Every part of your body has a special and unique function, but each part relies on others for optimal performance.
When your body is functioning well, you feel invincible. When you are falling short due to an injury or illness, it’s hard to function. The same is true with many interacting body parts. One connection, in particular, is when back pain causes knee pain. Even though the back and knee aren’t directly connected, there is a very real link that can help explain why when your back hurts, your knees may hurt, too.
Does Back Pain Cause Knee Pain?
As one of the most complex joints in the body, the knee allows the entire leg to move, flex, and have a good range of motion. Meanwhile, with its vertebrae and shock-absorbing discs, the back has a myriad of responsibilities – it holds you physically together and secures the high-speed conduit for your complex and delicate nervous system.
Together, the knees and the back provide flexibility, motion, and support. However, they also rely on each other to maintain balance and equilibrium. Therefore, when your back hurts, so might your knees.
Sciatic Nerve Links the Back to the Legs
The most common back ailments that cause pain in the knees are related to the sciatic nerve. If you have back pain and feel a shooting sensation originating from your lower back running down your leg and through your knee, your sciatic nerve is to blame.
As the longest and largest nerve that runs through the body, the sciatic nerve – if damaged or compromised – can cause debilitating pain. The condition is called sciatica, and it is often the byproduct of a degenerative nerve condition (such as osteoarthritis or degenerative disc disease) or an injury (such as a herniated or bulging disc).
When any part of the spine puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, the result may be shooting pain or a tingling sensation that travels from the back down to your hips, buttocks, knees, and feet.
Wear and Tear of the Knees
The back and knees are true workhorses of our bodies, but it’s difficult to remain a thoroughbred forever. As time takes its toll, or as we lose core strength, our backs can become achy and sore.
To compensate for a sore back, you may find ways of adjusting your posture or gait to relieve pressure. The problem is, as you take the pressure off your back, you are applying it to the knees and other parts of your body.
An achy back, worn down from years of wear and tear, can throw your gait off-track – forcing your knees to absorb the brunt of the work. If this is the case, you can expect knee pain. An orthopedist or musculoskeletal specialist is the best physician to see to help treat this type of pain.
Treatment for Back and Knee Pain in Kansas City, Missouri
If you are experiencing back or knee pain, the experts at Advanced Bone & Joint can help. We can alleviate your pain and restore good bodily functions through advanced pain management methods and customized rehabilitation techniques. We also offer orthopedic urgent care to patients who suffer injuries that need immediate care.
To make an appointment, call at (636) 229-4222 or fill out our appointment request form.