Lessons to learn
Quite some time ago, I’d been treating a person, with a knee problem. I was using the approach taught to me at college and things weren’t improving. I rarely go beyond 2 or 3 sessions without any improvement, and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to help this mans knee, so on the third session I discharged him asked him to let me know how he’d got on. To his credit, and despite my failure, he actually did get in touch sometime later.
It turned out he’d gone to see a local private physiotherapist and got quite a dramatic improvement. I expressed my delight whilst hiding a sense of envy and impotence in the light of this obviously talented healer. I asked for the physios' name and when I put the phone down immediately made an appointment with him. It turned out he was an enthusiastic and interesting man who was delighted to talk to me about his approach to knees and healing generally, he was also very inquisitive about the philosophies I’d learnt at college. The brief time I spent with him gave me more insight into the knee.
Since then I’ve studied, practised and enhanced my skill with knees to the point where it's rare for me to not be able to remove or improve someones knee pain. (see testimonials)
Damage or dysfunction?
I believe it is possible to distinguish dysfunction from damage in the knee with a 95% success rate, using relatively simple tests. If I can determine that your knee pain is due to soft tissue dysfunction, then it is almost certainly fixable, no matter how long you’ve had it or what activities seem to aggravate it.
Classic examples of knee problems include pain when going up or down the stairs, or both. Pain when you run or jog, pain only when you drive, or sit with your legs crossed, maybe only pain when you perform a particular activity such as golf or dancing. You may find that a support helps with your symptoms, but this is a somewhat controversial solution.
If I can determine that your pain is due to soft tissue dysfunction, then the next step is to figure out why you’ve developed that condition. Discovering causative factors here can involve assessment of the feet, the hips, low back and pelvis.
1. Your body has the capacity to heal any damage, so even though there may be physical wear or tear, the body is much better equipped to deal with it if we can remove any obstruction to that healing process.
2. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised to find that the 5% margin for error in assessing what is wrong with your knee has come into play, and contrary to appearences of damage, your knee responds well to treatment, suggesting that joint damage is either not there at all, or much more minimal than the test results suggest.
With the knee in particular, the ‘leg extension’ exercise is usually given on a machine that isolates and strengthens the quadriceps (Front thigh muscles) in the mistaken belief that this will ‘support’ the joint more effectively. Since this is a completely ‘non-functional’ exercise, i.e. there is no aspect of our lifestyle that this exercise is representative of, then the strength gained will begin to be lost almost as soon as the exercise is stopped. Also, it won't support the knee, it will create further muscular imbalance between the hamstrings (muscles on the back of the thigh) and the quadriceps. Then there is the question of, if the thigh is weak, why is it weak? This is rarely asked. The fact is, all muscles in the body retain their natural strength unless there is nerve damage, forced immobility or muscle imbalance. Muscle imbalance is the primary cause of knee pain, and if resolved any weakness in the quadriceps will resolve itself spontaneously.