What is it?
Some knee pain is the result of abnormal foot biomechanics but you may also find that you have a dropping arch. A number of research articles have shown that these conditions have a favorable response to custom orthotic therapy.
Patella-femoral syndrome (aka Runner’s knee) and osteoarthritis (wear and tear) in the medial (inside) compartment of knee. Patello-femoral syndrome is a repetitive condition when the knee cap moves abnormally, usually from a weakness of the outer quadriceps (thigh muscles) and/or a sudden increase in activity.
Medial (inner) knee osteoarthritis is from wear and tear over many years, often related to previous injury of the menincus (cartilage tear or ligament sprain/tear), or dropping of the arch in the foot.
What are the symptoms?
Patello-femoral syndrome is pain at the knee cap with activity of when standing after prolonged sitting or rest. Osteoarthritis of the medial knee causes aching, sometime sharp, pain deep inside and on the inside of the knee, worse with activity and relieved with rest.
What causes it?
Both conditions are linked to abnormal biomechanics that include the knee and foot joints. While weight bearing (standing, walking, running), the joints from the foot up to the spine are called the Closed Kinetic Chain. If the foot moves abnormally, such as when the arch drops, there is a chain reaction up the body. The knee, hips and low back joints move abnormally causing inflammation and pain.
How is it treated?
Whether the foot is the cause or result of the problem, a custom orthotic is required if your health care provider detects abnormal foot function. The custom orthotic should be accompanied by strengthening exercises and treatment to reduce the inflammation and muscle imbalances.