I needn’t tell any of you reading that everything in your body is connected. You all know that the knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone.
But when you have gait problems, the effects can cascade upwards. The impact on your knees can be catastrophic if you’re not walking correctly.
This post asks the question “Is your foot causing your knee pain?”. That may or may not be the case, but let’s look at some of the factors involved toward gaining a better understanding of how your feet can wreak havoc on your knees.
Supination and pronation
Not many people think about the effect of the heel continually striking the ground. The hundreds of impacts absorbed by the heel from just walking around every day, though, can cause supination, which is the ankle rolling outward.
As you walk and your free leg swings forward, the heel and ankle of the weight bearing leg roll in, causing the foot to flatten and the ankle to pronate (which is rolling inward – the opposite of supination).
But when your ankle rolls in too much, you’ve got a hyperpronation problem and the dysfunction it can cause up the skeletal system can be painful.
How much is too much?
Sometimes it’s difficult to pinpoint at which point hyperpronation can be named. But it’s safe to say that when the ankle is rolling in, there’s dysfunction at work and that dysfunction can be anywhere from mild to severe.
This gait problem can cause a variety of problems in the foot, including foot and ankle instability and bunions. When either of these conditions develop, instability runs up the skeletal system to affect other regions of the body, like the knee, pelvis, hip and even the spine.
Sometimes, dysfunction can have serious repercussions as far up the spine as the cervical vertebrae. You may even experience headaches due to systemic instability originating in the foot.
ACL and hyperpronation
A recent study explored the relationship between ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) ruptures and hyperpronation.
Participants in the study either suffered from ACL or had no such condition or history of any knee conditions. Subjects in the study who either had a history of ACL or were dealing with the condition at the time of the study were found to also have pronation difficulties in their gaits.
This suggests that hyperpronation is a risk factor for ACL. And that’s a sobering thought. So, what can you do to correct it?
Slowing your roll
Because chiropractors are trained to deliver corrective therapy for patients with posture or gait problems, we can identify the problem and counsel ways to correct it.
In the case of your gait, exercise may be prescribed to strengthen the muscles of the lower leg, thighs and gluteus muscles. Because your body is one big, interconnected reality, addressing strength issues which may be contributing to hyperpronation can be instrumental in correcting the gait. Orthotics can also help.
If you suspect your feet are causing knee pain, contact us for a consultation.