Can College Hurt Your Knees?

Close-up of unrecognizable woman in red blouse holding hand under her knee while sitting on bed.

If you’re the parent of a college-bound student or graduate, I am guessing that your knees weren’t the first thing to hurt! Speaking for myself with one of each, I would say that my pocketbook and heart (not in that order) took more of a beating.

But even if you and your pocketbook have not suffered college, I bet you have at least experienced a home or job re-location, or even a change in marital status? Because those, too, can wreak havoc on the knees.

At this point, I have probably lost you, so let me explain:

  • Knees can hurt for a variety of physical reasons: injury, weather, disability, age, just to name a few, but what if I told you that FEAR plays a factor also? Transition of any sort, whether positive or negative, can create an element of fear in most people.
  • The knees allow us to move forward in life. Quite literally. So, when your future becomes uncertain, the Mind/Body connection comes into play.
  • The knee joint is the largest joint in the body and is also the most vulnerable of the joints. A joint’s purpose is to connect two or more bones and allow movement. In the case of a knee joint, it allows the leg to move us forward (and backward) in life. Are you starting to see the symbolism?

I am not discrediting the physical reasons for knee pain. Knee pain is real and can be extremely painful. But, if your pain comes and goes, then this may be your Body’s way of letting you know you’re a bit nervous about the future.

Let me give you a real-life example:

Last week I saw a teen client. She suffered a sports injury to the knee a couple of years ago, and had done the doctor-prescribed protocol of anti-inflammatory drugs, rest, and physical therapy. It worked. In fact, she couldn’t remember the last time her knee had bothered her since the injury. Until now. In conversation, she commented on how her knees had started aching and that she was taking an OTC medicine to ease the pain and inflammation. As I gave her a few stretching and strengthening exercises to assist the knees, I casually asked her if she had started looking at colleges. “Yes,” she said, “in fact I spent my entire holiday weekend filling out forms!” In light of this information, I used the remaining session time with her to discuss her fears about the future then sent her away with a short meditation to ease the anxiety she was feeling. Her pain subsided within 24 hours, no medication needed.

Obviously, not all knee pain is the same and neither is the treatment. But the next time an old injury creeps its way back into the Body, consider the Mind/Body connection. It is real and proven.