A few weeks ago, we had a client reporting to us about knee pain on his left leg when walking. He also talked about having issues balancing on his left foot and even showed us the custom orthotic insoles that his doctor recommended that he wear. Although they helped improve his ankle stability and alleviate some of his knee pain, he said that prolonged walking or running would still agitate the knee even if he wore his insoles.
We had him perform a one-leg balance test, and when he stood on only his left foot, he would immediately begin to fall to the side. Utilizing the Neurokinetic Therapy protocol, we found that his left tibialis posterior, a calf muscle, was compensating for his quads. In fact, it was so overactive and tight that it was causing his foot to arch excessively. This excessive arch made it hard for him to balance and find stability, but more importantly, it caused him to suffer from knee pain, because the knee joint was trying to stabilize for his ankle. We released his tibialis posterior and did an exercise to strengthen his quads and when he stood up on just his left foot again, he didn’t fall to the side! Even better, when we had him walk around, he had much less pain in the knee.
Because of injuries, repeated dysfunctional patterns, and the daily activities of modern society, we develop compensation patterns like the one described above. When we talk about compensations, this doesn’t always mean to say that one muscle is doing the job of another muscle (i.e. a calf muscle can’t perform the same functions as your quads), but what it implies is that we can sometimes develop tendencies to use unnecessary muscles when the appropriate muscles aren’t firing properly.
One of the many corrective exercise protocols used here at Perform for Life is NKT, or Neurokinetic Therapy, a system of manual muscle testing in order to seek out compensation patterns in the body to relieve pain and optimize performance. This is just a single part of our holistic approach utilizing a comprehensive movement assessment and various corrective exercise certifications and techniques. If you are experiencing pain, want to improve posture, want performance gains, or just want to feel better, Perform for Life has the trainer for you.
Learn more about Coach Austin here!