivers noticeable results in just one 15-minute treatment and can resolve the injury completely with just 3-4 treatments, so you can get back to your active lifestyle as quickly as possible.