Dr. Dugan describes the most common musculoskeletal pain among women.
Knee pain is probably the most common musculoskeletal complaint we see in women. They have done studies in high school and college on professional athletes showing that women have a higher propensity towards knee pain and knee injuries than men and boys. We think that some of the issues have to do with the shape of a woman.
So we have wider pelvises so that we can have pregnancies and deliveries, and then the ankle from the pelvis to the knee is kind of a sharper angle where the knees are sort of more knock kneed, if you will, and so we think that that alignment, in combination with fallen arches of your feet, can cause you to have more problems with the tracking of your kneecap.
So some people think it’s the kneecap that’s the problem, but it’s probably the femur, the bone that the kneecap glides in that’s in the wrong position. So the kneecap is the train and the femur is the track, and it’s probably not the train that’s a problem but really the alignment of the track. So a lot of knee pain we actually treat with strengthening around the hip to change the alignment of the femur, of the thigh bone.
About Dr. Dugan, M.D.:
Dr. Sheila A. Dugan, M.D., is Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Rush Medical College, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois. She is a faculty member of the Department of Neurosurgery and the Department of Preventive Medicine. She is co-medical director of the Rush Program for Abdominal and Pelvic Health.
Dr. Dugan is multi board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, electrodiagnostic medicine and pain medicine. She is highly skilled in neurological and sports-related rehabilitation. Prior to medical school, she received her physical therapy degree from Northwestern University in 1986. She's currently pursuing development of a program focused on women's musculoskeletal care, including both their medical and rehabilitation needs.