Lower Limbs

Lower Limbs treatment Bribie Osteopathy

The lower limbs have many conditions that can be labelled orthopaedically (medically).

I often find that some of these conditions occur together as we are a “whole person”.

For example, a bursitis is often concurrent with a tendonitis (there is likely to be some sort of ligamentous strain occurring too!).

This is simple and common sense in Osteopathic terms. We recognise and consider all the “labels” conditions given to the structure. We then take into consideration how the whole body is working in relation to that structure.

Hips/knees/ankles and feet

These structures all have similar tissue. Although each one works a bit differently and are given different names.

Rather than give you a huge list of terms, I will give you some common tissues and how they may respond.


Bursae are fluid sacs that reduce friction in high friction areas eg. Knee – Patella Bursae.

Bursae give localised pain and often heat and swelling after pressure or activity.

Tendonitis “itis” – Inflammation / Tendonosis “osis”= thickening

Tendons attach muscles to the limbs. Repetitive strain or injury can chronically thicken the tendons “osis” or tears or acute strain can be an “itis” or inflammation.

Once again it is usually a localised pain. It may become worse during and after activity and cause stiffness in the joint.

Cartilage – (Primarily Osteoarthritis)

Degeneration of the cartilage which commonly occurs in the knees but can also be present in the hips, ankles and feet. Osteoarthritis can cause stiffness, pain at first with activity. Although mild to moderate activity often helps.

Too much activity will often cause pain the following day. It is important to stay active but not overdo it.

Prolonged sitting or inactivity can also cause stiffness and pain.

Shorter, more frequent activity is the key.


Ligaments hold bones together. Ligamentous strain can also be a cause of joint pain. It is important to maintain balance in the muscles to cushion the ligaments and the joints.

Ligaments take up to 12 weeks to heal and are often pain free within six weeks. This can put us in a cycle of restraining without proper balance and rehabilitation.

Referred Nerve Pain – Lower back

When looking at the lower limb the lower back, pelvis and sacrum (tailbone part of the pelvis) also need to be taken into consideration. A lot of lower limb pain can be referred from the lower back.

Sharp shooting pain, burning pain, pins and needles and aching joint/s an all be signs of referred pain.

It is imperative to have a good Allied Health Provider such as an Osteopath who can recognise these issues to address them effectively.


Click here for more information on children’s lower limbs.

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