The Guru explains to Daphne that multiple pain sites are more than likely connected

November 11, 2015


Following on from your answer to Graham (regarding treatment options for bunions, Aug 5th), I do have pain on the base / outer edge of my right big toe, plus ankle pain, knee pain and hip  pain – all on the right side. Is there a connection?

I noticed the toe pain about a year ago. I sprained my ankle while running across a road (in 2 inch heels!) in Feb. A few months later (around July) , my old knee injury recurred, and a couple of months ago I noticed the hip pain (top, outer edge).

I used to run fairly regularly, approximately 2-3 times a week (5k -15k) until a year ago when knee (R) and hip flexor (L) pain made me stop. I now run intermittently (one 5k a fortnight on average) and go to the gym about twice a week. None of this causes me pain, but I notice pain/tightness when stretching.

I’m seeing a physio at the moment, but would like a second opinion as I feel we’re managing the problem rather than fixing it. I’d appreciate your thoughts.

Many thanks,


November 11, 2015

Hi Daphne

Of course!

Unless you’ve had a multi trauma, I would say that it’s almost impossible to have have multiple pain sites that are not connected.

Bodies are great when it comes to “cheating” movement. We don’t really care how we move from A to B, as long as we get to B.

Our range(s) of motion when moving are never the issue (so stop stretching to try to get more!) but instead it’s the quality of what we do ie the control of what we do, is the issue.

With regards to the stretching bit – if you don’t know why it’s tight, stretching will achieve nothing apart from temporarily make you feel better, it can’t and won’t get you any better. Most muscles that feel tight don’t actually need stretching. They are simply acting as protective mechanisms to a joint that has too much “play”. If you stretch the protection, the joint play increase and the muscle  increases it’s stiffness to protect the joint!

You’ve most likely got a few simple thing not quite moving well enough – like your thoracic spine, you “cheat” by moving your lumbar spine more to compensate. Your body recognises this extra joint “play” and your gluts stiffen to protect your back. Poor gluteal function causes (amongst other things) your thigh to roll in when you’re walking or running.

This now puts excessive and uncontrolled load through hip, knee, ankle and foot….

Get the ability to move better (thoracic spine) and learn to control it (gluts).

Job done!

The Guru

Guru Responded

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