Factors such as gait, being overweight, aging, wear and tear, past injuries, inactive, wearing the wrong footwear/ high heels are obvious reasons for knee pain. When you go to a doctor with a knee pain complaint, he/she will commonly examine these symptoms.
These are physical and lifestyle symptoms related to getting knee pain. But can psychological and emotion conditions accelerate or make the condition more painful than it has to be? Let me share with you a real life example.
Back when I was in my early teens, my mom suffered mysterious bouts of knee pain. The pain would start from one knee and she will go for shortwave heat treatments. As pain gets better, the pain went to the other knee. The condition was so painful and it got so bad that she flinched whenever she had to climb a flight of stairs.
And then, the problem would just mysteriously disappeared- and then, she would start coughing- the 100 days cough. This pattern went on for about 2 years or more and then, disappeared as well.
Seeing her like that really worries and saddened me but she was (and still is) a tough cookie- never complaining and she had a high tolerance towards pain.
Being a nurse, she accepted and attributed the pain as part of occupational hazard (standing all the time), being overweight (she was about 67 kg then) and that her age was nearing 50.
But it was until recently since my interest began in mind-body medicine that I was able to make a connection:
Our knees basically carry our body weight. To have conditions like painful knees, repetitive injuries on the same place could mean that we feel unsupported in life. That life is getting very tough and we find it painful to carry the weight and burden all alone. So the knees sort of ‘buckled’ and hence all sorts of knee conditions- creaking knees, inflamed, easily sprained, injured or painful.
Sometimes we are afraid of being vulnerable- and hide that fear and instead behave by bossing and nagging at others. For instance, we may pick and nag at our spouse and children, often for their own good. But instead, it causes our family to be annoyed and even start to avoid us. Or a lot of such encounters ended up becoming quarrels.
Learning to express ourselves with more tact and gentleness can really alter the way people react to us. But in order for us to be able to genuinely be gentle and kind to others, we must first be able to be gentle, loving and kind to ourselves. If we are able to do that, we would be amazed that a lot of pain and discomfort would mysteriously disappear or improve dramatically. The pain, after all is an external expression of the pained heart. Address the cause and the rest would take care of itself.