The knee is the biggest joint in our body, it is a hinge joint and almost any movement that uses the legs relies on the knees like walking, jumping, running, squatting, etc…The demand placed on the knee or any other joint is dependent on gravity or body weight.
The bigger the joint, the more load it carries. The knee has to be stable since it is positioned above the ankle which is mobile as it hits the floor.
Movements of the knee!
the knee can flex and it is less stable in this position.
the knee can extend and it is stable in an extended position.
the knee can do very small degrees of medial and lateral rotations.
Under the knee is the tibia which slightly rotates as the knee flexes and extends.
What are the different components of the knee?
Bones: the knee consists of three bones; the femur (the thigh bone), the tibia (the shin bone) and the patella (the kneecap) which helps the leg muscles work better and stabilizes the knee, reducing rubbing between the thigh bone and knee joint.
Muscles: 12 muscles are associated with the knee: extensors (front) and flexors (back).
Meniscus: a ‘C’ shape cartilage which functions as a cushion between the femur and the tibia.
Ligaments: we have ligaments on the outside and ligaments on the inside of the knee joint. Their function is to stabilize and calibrate, providing essential support by maintaining tension and balance for proper joint movement.
Tendons: function to connect muscles to bones, facilitating the transmission of muscle contractions to the bones and enabling movement, stability, and support within the knee.
Bursa: small sacks that cushion the bones where tendons rub.
What are the dysfunctions of the knee?
Valgus: commonly know as the ‘knock-knee’ where one or both knees move inward towards the centerline of the body
Varus: commonly known as ‘Bowlegs’ where one or both knees move outward away from the centerline of the body.
Hyperextended: where one or both knees are extended beyond the natural range of motion. Hyperextension in the knee has a big impact on the hips during standing; there is an increased engagement in the calves, the ankles are also impacted when the knee is behind the ankle. The hamstrings are elongated, the quadriceps are shortened. Lots of muscles are compromised.
We have to balance the muscles to get out of hyperextension.
Flexed: where one or both knees are unable to go into full extension (bent at all times).
What are the causes of knee pain & dysfunctions?
The knee is trapped between two rotational joints or we can say two very mobile joints - the ankle and the hip. It consists of two articulations between the patella, the femur and the tibia.
Over-engaged muscles cause an increase in the force/stimulus on the joint, leading to changes in flexibility, stability, and the ability to handle everyday activities.
Some muscles pass the knee, they connect the pelvis to the tibia and their function is allowing the knee to flex and give it stability.
Similarly, we have some muscles in the calves originating from the heel that pass the ankle and connect at the femur (foot to femur connection) thus affecting the function of the knee.
Any misalignment in the knees is most likely the effect of a hip or an ankle dysfunction. Misaligned knees can contribute to poor posture, leading to symptoms such as back pain, hip discomfort, and altered spinal alignment.
All the components have to work in harmony with each other in order for the pain and the dysfunction not to exist.
Therefore, when a knee gets misaligned, I look at the joints above and below to determine what is going on to explain what is causing the misalignment.
To Align Your Posture I treat the body as a unit, I focus on enhancing the alignment of all joints within your knee and your body, ensuring they function in unison, maintain a synchronized movement and reduce pain.
Align Your Posture . . . Live Pain Free!