I was just thinking about how much I get asked why when [part A] of someone hurts I am always looking and treating other places around the body. Besides learning “the knee bone is connected to the hip bone” song when I was like 3, I have listed some random conditions below with some common ( I use this loosely) “away from the site of pain” causes.
Plantar Fasciitis: Hip tightness, calf tightness, thoracic kyphosis, weak glutes
Ankle Sprains: Weak hip abductors
Anterior knee pain (I hate this “diagnosis”): Hypomobile ankles, weak hips, tight hips, increased anterior weight shift (rounded shoulders)
HS injuries: Weak glutes
Low back pain: Tight hips, weak glutes, weak core/poor motor control, poor breathing patterns, stress, depression
Shoulder pain: Thoracic spine restrictions, weak core/poor motor control, periscapular weakness, cervical spine restrictions
Tennis Elbow: Poor shoulder mechanics –> from all those things I just mentioned under shoulder pain
Neck Pain: Thoracic/Lumbar spine motion, poor breathing patterns, prolonged positions
For those of you who know this, believe this, and practice this way I hope you agree with what I have listed. If you can think of some more conditions and their common causes feel free to leave them in the comments section. If you have come here looking for answers, I hope you have gotten a good sense that the physical therapy profession is changing and that if you are receiving care, it should take your whole body into consideration.
Great list and reminder to always think of the body as a functional whole. I wanted to plug the idea that the pelvic floor should be taken into account and added to the treatment plan anywhere in the list above that you find weak glutes/hip musculature, tight hips, weak core/ poor motor control, and breathing pattern dysfunctions. I am not referring to a Kegel, but an integrated pelvic floor contraction within the functional training pattern. I’m hoping to change the PR of the pelvic floor, its not just for incontinence anymore!
All the best! Julie Wiebe, PT (@interiorfitness )
Would share an explanation as to why these issues are linked? Why does a tight hip cause plantar faciitis, etc.?
I will give s quick answer re: the tight hip flexors and plantar fasciitis. For the rest, you can shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tight hip flexors will result in an anterior weight shift in the body/hips. Although this may be slight, an anterior weight shift will call upon posterior postural muscles such as the soleus to prevent us from falling over. When the soleus is overworked, whether or not its with poor running form, poor posture, etc they will tighten. When these muscles tighten, they can pull on the plantar fascia, resulting in micro-tears and plantar fasciitis. Keep reading larsen, and thanks for questioning me!! Also take a look at my “Revisiting Plantar Fasciitis” post