Lower Limb Pain

Conditions in the lower extremity area of the body typically involve the tissues of your hips, knees and ankles, and are often the result of wear and tear, injury or overuse. Chiropractors are extensively trained to provide comprehensive assessment, diagnosis and treatment for lower limb pain. Your chiropractor will determine the cause of your pain and devise a treatment plan that fits your individual needs to help restore function, increase range of motion and relieve pain.

Dr Zuback stetching clients knee

Knee Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of difficulties with mobility and disability in older people. It is also common in younger and middle-aged people.

Approximately 5% of people between 35 and 54 years of age have osteoarthritis. Many of these people have injured their joints earlier in life. Approximately 30% of the population between 50 and 70 years of age have problems related to osteoarthritis and the percentage increases in older age groups. In the past, osteoarthritis was often described as ‘wear and tear’ of the joint. This statement is misleading, as cartilage actually needs ongoing movement to stay healthy.

man holding his knee sitting on couch

MCL/ ACL Injuries

A ligament sprain can be caused by a trauma or accident, overextension of the ligament or severely stressing the joint. Strains can be either acute or chronic. Signs and symptoms can vary depending on the mechanism of injury, or if it is an acute sprain versus a chronic strain. However, common symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, muscle spasms and limited range of motion. Some people may also hear or feel a “pop” around the joint.

chiropractor holding clients knee

Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a band of tendon-like tissue that extends along the bottom of the foot (the plantar surface) from the heel bone to the ball of the foot, where it fans out to attach to the toe bones. When pressure or strain damage or overstretch the plantar fascia, swelling, tearing, or bruising can occur. Plantar fasciitis results mainly from high-impact activities, such as running and jumping, but it can also occur after prolonged periods of standing.

The main symptom is intense pain that feels like a deep bruise on the bottom of the foot, just in front of the heel. It’s usually at its worst first thing in the morning and when you get up after sitting for a long time. The pain may go away as you walk around, but it’s likely to return at the end of the day if you spend a considerable part of it on your feet.

woman holding her heel

Meniscus Injuries

A meniscus tear is usually caused by twisting or turning quickly, often with the foot planted while the knee is bent. Meniscus tears can occur when you lift something heavy or play sports. As you get older, your meniscus gets worn. This can make it tear more easily.

“Do I need surgery to heal my meniscus?” A systematic review by Abram et al on partial meniscectomy (removal of the tear) concluded that surgery SHOULD NOT be the first line intervention, with some groups having no difference in effect with even sham surgery. Consult with your physician and rehab professional when determining what type of intervention is best for you.

man crouching holding injured meniscus


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Ankle Sprains

An ankle sprain is a common injury. Often the ankle rolls outward and the foot turns inward. This causes the ligaments on the outside of the ankle to stretch and tear.

Less often, the ankle rolls inward and the foot turns outward. This damages the ligaments on the inside of the ankle.

An ankle sprain can range from mild to severe, depending on how badly the ligament is damaged and how many ligaments are injured. With a mild sprain, the ankle may be tender, swollen, and stiff. But it usually feels stable, and you can walk with little pain. A more serious sprain might include bruising and tenderness around the ankle, and walking is painful. Poor rehabilitation after an initial sprain increases the chances of this injury recurrence.

person walking and spraining their ankle


Metatarsalgia is a term used to describe four foot conditions that cause pain, burning, or discomfort under the ball of the foot or the metatarsal bones. Basically, in a nutshell, metatarsalgia is a big, long word for pain at the ball of the foot.

Some symptoms of metatarsalgia can include a pain or burning sensation in the balls of the feet when standing, walking, or running, which then feels better when you’re at rest. It could be a sharp shooting pain at your toes or a numbness or tingling at your toes. Metatarsalgia can be caused in a variety of ways, and they can include a dropped arch, intense activity, a trauma to your foot, arthritis, or even just wearing improper footwear.

close up of persons feet sitting on a rock

Shin Splints

Shin splints are the name often given to exercise-induced pain in the lower leg, specifically along the front of the leg between the knee and the ankle – the area known as the shin.

Shin splints are really a symptom rather than a specific diagnosis because they are probably caused by a number of different problems. Shin splints are one of the most common problems in the lower leg in people who exercise or play sports. In typical shin splints, pain is felt more over the inner (medial) part of your shin.

Shin splints are sometimes called medial tibial stress syndrome.

runner sitting on ground holding injured shin

Tendinopathies & Muscle Strains

Tendinopathy is a general term that describes tendon degeneration characterized by a combination of pain, swelling, and impaired performance.

Common sites include the rotator cuff (supraspinatus tendon), wrist extensors (lateral epicondyle) and pronators (medial epicondyle), patellar and quadriceps tendons, and Achilles tendon. The exact cause is unclear. Studies suggest it is an overuse condition leading to inadequate tendon repair that predisposes the tendon to microtears and degeneration.

Dr Zuback stetching clients knee

Have Questions? Here's what you can expect from your first visit

Dr Zuback may be treating your back, neck, headache, or other area of pain, but first she needs a complete picture of your health history and current health in order to provide the best possible treatment for you. On your first visit she will take the time to hear about the details of your pain and use a comprehensive exam to help determine the cause of your pain/injury.

Following the first visit, you will receive a comprehensive report of findings, where your questions will be answered and your pain/injury better understood. Dr. Zuback will go over her recommendations of care based on the evidence, her clinical experience and your preferences and goals.

If a condition should be treated by another health care professional, Dr. Zuback will make a referral. Click "learn more" to get a better understanding of what you should expect during your first chiropractic visit.