Knee Pain and Foot Orthotics

Osteoarthritis is the #1 cause of pain and disability in the world.  But this common condition is often poorly misunderstood when it comes to your knee and hip joints.

If one were to ask you what the causes of osteoarthritis are, you might say “old age,” “being over weight” or maybe “a hereditary factor.”  These are secondary factors that contribute to osteoarthritis of the knee.  Let me explain…

  1. Old age – if age was a primary cause, why would only one knee be affected?  Surely both knees are the same age!
  2. Overweight - again why is one knee often affected first?  Is all of our body weight on that one side?
  3. Hereditary Factor – to date there has not been an arthritis gene identified; however, you may have inherited a structural misalignment (like a long leg) which can lead to excessive flattening of the arch.

One factor that is continually being overlooked as a cause of osteoarthritis in weight bearing joints is the mechanical connection – the structural alignment and the function of your feet.

We are not made perfectly symmetrical and are subject to the deteriorating effects of excessive pressure and friction.  This causes our joints to wear out over time.  More and more physicians are starting to recognize the importance of proper alignment in the treatment and prevention of osteoarthritis of weight bearing joints.  The challenge is that many physicians simply do not know how to properly treat these misalignments.

We all know the importance of maintaining the proper alignment of your car.  If not your tires will wear out prematurely.  Isn’t this the same thing with your feet?  Without proper alignment, the joints above – that is your knees and hips – can also wear out faster.   The need for knee replacement surgeries has increased dramatically over the past few years.  Correcting the excessive pronation in the feet with a proper custom foot orthotic, may reduce or eliminate the cause of osteoarthritis in the knees and hips, and may prevent a joint replacement down the road.

To learn more about custom foot orthotics, visit our office. Abbott Foot & Ankle Clinic serves the Collingwood and Wasaga Beach areas.