When you injure a joint in your body, you should not merely focus on repairing that joint – you must also tend to the muscles that contribute to the stability and movement of that joint. Those muscles are called the kinetic chain. Saint Francis Medical Center’s Knee, Hip, Shoulder Clinic helps patients rehabilitate from joint injuries by treating the entire kinetic chain.
Whether there’s an acute injury or an overuse injury, the goal is to make sure it does not happen again. Saint Francis specialists will look above and below the joint to make sure kinetic chain is optimized.
For example, if a runner experiences knee pain due to repetitive activity, the problem may be that the kneecap does not track, or ride, correctly in the joint. This could be because there is a problem with the muscles in the buttocks that control the movement of the pelvis. Additionally, the runner’s foot movement could also be contributing to the knee problem.
If there is a focus solely on the knee, we the problem that got the runner there in the first place could be missed. Any physical therapy exercises would aim to increase flexibility and range of motion in the calf, hamstring, quadriceps and hip flexor.
Doctors at Saint Francis use the kinetic chain to treat not just athletes, but also people who have joint problems due to workplace or home injuries, or overuse.
Everyone who experiences a joint injury should understand that simply resting the joint is not always the best solution. When resting a joint to allow it to repair, it can actually become deconditioned. Additionally, while taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help with pain, they will not solve the problem.