Auteur: Podiatre Montreal
It is relatively common for back, hip and knee pain to occur in people of all ages for a wide variety of different reasons. Perhaps one of the most common of these is a disorder of the feet that causes an imbalance in posture resulting in more or less bearable pain that can result in lower back pain, pain above the hips, pain from the hip to the foot, pain when bending the knee, or even the inability to bend the knee.
This origin, although frequent, is nevertheless under-diagnosed whereas its treatment is often relatively easy by calling upon a professional of this part of the body such as the Podiatrist. Lower back and knee pain related to podiatric disorders is not always associated with foot pain, which makes the diagnosis more difficult to make.
Causes and links to foot function
While chronic back, hip and knee pain can be linked to many causes, foot abnormalities are undoubtedly one of the most common and yet least explored causes.
Indeed, there are a number of situations in which feet can be involved. Flat feet, for example, are often associated with low back pain, but this is not the only pathology that can lead to this type of pain. Indeed, pronation is a risk factor in the development of this type of pain. Pronation is a movement of the foot that can occur on one or both feet when walking or running and is manifested by a sagging of the arch of the foot resulting in an unbalanced foot and a misalignment of the foot. This phenomenon is often accompanied by foot pain and wear and tear on the joints.
Moreover, when only one foot is affected by pronation, it can lead to the development of an asymmetrical gait resulting in an overall imbalance of posture. This imbalance will then have the effect of overloading certain muscles and joints to the point where they can become painful. Thus, the relationship between pain and inadequate movement seems obvious and must imperatively be taken into account when this type of pain occurs.
Back pain related to foot deformities such as flat feet or improper movements such as pronation is quite varied. For example, people suffering from this type of pain often experience feelings of fatigue and stiffness in the back. In the most extreme cases, it is possible that the back is blocked, resulting in limited movement and intense pain.
Indeed, foot deformities and poor posture will cause musculoskeletal changes leading to regular lower back pain. Without intervention to regulate this posture, it is also possible that the cartilage will be affected with the development of osteoarthritis of the spine, which can be very painful.
Another possible consequence of foot deformities or pronation that consists of internal rotation is hip pain. Indeed, these situations can have a significant impact on the movements of the pelvis leading to problems of posture, but also a compression of the vertebrae that can cause significant pain in the back and hips. The latter can also be related to the back which becomes hollow as a result of these situations. The pronation can also be asymmetrical, which will then cause an imbalance in the posture causing intense pain in the hips.
Another possible consequence of problems with sagging flat feet or pronation is chronic knee pain. The latter can indeed be largely impacted by these pathologies, which can in fact be reinforced by certain activities such as sports and impacts during a race. The knees are then turned inwards and inadequate movements multiply, increasing knee pain at the same time.
Poor plantar support can also aggravate these situations and contribute to unbalanced posture. Given the relationship between knee pain and poor movement or foot deformities, it is important to evaluate alignment to avoid these inconveniences. In cases where the deformity is too great, the entire posture will be affected, which can then cause particularly unpleasant migraines.
When to consult a Podiatrist
Foot deformities can be congenital, such as flat feet, but can also occur as a result of poor movement while walking, running or playing certain sports that can cause repetitive impacts on the feet and ankles. These different conditions can lead to intense pain that requires appropriate treatment to avoid more unfortunate consequences in the long term, such as osteoarthritis of the spine, where the cartilage has been particularly badly damaged.
Thus, in order to prevent the condition from worsening, an adapted treatment may be indispensable. In this context, it is preferable to consult a qualified health professional such as the Podiatrist who will be able to carry out a complete evaluation of both the feet and posture. He or she will be able to evaluate the distance between the feet and analyze the symmetry in order to establish the appropriate diagnosis and propose an appropriate treatment plan, particularly in the context of a lower back treatment in Montreal.
Among the most frequently offered treatments are, of course, stability and strengthening exercises. The latter will aim to strengthen the foot in order to limit the impact of malformations. If you suffer from pain in the lumbar region, hips, knees and of course feet, do not hesitate to make an appointment at our podiatric clinic to consult one of our specialists.