Have you ever woke up in the morning, got out of bed and noticed a pain in your hip, leg, knee or foot? You think to yourself, “Why is that hurting? I didn’t do anything to hurt it.” Well, obviously it could have just been the position or way that you slept and the pain will go away once you get moving. But what if the pain lingers, or gets worse over the course of the next couple days? Most likely you have something out of alignment resulting in nerve pressure or soft tissue irritation that possibly originates in the low back or pelvis.
Now this doesn’t mean that those specific joints of the lower extremity don’t have some dysfunction, like arthritis or other inflammatory issues, but pains of unknown origin in the lower extremity will many times be a result of a misalignment of the low back and pelvis. A good example of this is random leg pains or muscle cramping. Most people have heard of the term sciatica, which is a quite uncomfortable and many times very painful condition where the sciatic nerve that comes from the lower back region of the spine and runs down the leg all the way to the foot, is extremely irritated. Even minimal amounts of pressure or irritation to the sciatic nerve due to lumbar vertebra or pelvic misalignment can cause symptoms like pain, numbness, tingling and even muscle tightness into the leg and/or foot.
Another very common situation that causes unknown origins of hip or knee pain, is a misalignment or twisting of the pelvis. As the pelvis shifts, it puts a great amount of stress on the soft tissues (ligaments/tendons) that attach to the bones of the lower extremity. Some misalignments cause more stress on the hip joint and some cause more stress on the knee joint. Many times the hip and knee will be evaluated and no dysfunction is found. This is because the origin is pelvic misalignment. If the misalignment is not corrected, the added stress to the hip or knee joint will cause that joint to break down and degenerate more rapidly and possibly lead to surgeries or replacements at a much younger age.
So if you are experiencing aches or pains in the lower extremity, and you don’t know of a specific origin, injury or condition, get checked out for misalignments in the lumbar spine and pelvis.