Even if you’re not necessarily experiencing foot pain, imbalances and instability in the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones of the feet may be contributing to other aches and pains in your knees, hips and back. Your feet carry the weight of your body, and how your body feels can depend a lot on the way you stand and move. Custom foot orthotics can prevent misalignments of the foot, which significantly alters the way other bones in the body move within their joints.
Foot orthotics are custom made shoe inserts that change the function and biomechanics of the foot to correct an abnormal standing or walking pattern. The motions of the joints in your feet are directly related to knee alignment, and foot orthotics may be part of your solution.
Anatomy of the knee
The knee joint, made up of three bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles, and tendons, is the largest and one of the most complex joints in the body.
- Two important cartilage structures called “menisci” act as cushions or shock absorbers and are situated between the bones in the upper and lower leg.
- Articular cartilage lines every bony surface to protect and separate them.
- Four main ligaments act like heavy ropes, holding the bones together.
- Up to 11 bursae, or small sacs filled with lubricating joint fluid, which reduces friction in the knee by allowing the components to easily slide over bony surfaces.
Imbalances in the feet can change leg and knee alignment, ultimately causing uneven wear, damage and inflammation to these tissues.
How do custom foot orthotics work?
Because custom foot orthotics are created specifically for your feet based on an examination of your anatomy, gait, pronation, and an analysis of pain you may be experiencing, they work by controlling the abnormal motion across the joints of the feet and can help correct the specific problems causing “chain reaction” strain through the rest of your body. When walking or running, the tissues in the soles of the feet can become inflamed, causing you to walk differently to compensate for the pain. This can cause additional twisting and stress on the knee joint, and orthotics will promote proper movement.
Wearing custom foot orthotics can help:
- Change the alignment of the foot and ankle when moving, which then changes any rotation in the lower leg bones from over-pronating and reduces pain and wear by improving the knee joint alignment.
- Cushion the bones through the foot and ankle, which reduces the force moving through the knee joint up to the hips.
- Change the distribution of force throughout the feet and ankle, which will change distribution of impact through the knees and hips.
When used in conjunction with a general knee rehabilitation program, this can serve an important role in the treatment of pain and regaining proper knee alignment. Contact Flexogenix today for a GaitScan analysis!