Are Your Feet Causing Your Knee Pain?
Welcome back to another Perth Podiatry Blog, and today we’re discussing if your feet are to blame for your knee pain. I see It all the time – people hobbling around on their feet with sore knees yet they’re adamant it’s a knee problem. Now if those same people were walking around on their knees all day – like an amputee, then naturally I’d agree. However people walk on their own two feet, and the manner your ankle directs the forces up through your leg are what will ultimately be to blame for the majority of knee problems. You know – ‘your ankle bone’s connected to your leg bone…and your [lower] leg forms the base of your knee joint’ Now wait a moment. I’m not suggesting ALL knee pain is caused by poor foot posture – just 90%. Why this claim? Well I’m bias because a lot of the patients I treat have ALREADY had a knee replacement – so if the knee’s been replaced how can it still cause pain and hence be THE problem? Unfortunately that’s when people seek Perth Podiatrists – when they should have really done that BEFORE their knee surgery.
Don’t worry arthritis of the knee and it’s associated knee or patella pain can be quickly and effectively treated by our Perth Podiatrist at Foot & Leg Specialists, and our Perth clinics are easy to find. If you’re suffering from knee pain then isolating the presence of arthritis and beginning targeted treatment is paramount. Professional advice should be sought and our Perth Podiatrist regularly treats patients concerned about arthritic knees so you can rest easy knowing your knees and feet are in safe hands. An appointment at our podiatry clinic is only a phone call or web enquiry away and no referral is required, making it easier than ever to find a solution to your arthritic knee and associated knee pain problems.
Disclaimer: This is simply a general discussion regarding arthritic knees and prolonged pain requiring rehab after knee surgery by our Perth podiatrist. Any advice & information is general in nature and not to be taken over the advice of a qualified medical professional or orthopaedic surgeon who is aware of your specific injury details. I hope this blog inflames your interest in the topic – pun intended, so without further delay let’s find out more about arthritic knees:
Arthritis isn’t a Condition – it’s a Symptom.
Arthritis is simply defined as inflammation of a joint. Meaning if you have knee pain, swelling, redness and you feel it’s located around your knee joint, then you can tell your doctor you have arthritis as a symptom. It’s up to the medical professional to investigate if it actually is the joint or some other closely related structure causing your foot or knee pain. That’s the difference between a symptom and a condition.
There are Over 100 Types of Arthritis.
Once the cause for your arthritis has been diagnosed then you have a condition which is treatable. There are many causes for arthritis, however with relevance to podiatry the most common cause I see is poor biomechanics that overloads the joint and surrounding structures resulting in irritation and over a period of time damage to the joint that can escalate to full-blown osteoarthritis. The worst type of arthritis is ‘idiopathic’ and I’ll let me favourite quote from the TV series HOUSE explain why:
“Idiopathic, from the Latin, meaning we’re idiots ‘cause we can’t figure out what’s causing it.”
Yes that means the treatment is often simply un-ending pain killers and surgery, thankfully a lot of patients who seek my Perth Podiatry services would like to get off pain killers and out of needing surgery where possible.
What’s the Largest Joint in the Human Body?
Well technically it’s a toss up between your hip and knee joints, but for the sake of this blog I’m going with the knee joint because to my mind it’s the biggest hinge joint in your body. The knee joint is composed of three important structures: the tibia below, the femur above and patella (knee cap) in front. Being a hinge joint it’s amazingly good at bending backwards, however it can also twist in and out (internally rotate and externally rotate) however these movements are limited by your strong cruciate ligaments and the bones are padded from grinding against each other by a super strong fibrous cartilage ‘cushion’ called your meniscus.
The Knee can Twist?
I’m glad you noticed that. It’s simple to demonstrate as well – in a seated or standing position put your hand on your shin and then roll your foot in and out. Increasing and decreasing the height of the foots arch translates into internal and external rotation of your tibia and the base of your knee joint. Congratulations you’ve just shown that your foot affects the twisting of your tibia. Why is that important? Because it forms the BASE of your KNEE JOINT. Sorry about the capitals and repetition, I still get excited by this epiphany.
Your Foots Arch Affects the Knee?
Now extrapolate that your foot position affects the position of the base of your knee and the level of strain going through your cruciate ligaments while you’re walking and you might just understand why seeing a Perth Podiatrist for your knee problems is highly relevant. Put simply If your ankle and feet aren’t working properly you’re asking for uneven wear and tear of the knee joint which over a period of time will potentially result in knee pain.
What about Knee Surgery?
Unfortunately, a lot of people rush into knee surgery or simply wait until their knee pain is so bad that surgery is their only option. Many see knee surgery as the panacea or magic fix for all knee pain symptoms. If you’re experiencing knee pain then the more expert opinions you can garner, the better informed you’ll be and likely the better your outcome will be. Simply because you’re doing the right things. Don’t just consult with one orthopaedic surgeon, they’re people too and you want the person you believe to be the most competent and caring to be operating on your knees. I also regularly recommend consulting other health professionals such as a Perth Podiatrist, your General Practitioner, your physiotherapist, and if they come across as clueless – see someone who doesn’t. Worst case you come away with more knowledge about your knee pain. Best case you relieve your knee pain without surgery.
I’ve had Knee Surgery and my Knee Still Hurts.
For many knee surgery does help, however after surgery it’s also important to seek out the proper rehabilitation so that the surrounding muscles, ligaments, tendons joint capsules don’t restrict future activity. Remember, surgery is effectively breaking your bones on purpose, inserting metal implants, re-attaching ligament and muscle tendons and basically causing a lot of damage to your knees. This damage needs time to repair AND rehab afterwards to regain normal function post-op. This rehab can be as simple as stretching tight muscles and even involve targeted manual therapy or custom orthotics to get you back to running after the footy or grand-children quicker.
Rehab’s an Option for Knee Pain Caused by Arthritis?
Everyone tells me they have arthritis, yet when I test their joints – you guessed it – NO PAIN. No I’m not a miracle worker or even Perth’s Best Podiatrist – even though I’ll try to be one day… I actually simply test the different anatomical structures of the foot and knee to identify what structure your problem is in and come up with a treatment plan for your feet and knees from there. It’s that simple – that doesn’t mean it’s easy though.
What Should I Do If I Am Concerned About Arthritic Knee Pain?
If you do have a painful knee problem and are concerned that arthritis could be the culprit then consulting a Perth Podiatrist who can expertly evaluate, examine and if necessary image and treat your foot and knee pain quickly and effectively will lead to your best outcome. An appointment at our Perth podiatry clinics is only a phone call or web enquiry away and no referral is required, making it easier than ever to find a solution to your arthritis and associated knee pain problem – Today.