The Surprising Solution for Knee and Hip Pain: Fix Your Feet

gait analysis

If you’ve been suffering from pain in your knees or hips, the problem may not be your knees or hips at all. It could be your feet.

Understanding what gait is

Everyone walks with a particular gait. Gait describes:

  • the way your heels hit the ground
  • what happens when you shift your weight entirely onto one foot
  • the length of your strides
  • how much of your foot touches the ground
  • how your feet push off with each step
  • the biomechanics of your leg, knee, and hip muscles – that is, how they all work together, bending and flexing to achieve this thing we call “walking.”

In other words, the different parts of your body form a kind of active chain. How one part moves affects how the other parts move. So if there’s a problem with how your foot is moving, that problem can work its way up the body and cause knee, hip, or even lower back pain.

Pain in Your Knees and Hips

Two contributors to knee and hip pain are flat feet and pronation issues.

  • Flat feet are feet with little or no arches. All people are born with them, and usually healthy arches develop over time, but some folks remain flat-footed. They may experience pain in the middle of their foot, stiffness, and lack of flexibility.
  • Pronation is the way your foot strikes the ground and flattens out when you walk. Some people tend to overpronate: their ankles dip down too far. Others under-pronate: their foot doesn’t flatten out enough, putting stress on the outside of the foot.

These two particular foot problems may be responsible for the pain in your knees or hips. The solution may be as easy as changing the type of shoes you wear. Physical therapy and custom orthotics can also help. Let qualified podiatrists Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann determine if gait problems, pronation issues, or flat feet create problems further up your body. Contact Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland online or call our Solon office at (440) 903-1041. We welcome patients from throughout Portage, Geauga Cuyahoga, and Summit counties.