Lower limb injuries are very common among athletes and non-athletes. These injuries, ranging from pain in the feet and ankles to knee and hip issues, can be debilitating. Chiropractors are highly experienced in treating acute and chronic injuries such as knee and ankle ligament damage, plantar fasciitis, leg pain, muscle strains, and joint complaints. For these issues, chiropractic care often is an excellent choice.
The goal of doctors of chiropractic is to reduce pain, restore function so you can return to your usual activities as quickly as possible, and help you maintain proper musculoskeletal function. Count on chiropractic care to include examining your medical history, performing a comprehensive assessment, determining a diagnosis, recommending treatment, and helping you find ways to prevent new problems.
You’ll find chiropractors have an excellent record when it comes to the prevention of injury recurrence. That’s why doctors of chiropractic are on staff for NFL teams, Major League Baseball, professional soccer, and U.S. Olympic teams.
Your chiropractor will often look at things such as gait, foot flare, and check if the Achilles tendon is flared. They will examine your arches, compare the tightness of muscles of each side to see if they’re symmetrical, and inspect wear patterns on your shoes.
All these things help doctors of chiropractic diagnose what is going on with your body and how best to treat it. Best of all, chiropractic care always involves individualized treatment options that seek fast relief and long-lasting results.
Recommendations for treatment in the lower extremities may include any of the following:
If your chiropractor determines your condition or issue is not a good fit for chiropractic care, he or she will refer you to another physician. Often, it’s someone they work with regularly.
Chiropractors understand the foundation of the spine is the pelvis. The pelvis is itself dependent upon the status of balance in the lower extremities and the foot foundation. Any structural imbalance – such as an anatomical leg-length inequality, flat feet, etc. – requires compensating movements in the lower extremities and pelvis to minimize stresses and strains that would affect the spinal column.
Over time, however, specific muscle imbalances and shortenings will develop. Eventually, soft tissues and bones are damaged by microtrauma, leading to ongoing pain and discomfort.
A functional imbalance, such as the collapse of the arches of the foot, also results in excessive motion during the various phases of movement. With excessive pronation (the way your foot rolls inward for impact distribution), the entire leg spends too much time in internal rotation. This action places twisting stresses on the pelvis with each step.
Over time, the result is overstretching of the hip and pelvic support ligaments, which can cause chronic pain and dysfunction.
Similar in structure to the shoulder, the hip is a ball-and-socket joint designed to move in many directions. Often, our hips become tight or dysfunctional, resulting in decreased mobility and abnormal muscle function. Poor functioning hips may also lead to nerve irritation/inflammation (sciatic-like symptoms) and even back pain.
In chiropractic care, the goal is to improve hip function through correct movement and muscle activation.
Many people are “knee-dominant,” and place too much pressure and force on the front of the knee. If you feel more activity in the knee and quads (compared to glutes and hamstrings) when you climb stairs, you are probably knee-dominant. Over time, degeneration of the knee joint can occur.
Ankle and Foot Pain
The foot and ankle work together, providing stability and mobility to allow us to stand, walk, jump, and run. Several bones, ligaments, and tendons are involved in these joints, any of which can become painful under certain conditions.
Where to Go for Help
Here’s the thing: you shouldn’t let lower extremity pain continue when so many solutions are available. Seeking chiropractic care is an excellent way to begin finding answers.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), founded in 1922, is a private, nonprofit, chiropractic and health science-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas. The CUKC on-campus Chiropractic Health Center is open to the public and treats patients from Kansas City’s 15-county metro area. Our goal is to provide care and solutions for a better, more productive life for our patients.