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The two most common causes of knee problems are short tight quadriceps and short tight hip rotators. These are also the most commonly overlooked causes of knee pain.
If you go to an orthopedist with knee pain, chances are her examination will be limited to the joints and ligaments of the knee. She’ll look for damage that’s bad enough to warrant surgery––to a meniscus, or a collateral or cruciate or patellar ligament. Some people are frightened at the thought going under the knife. Others are attracted to the specificity and finality of surgery.
A physical therapist will typically look at both the joints and the muscles impacting the knee. His treatment will usually be focused on identifying weak muscles and strengthening them. Some mild stretching may also be included.
Surgically repairing damaged joint tissue without removing the excessive and chronically imbalanced loads that created that damage in the first place, is a temporary fix––and it can create debilitating and irreversible scar tissue. Strength training, though useful, often reinforces and exacerbates common muscle imbalances. In contrast, Dr. Binkley focuses on identifying and lengthening the short tight muscles that debilitate the knee. Lengthening is nearly always far more important than strengthening. The quadriceps and hip rotators frequently become short and tight from nothing more than sitting for prolonged periods––at a desk, in a car, in meetings, on a plane––many of us spend most of our days sitting in chairs. Short tight quadriceps turn your knee into a tightly-sprung nutcracker, which constantly overloads the meniscus inside. Short tight hip rotators, especially the piriformis, cause your knee to be slightly twisted all the time, leading to unbalanced forces that traumatize the knee joints and ligaments. Typically, years of damage will occur before you feel the first hint of pain.
Specific individualized therapy and instruction in alignment-based yoga stretches can lengthen short tight muscles, and remove excessive chronic unbalanced loads from the knee joints, allowing them (finally, you’ve given them a chance!) to fully heal. Additionally, special techniques to help your brain reset chronically hypersensitive nerves can often quickly eliminate pain that has persisted or recurred for years. You may not have to “live with it.” If you think you’ve “tried everything,” and you haven’t been to Binkley Healing Center, you owe it to yourself to experience firsthand what Dr. Binkley can do. It could change your life.
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Lynn Fogel/Ventura, CA.
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