For some adults, knee pain can come and go. But if you suffer from constant pain in your knees every time you walk, you may not know how to deal with it. Constant knee pain can occur due to a number of things, including overpronation of the foot and ankle. Overpronation can cause pain in areas of the leg not directly connected your feet. The following information can help you learn more about overpronation and the treatments you can obtain for it.
What Exactly Is Overpronation?
Your feet should naturally roll inward (or toward the center of your body) when you walk or run. But when you experience overpronation, your feet roll inward too much, which causes your feet to flatten out. The unnatural movement places substantial strain and stress on the interior sides of your heels and ankles. The muscles in your lower leg may be weak, which causes the foot to rotate or turn inward. Eventually, the problems in your feet and ankles carry over to your knees.
Your knees consist of different joints and ligaments. In order to support your body's weight properly, your knee joints and ligaments should remain in a neutral, or straight, position. However, overpronation of the foot and ankle forces the knee joints out of alignment. This turns the knees inward, which causes the ligaments in them to stretch beyond their natural capabilities.
Your knees can hurt at anytime, including when you stand in place. Bending, stooping, and other actions that require the use of your knees may make the pain feel worse. Pain can also spread to your shin bones over time.
The pain in your knees and problems in your feet and ankles will only worse. Overpronation can possibly lead to flat feet, plantar fasciitis, and tendonitis later on. To find relief now and in the future, seek orthopedic physical therapy treatment.
How Do You Treat Overpronation?
An orthopedic physical therapist or another medical specialist will need to take X-rays of your lower leg, including your feet and knees. The X-rays may reveal the exact location of the problem in your feet and ankles. Some therapists use special tools to diagnose overpronation. These tools include foot mapping.
Foot mapping can reveal how much pressure your feet sustain when you walk and stand. The test may also reveal the extent of your flat feet. If your feet are too flat, they might not have any arches in them. Flatter feet can create additional stress on your knees.
A therapist may also examine your footwear for problems. Overpronated feet can place excessive stress on the inner soles of your sneakers, heels, and dress shoes. The material of your shoes will generally appear worn out or deteriorated.
If a therapist diagnoses you with overpronation, they can check the joints in your knees for damage. A therapist may perform an anterior drawer test and other exams to see how far your knee rotates and moves in different directions. If your knees are out of alignment, a therapist will prescribe or begin treatment.
It's important to stabilize and protect your knee joints from further damage. To do these things, an orthopedic physical therapist may have you perform strength exercises in the office and at home. You may also need to wear support shoes or cushions to reduce the stress on your foot and knee joints.
After you receive treatment, you can reduce your pain at home by gently massaging your feet at night. If you run or jog, be sure to wear footwear that supports your heels, ankles, and soles. If you don't know what type of running shoes to buy, consult with an orthopedic physical therapist.
For more information about your knee pain or overpronation, contact a specialist today.