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If you have knee pain, you probably attribute it to either over exertion or arthritis. You may have tried wearing a knee brace or taking some time off from your exercise regime. However, you may be surprised to learn that your knee pain can be traced all the way down to your feet.
About 20% of people in the UK have flat feet. Often, flat feet develop as the result of weight gain, whether that weight gain is the result of lifestyle or pregnancy.
Arti Godkhindi can testify to this. When Arti became pregnant with her first child, she wanted to prepare her body for childbirth and keep in good shape. She walked for an hour every day.
She had always been thin, but after her daughter was born, she found that she had a hard time losing the weight she gained during pregnancy. She joined a gym, and started working out slowly and gently.
When she tried to run or even stretched, she experienced terrible pain in her knees. Over the next couple of years, the pain became progressively worse. It got to the point that Arti could barely tolerate walking a short distance.
Arti could not figure out what was causing her pain. She wasn’t overworking herself at the gym, and she knew that she hadn’t been injured. She knew that she had flat feet, as did other members of her family, but had never experienced any problems as a result of that condition.
Eventually, Arti saw her doctor and underwent an MRI. The tests revealed that the meniscus in both of her knees was torn. Doctors initially thought that she might have rheumatoid arthritis.
However, a rheumatologist diagnosed Arti with patellofemoral pain syndrome, which means pain at the front of the knee.
This type of pain is most likely to develop during repetitive activities, like running or climbing stairs. It is also a very common source of knee pain. People who experience a weight gain, either as the result of pregnancy or lifestyle, are most likely to develop this problem.
There are several factors that can contribute to knee pain. Overpronation, which is also known as flat feet, means that the feet roll inward when you walk. This causes the weight to be distributed improperly through the feet, and the pain and imbalance can carry over through the leg and up to the knee.
When a person gains weight, additional pressure is placed on the feet, and the effects are exacerbated. The patella, or knee cap, connects to the femur, or thigh bone, at a V-shaped groove. This allows the knee cap to slide gently up and down.
When the feet roll inward because of flat feet, the knee cap does not glide through that groove as it should. This can damage the cartilage and cause pain. People who are experiencing pain in their knees are often dealing with a problem in their feet, although they may not notice any pain in their feet at all.
What can a person do about this? If you have flat feet, you should always wear supportive shoes with orthotic inserts, or customized arch supports. Flat feet require that extra support in order to help you pronate properly.
Even if you don’t notice pain, overpronating due to flat feet can be quietly causing damage to both your feet and your knees. You can prevent long-term problems and pain by supporting your flat feet with supportive shoes and orthotics or customised inserts.
Visit Foot Solutions in your area to check out our selection of supportive footwear. We also carry a full range of arch supports (shoe inserts) – from a fully customized solution, to something from over the counter. We can help you find the solution that you need to keep your feet supported and pain-free.