You may not immediately think of knee pain as being related to a problem with your feet, but poor foot function can be a factor that causes pain further up the body, in joints such as the knees, hips, and lower back.
The most common cause of knee pain related to the feet is excessive foot flattening or rotation, which can force the knee to roll inwards in an abnormal position.
There are a range of other conditions affecting the knee joint that can be affected by foot biomechanics. These include patellofemoral pain syndrome, knee arthritis and osteoarthritis.
How do your feet affect your knees?
Try this simple experiment to see the impact of foot position on your knees:
- Stand with your shoes off and feet flat on the ground. Notice the position of your knees.
- Roll your feet outward so that you are standing on the outside of your feet. Notice that your knees move outwards when you stand on the outside of your feet.
- Then try rolling your feet in. Notice that your knees tend to face inward again.
If your feet naturally tend to roll in or out too much, this put increased stress on the knee and can cause knee pain. People with high arched feet may also have knee pain, due to the feet not absorbing shock very well during gait.
How do podiatrists treat knee pain?
At Entire Podiatry, the first thing we will do is check whether your knee pain is related to foot function. Based on our assessment and depending on the cause of your knee pain, we may prescribe specific exercises or stretches to help reduce your knee pain.
If poor foot function is a factor in your knee pain, then orthotics may be recommended, as well as advice for appropriate footwear to improve foot function. Orthotics and suitable footwear can improve foot position, so that stressful forces on the knees are reduced.
If you have knee pain that you can’t seem to get rid of, consider seeing a podiatrist. To make an appointment with Entire Podiatry in Brisbane or on the Gold Coast, contact your nearest clinic directly or freecall 1800-4-ENTIRE.