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The Red-headed Stepchild of your musculoskeletal system

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

In my recent continuing education journeys, I heard someone refer to the knee as the red-headed stepchild of the body. I found this to be a very expressive analogy. Then, I querried where that term even come from. We all assume it to have a negative connotation, but should it? Having red hair isn't a bad thing, nor is being a stepchild. How is it that the combination holds such a negative connotation? I digress on the matter of origin, but let's explore the knee in that context.





Knees are one of the most stressed joints in the body and have been referred to as the most complicated joint. Pulled between the tibia and femur, knees act to coordinate tasks both small and complex. Whether summiting your favorite peak, ice skating or simply walking from your car to the grocery store, your knees are taking the brunt of all forces required.

If you gain weight, your knees even pay for this. In fact, for every added pound of body weight, 3 pounds of pressure is added to your knees. I will not say how many pounds of pressure were added to my knees with my pregnancy. However, I do think my knees appreciate that I am losing it now! Needless to say, our knees take a beating, but remain critical to maintaining healthy activities.

At our clinic, our job is to help alleviate some of that beating that has taken place. We hope to alleviate some arthritis pain and damage that has been caused, and to help restore activity/function.

Much like the phrase "red-headed stepchild," your knees may need some love and "rebranding" so-to-speak. Let's simply start with relieving the pain and build on that.


I hope to see you soon!





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