Features June 2007 Issue

Knees Ache? It Could Be Your Hips’ Fault

A phenomenon called “referred pain” can cause discomfort in a part of your body that's healthy and far from the source of your distress.

Howard shuffles slowly into his physician’s office, complaining of persistent pain in his right foot. An examination reveals that his foot is fine, but that he has a pinched nerve in his neck—and that’s what is making his foot hurt. Meanwhile, a few blocks down the street, Mary Ann limps into her doctor’s examining room, almost in tears over the relentless ache in her left knee. It turns out that both of her knees are in perfect shape.

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