The symptoms of Knee Pain include pain in one or both knees that may be localized to one side of the knee, under the kneecap, or across a larger area.
Dr. Sam Dubé discusses knee pain
Learn about the symptoms, causes, and benefits of different treatment options.
In addition to trauma, the cause of most knee pain is poor lower limb mechanics, which predispose the knee to injury and damaging stresses.
Acute functional problems occur when the body is pushed beyond its everyday functional capabilities.
Chronic functional problems occur gradually, when everyday activities don’t promote healthy function. Usually, these problems don’t cause pain or discomfort until the stress-related tissue damage builds to the point that it impedes movement.
In either case, most knee-related functional problems occur because of poor or maladapted neuromuscular function in the feet and legs.
There is a direct neuromuscular and biomechanical relationship between foot function and the way the knees and hips function. Modern science has identified that the nervous system plays a critical role in stabilizing the feet and ankles when walking or running.
From a neuromuscular perspective, the brain relies on the information that it receives from the nerve endings in the soles of the feet to activate healthy muscle function in the feet, legs, hips, and back. Biomechanically, an unstable foot with a poorly functioning arch system will cause poor bone alignment and imbalanced muscle use throughout the legs and hips. Over time, this maladapted neuromuscular function becomes the norm and is the major contributing cause of virtually all nontraumatic knee pain.
It is now understood that conventional footwear use will cause poor neuromuscular function throughout the feet, legs, hips, and back, when:
the soles of the feet don’t receive the subtle, varied stimulus that the nervous system requires for healthy function, and
snug toe boxes, stiff midsoles/outsoles/uppers and tight lacing restrict healthy foot movement.
To learn more about the modern science, click HERE.
The best way to prevent and treat knee problems and pain is to retrain healthy lower limb neuromuscular function and to use footwear that is soft, flexible, and roomier in the forefoot.
Conventional treatment methods for knee problems and pain
Since the late 1890s, the standard treatment for poor foot mechanics that contributes to knee problems has been to artificially support the feet with orthotics. Other conventional knee treatment options include:
Compressive braces or wraps
Therapy to remove scar tissue
Modern science has transitioned away from using long-term support and cushioning on any body part because it causes a progressive weakening of the body part being supported or cushioned.
The modern approach to treating knee problems and pain
Science has shown that merely challenging the body to “do its job” is the best way to restore and enhance function.
The modern approach to address poor neuromuscular function is to employ a “Proper Technique” rehabilitative therapy to regain healthy function. This approach is extensively used pre- and post-surgery and is also the foundation of virtually all sports training/rehabilitation programs. By employing a therapeutic approach, the feet, legs, hips, and back become stronger and more stable, thereby addressing the cause of the poor mechanics that contribute to knee problems and pain. Proper Technique therapies employ exercise that focuses on safely training healthy neuromuscular function, i.e., optimal mobility, muscle strength, stability, and alignment.
Proper Technique therapies require both Right Stimulus and Right Movement.
Right Stimulus occurs when the information that the brain receives from the senses triggers an efficient protective reflex function or Right Movement. The nerve endings in the soles of the feet play a critical role in providing the brain with the information required for optimal Right Movement throughout the feet, legs, hips, and back. When the brain receives insufficient or inaccurate information from the soles of the feet, the protective reflex function Right Movement will be ineffective or absent altogether. This is what happens when conventional footwear is worn. For more information on Right Stimulus and Right Movement, click HERE.
To therapeutically address the cause of knee problems and pain and to prevent them from reoccurring, do the following:
- Walk barefoot on natural terrain as much as possible. This provides the optimal Right Stimulus and allows for the Right Movement required for healthy neuromuscular function.
- Use Biopods® Stimsoles® Footwear or Insoles. Biopods Footwear provides the ultimate Proper Technique shoe environment. Biopods Insoles improve the stimulus in your conventional footwear. Use in loosely laced, soft, flexible footwear with ample toe room that allows your arches and toes to rise easily for best results.
- Consult with your healthcare practitioner to ask about employing soft tissue mobilization therapies to address the fibrotic scar tissue that may have formed prior to using Biopods.