How One Part of the Body Impacts the Other

Q: Over the summer I sprained my knee while playing softball and limped on it for over 3 months. Now I have developed some lower back pain that was sort of bothering me when the knee made me limp. Is it possible that I have created a back problem by favoring my knee for so long?

A: Miraculously, our body parts usually work together in harmony. However, the reverse is also true. Harming one area of the body can have a domino effect. If you hurt your neck or shoulder, you can actually impact the whole spine.

Because of the ache in your neck or shoulder, you may turn your head or drive differently for example to avoid aggravating it. Your sleep patterns may change and fatigue and stress escalate. This stress can easily cause you to tighten your muscles and develop backaches and headaches. Without understanding the reason, you begin to experience pain in other parts of your body on a regular basis. This problem can become worse than the initial ache.

For the problem you speak of, the chain of events is quite easy to see from my perspective and occurs commonly. To allow the knee to hurt less, you have altered your gait or the biomechanical chain of events that occur with every step you take. This will lead to major changes in the way your muscles work together, leading to tightness and shortness. Ultimately that affects the skeletal system and the muscles that attach to it. The next thing you know, there is a low back problem.

Doctors of chiropractic understand how the body functions as a unit and are familiar with how one set of behaviors or routines may be used to counteract or compensate for an earlier injury. Your chiropractor will be able to identify the source of your pain and treat that problem, along with any other secondary symptoms that arise.

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