Your knees and hips are the largest joints in your body. They are responsible for supporting your weight as you stand and walk. If you are experiencing chronic pain in your hips, knees, or even in your lower back, shoulders, and neck, there may be a connection between the pain and the way your feet function.
Walking is good for you, right? Absolutely. But beware of poor walking habits that can cause or exacerbate knee and hip problems. On the positive side, however, a safe and smart walking regimen can help improve joint problems, not to mention how good it is for your overall health.
Watch your feet. If you are prone to foot problems, such as hypermobile feet (when the joints in and around the feet move more than they should) or fallen arches caused by over pronation, your gait may be compromised. And this change can cause unnecessary stress on the knees, resulting in painful injuries.
The knee is made to bend only in one direction—facing straight forward. When the foot over-pronates, the leg rotates inward toward the opposite leg. This causes the knee to flex and extend while pointing inward and not in the normal direction, which puts stress on the knee.
People who suffer from osteoarthritis pain have worn cartilage on the inside (medial) area of their knee joint. Research is being done to determine how walking differently can help manage this pain. According to the Arthritis Foundation, studies are finding that pointing your toes slightly outwards (about 7°) when you walk will shift pressure to the outside (lateral) part of the knee, relieving the pain radiating from the inside of your knee joint. Ask your doctor if this change in the way you walk can help your situation.
Runners knee (which is not exclusive to runners) is identified by throbbing pain on your kneecap. The impact of your foot hit the ground causes your kneecap to rub against the femur bone. If you have a misaligned kneecap or previous injury, your knees are more vulnerable. Other causes are weak thigh muscles, soft knee cartilage, or flat feet.
Pain from bursitis is felt on the outside of your hip, whereas arthritis is felt on the inner hip near your groin. Relief from each requires different walking treatments.
Repetitive stress (including excess walking or running) can cause the bursa that cushions your hip to become inflamed. Another cause of bursitis is exercising without proper warm-ups and cooldowns, which are a vital part of any program. You need to follow a very slow walking regimen when recovering from a bout of bursitis. This involves gradually increasing the frequency and length of your walks.
As with osteoarthritis in general, the cause of hip arthritis can be genetic. It can be a hereditary or a congenital problem with an improperly formed hip joint. Hip arthritis can also develop from an injury or trauma to the hip area or stress from excess weight or activity.
The problems caused by over pronation, which was discussed for knee pain, are also true for the hip joint. When the foot pronates, the leg rotates inward and the hip can become unaligned. This condition puts stress on the hip and on the entire leg muscles.
How to help your knees and hips
Any problem with the foot or ankle resulting in a compromised posture or gait can lead to knee and hip pain. Examples of common foot problems that can lead to poor posture and irregular walking patterns include:
- Plantar fasciitis, which can lead to chronic heel pain and/or arch pain
- Nerve pain or numbness in the foot (such as neuromas and tarsal tunnel syndrome)
- Bunions and bunionettes (big-toe versus little-toe side, respectively)
- Excessive foot pronation (rolling in) or supination (rolling out)
When you experience pain and you are diagnosed with a dysfunction in the foot or ankle, it may be possible to reduce the knee and hip pain by improving foot function, using proper footwear and orthotic insoles.
A Harvard medical school health publication advises that exercise is an important treatment for arthritis. It improves the strength and function of the afflicted area(s).
In many cases, a moderate walking plan is recommended to alleviate such pain. It is considered a low impact activity that strengthens the supporting muscles, relieving the pressure on the joint. Be sure to walk on a smooth, soft surface such as a track or treadmill. Your doctor or physical therapist can advise how much walking is best for you. An extra bonus is walking will help with weight loss, which takes some stress off your joints.
When you compensate for pain by limping or walking with an abnormal gait, other joints can suffer wear and tear. Your rheumatologist, orthopedic doctor or physical therapist can help determine if changing your walking gait could help reduce pain. Many PTs will video patients as they walk on a treadmill and then review their walking habits to determine what pain reduction improvements can be made. You can make a conscious effort to minimize limping by holding your body straight without swaying and maintaining an even stride.
The Right Shoe Regimen
Healthy shoes play a significant role in the knee and hip pain management. Here are a few tips on the importance of wearing good shoes.
- Never wear heels over two inches high. Heels increase the risk of knee joint degeneration.
- However, not all flat shoes are good for your feet. Flats that do not provide any arch support can lead to knee, hip, and back pain.
- Get the right fit. Tight shoes can cause limping from foot pain. Oversized shoes can also impair your gait. Either way, you’ll be putting unnecessary stress on your knees and hips.
- Stability sneakers provide cushioning and help control overpronation. They also relieve the ball of the foot, which helps arthritic pain in the hip, knee, foot or ankle.
- Replace your shoes as needed. When the supporting cushioning becomes worn, it is no longer helpful.
- If knee or hip pain is due to your foot function, the proper footwear along with orthotic insoles can be a very effective way to relieve symptoms.
- Invest in quality shoes that are specifically made for your condition. Dtfootwear provides the ability to browse shoe selections that meet your needs.
Now, let’s talk more about these GREAT shoes and inserts found at www.dtfootwear.com:
COMBINATION OF GREAT FOOTWEAR AND GREAT HEAT MODABLE CUSTOMIZED INSERTS IS THE WINNING COMBINATION!
Let this video explain what a therapeutic design or construction is all about dealing with footwear. Therapeutic/Orthotic consider an extra depth construction.
We are a therapeutic line, and the explanation between a conventional comfort line and our’s found in the video below
Now let’s talk, in more detail, about the ten reasons what makes Therapeutic footwear so much superior to a Comfort Shoe:
1) The strongest mid-support in the shoe business. No bilateral movement view the video above for illustrations and a midsection depth that gives you support and the maximum room in the footwear world. One of many reasons why therapeutic is considered extra depth
2) The strongest heel counter in the business that helps create no bi-lateral movement and the tallest heel counter in the footwear world. A reason whey therapeutic footwear considered extra depth
3) A taller toe box to create more wiggle room and space for your toes a reason why considered an extra depth footwear
4)Extended bottoms to give you the fullest width and support than any other shoe line anywhere
5) A lightweight shoe for less wear and tear on your feet but with all that great added support
6) all removable arch support to put a more advanced support system or a customized inserts
7) Women’s styles having a 3 to 1 combination last for better fit and support for your heel
8) Fuller forefront in the construction of the footwear to create more comfort and room for that maximum support and comfort and a reason why considered extra depth footwear
9) Deeper heel counter to build more balance and support to the heel section of the foot and other reason why consider an extra depth footwear
10) Leather lining that creates more flexibility and breathability to the foot
We have 4A (Slender width for Ladies) 2A (Narrow width for Ladies), B ( Medium width for Ladies and Narrow width for Men), D (Medium width for Men and Wide width for Ladies), 2E, 3E, 4E, 5E, 6E, 7E, 9E, 10E, 14E widths in Men’s and Ladies styles
We carry up to 20 in Men’s styles, and 15 in Ladies dealing in lengths
We have 5 to 6 lengths, in selected styles for Men and 4 to 5 in Women’s length
Some additional information and explanation of this type of footwear for all the Ladies out there:
ATTENTION LADIES, HERE IS MORE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR NEEDS:
We have all those wide widths that are needed but with our 32 new styles of women’s footwear that we will be offering a 4A (Slender) 2A (Narrow) B (Medium) D (Wide) 3E Extra Wide) 5E Extra Extra Wide, 7E Full Extra Wide 10E Extra Full Wide, 14E (Superior Extra Wide Width) widths for you ladies- that is unheard that is offered by one website.
Why having this 3 to 1 combination last is so important in creating that perfect fit for all our ladies. What does 3 to 1 combination mean? The heel counter is 3 times narrow than the ball width of the shoe. Okay, big deal? Well, this is a critical factor because a women heel structure is a great deal narrow than a Men’s and if we made all our Ladies footwear as the same last of a Men’s style- the ladies heels would slipping all day long or have a terrible fit!
Having these 1 to 3 Customized Heat Moldable Inserts ( that is Free and remember that the shoe has to have a removable footbed for these inserts to work. Not all AA widths have this, but we’ll state, on our descriptions if you can receive 1 to 3 pair of these inserts FREE- up to a $240.00 value) will make that perfect fit, comfort and support experience out of this world — especially for those NARROW FEET!.
If you know someone (Ladies) that needs sandals, casual footwear, athletic footwear in a 4A (slender width) or AA (Narrow) width- let them know we have then and a great selection as well.
All new Slender (4A) and Narrow (AA) widths for ladies- look out we will have a ton for you to choose. New Dress Boots, up to 14 inches in shaft height, for women, Dress boots and new dress styles for Men as well. All Weather Footwear and Boots for both Men and Women. Some new dressy footwear for Men and women.
All our new and old styles are therapeutic/comfort that has the best fit and support in the shoe world.
It’s nice being called the “King Of Widths”, again 4A to 14E widths, on the internet, and all found at www.dtfootweear.com
Ron Heinlein | President/Founder | Cell # 909–215–1622
Designer Therapeutic Footwear Co.
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