Knee Pain

Knee Pain and Applied Kinesiology

Anterior Cruciate Ligament – ACL – Knee Instability


Applied Kinesiology – AK – is a tool we use – through muscle testing – to discern what’s causing your main complaint and how best to fix it using spinal adjustments, cranial manipulation, acupuncture or nutritional techniques.

This next group of articles explains specific conditions and we approach them in a holistic fashion.  Remember: we don’t treat conditions; we treat patients who are suffering from certain conditions.  Let me explain the difference.

A young man playing basketball can injure the knee due to all the running, jumping and twisting related to this sport.  If this person had no other imbalances and was in perfect health before this injury, we would conclude that the cause of the injury was frank trauma -pure and simple.  However, life isn’t always that simple.

A person may have a tight hamstring muscle, in the back of the thigh, which causes instability in the knee joint.  Then, when he trips and injures his knee, he wonders why such a “small crack in the pavement” caused a tear in the meniscus of his knee, when the instability – not the crack in the pavement – caused him to fall in the first place!

Knee pain can also be caused by imbalances in acupuncture meridians.  In the instance of knee pain, any one of six acupuncture organ meridians which pass over and through the knee may be involved.  For example, pain in the back of the knee, associated with indigestion, may be indicative of gall bladder congestion and not a primary knee condition at all!

Signs or Symptoms of ACL Sprain

Pain in the knee with instability; some explain it as a sense of wobbling of the knee joint.


Injury to this ligament occurs when the person suddenly pivots causing excessive rotational forces on the ligament. Other causes are severe trauma and work injuries. When the injury occurs, the person will usually describe a feeling of the knee giving out, or collapsing. They also say they hear a “pop.”


Severe trauma is the most common cause. It is also seen in sports – skiing, basketball, etc.  However, a non-traumatic cause can be slow stretching of the anterior cruciate ligament due to repetitive stress caused by other mechanical factors.  These include:

  • Mechanical defects in the foot, ankle, knee or pelvis.  The arch doesn’t support the ankle, which doesn’t support the foot, which doesn’t support the knee, resulting in this injury.
  • Muscle imbalances in the foot, knee or pelvis with resultant knee joint instability.
  • Improper ankle and foot bio-mechanics: The muscles “fire” out of their normal sequence, resulting in faulty gait and injury to the ligament.
  • Organ-based problems – like the gall bladder mentioned above – whose acupuncture meridian passes through the knee.
  • Nutritional deficiencies – usually manganese – which can predispose a problem.

Standard Treatment

Rest, bracing and exercises to increase muscle strength. If the tear is great, then surgical repair is done.

Applied Kinesiology Approach

In an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament you will usually find other supporting ligaments, muscles, and skin being damaged. Treatment begins by assessing exactly which structures have been injured and then directing appropriate therapy to those injured structures.

The second phase of therapy is to reestablish normal muscle coordination and strength. Again, there are a number of different techniques that can be used. Testing is used to prepare a specific program for your needs. For example, aside from the knee needing treatment, any imbalance in the pelvis or in the ankle will cause the long bones of the leg to become twisted, severely aggravating the internal structures of the knee.   We would recommend non-force chiropractic manipulation of the pelvis and lower extremities.

The patient should also be evaluated for any nutritional need – especially for a deficiency in the element Manganese.  Manganese allows for increased blood flow to normally avascular (bloodless) tissues – like ligaments and tendons – promoting faster healing.

We hope you found the information in this article to be informative and useful.  Your comments and questions – either by phone or email – are always welcome.   Please check out our website:

Dr. Joseph Vomero, DC
Vomero Chiropractic and Holistic Health Center
7324 E. 6th Avenue
Scottsdale, AZ  85251