Hip, Knee and Ankle Pain

Back, Hip, Foot, Knee and Ankle Pain

Foot, Hip, Knee and Ankle Pain – Postural Lower Extremity Pain

If you’ve sat in a chair, car, or an airline seat for many hours, what’s the first thing you feel like doing when you find get up? You want to stretch. When you stand after a long time sitting and feel tightness, joint stiffness, swelling, hip, knee and ankle pain, or other pain in your lower extremities- legs, knees, ankles or feet- it is a reaction to lack of motion.

Motion: The Body Is Designed to Move (1st Posture Principle) 

Leg pain from hip to foot

If you are experiencing leg pain from hip to foot which might include hip, knee, ankle pain or pain in areas of your legs or feet, you might be noticing the effects of stress on those joints from not moving them often enough, or you might be stressing your lower extremities by moving with poor posture.

Postural lower extremity pain is a common and often painful problem which can begin with an injury, accident or from long-term habits. When your upper body is not aligned with your lower body, weight bearing is not balanced and you put uneven pressure on your lower extremity when you move. Even sitting “wrong” can stress the pelvis and set up lower extremity and leg imbalance.

Look at the posture of anyone who sits with one foot tucked under them or always crosses the same knee over the other leg: the uneven stresses show in the unbalanced way they sit, stand, and move. Weak and poor posture from posture stress from weak body mechanics causing pain and breakdown ( i.e. Arthritis /Degenerative Joint Disease) in the spine and other joints from daily wear & tear

spine and nerves

The nerves which control your lower extremities begin in the low back and lower spine which is why low back posture problems are a common cause of pain radiating to the Hip, Thigh, Knee, Leg, Ankle & Foot.

When structural distortions in the low back caused by chronic poor posture or prior trauma cause a spinal distortion and compress delicate nerves, pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness traveling down the lower extremity often result.

Lower extremity pain is often positional– it gets better, worse or different as body position changes. Frequently episodic, pain may come on after over-activity or without apparent cause, and is triggered as body adapts to mechanical stress, weak posture and inefficient motion.

  • Hip pain after excessive sitting or hunching over a computer for hours at a time
  • Foot and knee pain after standing, bending or being in an “awkward position”
  • Knee and ankle pain after chronic posture stress such as carrying a heavy backpack, purse, or child

Self-Help Solutions: Low Back, Hip, Foot, Knee and Ankle Pain Relief

Before trying medications that take a toll on long term health or invasive procedures, begin a program of daily Posture Exercises to strengthen posture. Posture exercises can help balance knee and hip joint stress, and get each link in your posture chain moving fluidly again, often stopping pain – and without negative side effects or recovery time.

If you get your body moving well with symmetry and optimal posture, stress is distributed correctly across the joint surface. Ultimately, you may save yourself a hip or knee replacement when you get older. (See posture expert, Dr. Steven Weiniger’s article The Ultimate Knee Workout in Bottom Line Health)

1. Be aware of your posture

  • Head tall and strong
  • Shoulders back and chest open
  • Pelvis Tucked and centered

2. Change body position and posture frequently

  • Adjust your chair, car seat or anyplace you spend a lot of time
  • Alternate which arm you use to carry loads such as a purse or child
  • Try a topical to get pain relief while you recover

3. Keep Moving – The Body Is Made To Move

4. Best Sleeping Position for Low Back and Hip Pain

  • On your side, with a pillow between your knees. A contoured cervical pillow under your neck will help keep your head aligned with your spine.
  • Consider memory foam pillow or supportive fiberfill or water filled pillows.
  • Change your sleeping position if you are a stomach sleeper!

5. Work towards Strong Posture

Foot and Ankle Pain

  • Loosen stiff feet with gentle use of a foot roller
  • Soothe pain with foot baths
  • Compression sleeves can provide relief and support and help move fluids out
  • Be sure to check all self-help remedies with your doctor

Note: Avoid regular use of aspirin, NSAIDs (Advil, Ibuprofen, etc) and over the counter pain medication to avoid stomach, liver and kidney damage associated with frequent use of these drugs.

58% of people using NSAIDs more than 3 months have ulcers. NSAIDs cause 103,000 hospitalizations and 16,500 deaths/year (WSJ, 10/2006). Try temporary relief topicals for equal or superior pain relief. Also, try alternating hot and cold compresses (15-20 minutes) to relax tight muscles and relieve pain.

Keep in mind, for permanent pain relief of hip and other joint issues will require a change in how your body moves. When you’re ready to make a lasting change, begin your posture exercise program to get your body and joints moving freely, full-range to get rid of stiffness and pain.

Consult a professional if pain is severe or persists over two weeks

For these types of issues a chiropractors, osteopaths, and physical therapists will help relieve low back and extremity pain by freeing locked joints to restore full-range mobility and alignment. This can reduce mechanical stress to balance motion and nerve function. Massage therapists apply gentle pressure to relax muscle spasm and break up soft tissue & fascia adhesions to remove restrictions to full, balanced joint motion. Certified Posture Exercise Professionals train with a posture specialty to address these common complaints.

See Posture Science for more info on body compensation, adaptation and how posture distortions tighten overused muscles, weaken underused muscles, stretch and distort ligaments, and pinch and traction nerves teaching the body to move in uneven, stressed motion patterns.

Related Conditions: Foot pain; knee pain, Ankle pain; leg pain; thigh pain; Achilles Tendonitis; gait imbalances; hip pain; iliotibial band syndrome; meniscus or knee injury; plantar fascitis; running injuries; sciatica; shin splints; Pinched nerve in back; muscle pulls; hamstring strain; muscle imbalances, muscle pulls, muscle strains, muscle weakness, myofascitis, Postural adaptive muscle strain; Pinched nerve

SITE DISCLAIMER & Health Note : Consult a professional if pain is severe or persists over two weeks. If there is no trauma and pain initially begins in the chest, if the pain is not affected by motion, or if there is fever, nausea, vomiting, uneven pulse, anxiety, a sick feeling, burning urination, loss of bowel or bladder control, or severe pain, call your Physician.