The lower extremity is a complex organ as it helps us do multiple activities. It stands, walks, helps us to stand from a seated position, it drives a car, it runs, it is used as leverage when we lift or move heavy objects and probably a few other things that I haven't mentioned. The lower extremity consists mechanically of the Femur, Tibia, Fibula, and a whole bunch of bones in the ankle and foot. Structurally the center of gravity traverses through the Femur, Tibia and right through the center of the Talus bone. We will discuss in this blog on how to prevent imbalance, clumsiness, and even maybe a walker in the future. It is held into place with a series of intricate ligaments in the foot, ankle, knee, and hip joint. The musculature is complex and performs movements such as flexion and extension at the hip, knee, ankle and metatarsals. It also has the ability to abduct, adduct, and rotate at both the hip and ankle joint. So as you can see there are many complex movements that can and will take place simultaneously.
Once again I want to reiterate that the ligaments have four properties that we need to consider. The first is position, as they hold the skeleton in its proper spacing to allow the joint to have proper gapping. Secondly, they stabilize the skeleton's joints which allow the body to initiate movement. Third, is the control of movement and last but not least is the fourth property controls the speed. As we go through these next few writings I will explain the interconnection between the ligaments, tendons and muscles and how they all rely on each other to help us move.
The reason to remember these qualities is that they are the ones most overlooked when thinking about discomfort in the lower extremity. We talk about the meniscus in the knee, plantar fasciitis or that wretched pain when we first get up in the morning that makes it hard for us to walk, shin splints, and that deep aching pain that I experience in my hip joint. We try to think of what we did to hurt ourselves or we just blame it on aging.
During these next few articles I will be addressing the issues that affect and cause pain in the lower extremities. Oftentimes it is not one specific incident but a combination of traumas that are allowing the discomfort to develop. If you have a question and/or are experiencing lower extremity discomfort please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the holiday season gears up into hyper speed this week and the weather starts to get colder and the snow and ice develop, many stresses affect the body and the low back and lower extremities feel the effects. This would be a great time to visit one of the practitioners to help align and balance the natural tension on your skeleton, call or write this office for an appointment or consultation.
There is HOPE!