What is knee pain?
Every time we stand, walk or run, we need our feet and knees to work in perfect alignment. Foot deformities like flat feet will disrupt this delicate alignment and cause possible knee pain. Some people might even notice that their knees or their child’s knees are not straight, but always bent inwards while walking or standing up. This deformity will cause the tendons around the knee to work extremely hard to order to simply stabilize the knee while walking or running. With time, these tendons will get injured or cause pain while growing up.
What causes knee pain?
Since our knees and feet need to work in perfect alignment, any deformity of the feet will cause knee pain, as both structures are connected through a chain of reactions. Knee pain is quite common among runners, since it is usually caused by an overuse of the structure. Potential reasons for knee pain can be flat feet, ankle sprain, injury, weight gain, improper shoes, muscle weakness, improper walking or running gait, etc.
How to treat knee pain?
First of all, it is important to determine what has caused your knee pain. It is only by determining if it is related to something happening with your feet, ankle or hips, that you will be able to have the best treatment possible.
1. Realigning your knee
If your knee pain is related to a foot-knee misalignment, your knee needs to be realigned with your foot in order to function properly. Your podiatrist can help with that by prescribing and making a custom-made plantar orthotic tailored to your needs and sport. By recreating the perfect alignment between your feet and knees, your knees will no longer suffer from your foot deformity. Your podiatrist can also utilize sport tapping in order to temporarily realign your knees with your feet so that your knee can have some time to heal properly.
2. Strengthening your knee
Weak muscles around your knees can make them more susceptible to be injured. By following a strengthening and stretching program prescribed by your podiatrist, you can not only help your knee heal but also make it more stable despite a potential feet-knee deviation.
How to treat knee pain at home?
While waiting for your podiatric consultation, you can relieve your pain at home by following these steps:
Wear shoes with support
Wear a pair of shoes that will give you proper arch support. With proper arch support, your feet and knees will have more chance to function in alignment. This way, your knee will gain some more stability and have a chance to heal. Stay away from flexible shoes as they will make your knee pain even worse. Refrain from walking barefoot.
Take some rest
It is difficult to not use our feet and knees on a daily basis, except for physical activity that does not involve any walking or standing up. Compared to walking, running causes 3-4 times more impact on your knees with each step. If you are suffering from knee pain, it is wise to stop or at least run less. In order to spare your knees from the excessive impact, you can opt for swimming or cycling as another form of physical activity.