What You Need to Know about Lower Back & Knee Pain: Getting Caught in the Middle

February 9, 2017

 

When it comes to pain and injuries most people can say that they have experienced lower back pain; 80% will have an episode of lower back pain at some point in their life.

 

 

In the sporting population, knee injuries are commonplace, while knee pain is a common condition that increases with age.

 

 

As a physiotherapist, these are two complaints patients' frequently present with – to get rid of the pain and return to their regular activities.

 

 

A key concept I use when educating my patients on lower back pain or knee injuries and how they occur is around rotational centres of control in the body.

 

 

In your body, key areas of rotation include: the cervical spine (50% of your neck rotation comes from your upper cervical spine), the thorax (ribcage + thoracic spine), hips and ankles.

 

 

Where you have motion, you must have control.

 

Hence, rotational control.

 

 

When control is compromised in one region (e.g. thorax, hip, ankle) it may result in increased demand/loading (e.g. rotational stress, shear) in another region (e.g. lower cervical spine lower back, knee).

 

 

Over time, this can result in pain and dysfunction, locally and elsewhere.

 

 

When it comes to the lower back and the knee, they are more often the victim of a loss of control elsewhere in the body.

 

 

Why?

 

 

Because they get caught in the middle – between two centres of rotational control, where control of at least one has been compromised.

 

 

The lower back and the knee. Two very common complaints. Two big victims.

 

 

By looking at the whole body and control throughout each region, the interconnections become more clear.

 

 

When one region doesn’t function optimally, others are compromised.

 

 

To manage lower back and knee pain you must look beyond the local area and consider the function in these other very important areas.

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