Hip or Knee Pain? Why You Need to See a Podiatrist.

Jenga

When there’s an element of instability in your feet, the rest of your body has to compensate to keep you upright.

Ever play Jenga? Jenga is the delightful party game that pits your patience and daring against the structural integrity of dozens of wooden bricks, stacked into a tower. The players take turns removing bricks from below and balancing them on the top. As the tower loses its foundational supports, the top begins to wobble. Eventually, gravity wins out, and the whole, hole-y structure comes crumbling down.

Your body is a little like a Jenga tower, except instead of regular-shaped bricks, you’ve got hundreds of wacky-shaped bones and soft tissues. And they’re all trying to move together in perfect coordination, to get you to the fridge, to the bus stop, or all the way through to the finish line.

When your knee or hip joints start to act up, you should look a little lower for the cause of the problem: your feet!

Your knees and hips are near the top of the tower, while your feet make up the base. When there’s an element of instability in your feet, the rest of your body has to compensate to keep you upright. This can cause changes to your gait, which can inflict real damage to the joints up top, causing you pain and slowing you down.

Hip and knee pain and overpronation

Your knee is the largest and most complex joint of your body, and it actually comprises three different joints between the femur, the tibia, and the patella (kneecap). It’s also one of the joints most vulnerable to injury.

The knee is extremely good at doing what it was designed to do – bend straight backward. But if you force the knee to bend when one of the bones is twisted – even slightly – that strains it. And hurts the joint. A similar process can affect the hip as well.

So how do the bones get twisted? Well, one way is through an acute injury, like a meniscus or ACL tear. This happens suddenly, and with a quick burst of sharp pain. The exact moment of injury will be embedded in your brain.

Another way bones get twisted is through overpronation. When you take a step, your foot pronates as it rolls inward to cushion the landing. This is normal. But if you have flat feet or other structural problems, you might be prone to overpronate: this means the arch collapses, allowing your foot to roll too much.

You may have been overpronating your entire life, and only now started to experience hip or knee pain. Fortunately, this problem can be corrected easily with custom orthotics. An orthotic can support the arch, keeping your foot and leg in alignment, to protect your knees and hips from excessive wear-and-tear.

Osteoarthritis of the hip or knee can make walking difficult

Hip or Knee pain and ostearthritis

Walking with osteoarthritis can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joint.

Did you know that the knee is one of the most common areas of the body to develop osteoarthritis? Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease in which the soft, cartilaginous cushion between the bones wears away, leaving the joint unprotected from the friction of movement.

The risk of osteoarthritis increases with age, and it can be genetic. But anyone, at any age, can develop osteoarthritis. Other contributors to osteoarthritis risk include a trauma to the joint, excessive activity, and obesity.

Forget running, or even low-impact exercises like cycling – just walking with osteoarthritis can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joint. But, according to new research, a special type of walking could serve as a short-term solution to arthritis pain.

It’s called “gait retraining,” and it could stave off degeneration and delay, or eliminate, the need for surgery.

Arthritis patients tend to change the way they walk to mitigate their pain

But this causes more problems. “Over time, they wear out other joints due to compensations they make for the painful joint,” says Dr. Kevin Stone, orthopedic surgeon and chairman of the Stone Research Foundation in San Francisco.

However, a small change to the way you walk may slow or even reverse the damage of arthritis. A study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research found that by pointing their toes slightly inward as they walk, patients can take pressure of the knee, reduce pain, and increase their range of motion. After one month of training, a change of only 7 degrees improved function by about 30%.

Experiencing hip or knee pain? Visit your foot and ankle specialist.

It might seem counter-intuitive, but if you’re experiencing pain in the hip or knee, make an appointment with your foot and ankle specialist. The doctors at University Foot and Ankle Institute can assess your foot structure, evaluate your gait, and recommend conservative solutions that can help you to avoid surgery in the future.

If you are experiencing problems with your feet or ankles we are here to help. Our nationally recognized podiatrists and foot and ankle specialists offer the most advanced foot and ankle care along with the highest success rates in the nation. We are leaders in the field of research and treatment of all foot and ankle conditions.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (877) 736-6001 or visit us at www.footankleinstitute.com.

Dr. Bob Baravarian and the UFAI Education Team

Dr. Bob Baravarian and the UFAI Education Team

For almost fifteen years, University Foot and Ankle Institute and their nationally recognized physicians have been providing the most technologically advanced medical care for the foot and ankle with the highest success rates in the country.

As a teaching institution, University Foot and Ankle Institute’s Fellowship Program is among the most advanced in the nation.

We at UFAI are driven to get our patients back to their normal activities with the highest level of function, in the least amount of time, using the least invasive treatments possible. From start to finish, we are with you every step of the way.

The UFAI Education Team works to help empower our patients and website visitors with the most up-to-date information about foot and ankle conditions, treatment options, recovery and injury prevention. Our goal is to pass on truly useful information to our readers.

We hope you enjoy our work and find it of value. Please let us know!
Dr. Bob Baravarian and the UFAI Education Team

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Over 200,000 happy UFAI patients and growing
  • Google+
    Great doctors. Easy to make an appointment. Great staff.
    Francheska A.
  • Yelp
    I had my first experience with this office earlier this week. Dr. Franson spent ample time with me, and was very attentive to my concerns and questions. I especially appreciated his relaxed, but thorough, way of deali...
    Chuck S.
  • CustomerSure
    You all are very good at your job. So glad I am going here.
    Gary D.
  • I am writing to praise your staff for the outstanding patient care I've received over the past several months. Well beyond professional, they are competent, pleasant, and they go out of their way to be accommodating.
    D. L.
  • CustomerSure
    Alex was extremely careful with my foot during the MRI. I appreciated that very much.
    Susan C.
  • CustomerSure
    I love Dr. Gary Briskin, Gray O' Brien & the physical therapy staff in Santa Monica. Super nice people, and very helpful getting me back on my feet!
    Kira L.
  • Yelp
    I saw Dr. Baravarian for multiple breaks in both feet.  Knowing that I would require multiple surgeries, I was looking for a doctor who was on the forefront of medical technology, so I took the time to find the most a...
    Scott C.
  • Yelp
    Excellent thorough care. Absolutely tops in getting me in after 30 days of negligent care from another podiatrist.  Dr Campbell whom I saw here in Santa Barbara CA  was able to see me within 48 hours of my desperate c...
    Sharon D.
  • CustomerSure
    I appreciate Dr. Bavarian's super-quick responses to my email questions!
    Marylyn T.
  • Everything was explained to me in detail and all of my questions were totally answered.. My recovery was a breeze. I could not be happier with the care or the final result. Thanks for the great care.
    George
Same Day Appointments
Now Available!

Or call 877-989-9110

24 hours a day, 7 days a week