It is quite common to hear new patients state a history of back, knee, hip and ankle pain. Most of the time, these are symptoms associated with a foot condition. A patient may be aware that he rolls his feet excessively but does not realize that the excess pronation or rolling of the feet leads to a change in the alignment of the back, hip, knee and ankle which then causes pain. This can happen to children and adults.
Knee, hip and back pain can result from a change in alignment and function of the foot. Some foot problems or pathology including pain in specific areas or limitations in movement can make you change your gait to avoid pain. This compensation or change in gait due to a foot problem could result in premature wear and tear of some areas of the joints. It is important to note which symptoms occurred first. Pain and other symptoms that manifest later are usually compensatory and are frequently resolved once the initial problem is addressed.
Over pronation in patients with foot problems often induce rolling out to reduce symptoms and pain while walking. This action can lead to tendonitis in the external part of the foot, leg, thigh and knee and could cause back pain because of the change in alignment.
If your foot is not functioning properly and you are experiencing pain in your back, hip or knee, you must remember that foot problems can cause more serious complications in other parts of the body. Some individuals could be taking medications or therapy for the treatment of pain with only a modicum of success. Other individuals may not qualify for surgery and live with chronic pain and dysfunction which limits their ability to engage in exercise or physical activity.
Surgical interventions are not recommended without exhausting conservative treatments first. While there is never a guarantee for success or improvement nor the extent to which conservative methods will work, it is better to ascertain whether non-surgical methods can resolve the problem before subjecting a patient to surgery. On some occasions, simple treatments can reduce pain associated with problems that seem complex. Surely, it is much better to try altering biomechanics first.