Lower Extremity Pain
Knee, Hip, Ankle and Foot Pain
While your foot or ankle may seem a long way from your knee or hip, these pivotal parts of your body are closely linked. The result of this wonderful cooperation of body parts is that if you injure one, you can feel the repercussions in another.
The knee is possibly the most injured joint in the body, and damage can happen at any age. It’s often the result of sudden trauma, overuse, lack of use or underlying conditions like arthritis. People often experience pain around the kneecap, behind the knee, inside the joint, or the knee can make sounds like “Rice Krispies cereal,” snap, crackle, and pop.
Common Knee Injuries includes:
- Muscle strains
Muscle strain occurs when the muscle is in its most lengthened position and is stretched beyond its limits. This causes pain and tenderness around the joint that can lead to tendinitis and tendinopathy.
- Ligament sprains
A ligament can be sprained when it’s stressed beyond its limits leaving the knee feeling unstable and often causes it to buckle with weightbearing movements. 4 major ligaments in knee that connect the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shin bone) are :
– ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) located in the center of the knee, controls rotation and forward movement of the tibia (shin bone)
– PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) located in the center of the knee, controls backward movement of the tibia
– MCL (medial collateral ligament) gives stability to the inner knee
– LCL (lateral collateral ligament) gives stability to the outer knee
- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)
PFPS is also known as “Jumper’s Knee” and causes pain in front of the knee especially around or underneath the kneecap. The cartilage under the kneecap is damaged due to injury or overuse and it’s most common in young, active populations during activities such as running and jumping as well as prolonged sitting. The kneecap moves abnormally causing pain due to a weakened quadriceps and weak areas of the hip.
- Patellar tendinitis
Patellar tendinitis is an inflammation also known as “Runner’s Knee.” In adolescents it is called Osgood-Schlatters or Sinding-Larsen-Johansson disease. It is an injury to the tissue called patellar tendon that connects the kneecap to the shin bone. Pain is usually felt below the knee and occurs during sprinting and jumping.
- Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome (IT band syndrome)
Swelling of a cushion bag that protects the tendon from friction while moving across the bone.
- Meniscal injuries
- Baker’s Cysts
- Pinched nerves
The hip joint, also called the femoral acetabular joint, is extremely important because it helps connect the upper body to the lower extremities. Hip pain is often described as dull, achy, sharp, shooting or tingling. Hip pain can cause mild to severe discomfort when performing daily activities such as standing, walking, squatting, bending and climbing stairs.
Common Hip Injuries includes:
- Muscle strains or tears
- Femoral Acetabular Impingement (FAI)
- Snapping hip syndrome (dancer’s hip)
- Acetabular labral tears
- Pinched nerves
Did you know that the ankle/foot complex consists of 26 bones and over 30 joints? This complex body part helps us keep balance, absorbs shocks caused by walking and moves us from point A to point B.
Common Foot/Ankle Injuries includes:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Ankle Sprains
- Calf strains
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Shin splints (Medial tibial stress syndrome)
- Calcaneal Bursitis
- Bunions near the big toe
- Pinched nerves
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