How Foot Conditions Relate to Knee, Hip & Back Pain

If you're experiencing knee, hip, or back pain, the first place to look is at your feet! Believe it or not, many pains throughout the body can be traced back to foot conditions. According to Dr. Rock Positano, Director of the Non-Surgical Foot and Ankle Service at the Hospital for Special Surgeries, "the foot is the first part of the body that makes contact with the ground. Its primary function is a shock absorber. If the shock-absorbing capability of the foot is somehow altered or minimized, it’s going to affect other body parts." Here, we’ll explain how different foot conditions can lead to pain in the knee, hip, and back, and simple steps you can take to address the root cause.


Knee & Hip Pain

Pain in the knee and hip that is not attributed to a specific injury is often found to be caused by foot posture issues that over time create misalignment. Supination and overpronation, two common gait issues, are sometimes to blame for these issues. 


Supination occurs when the outside of your foot takes most of the weight with each stride, and your step ends by pushing off on your outer toes. This is especially common in individuals with high arches.


Overpronation is often an issue for individuals with low or fallen arches. The foot “rolls” inward with each step, placing too much weight on the inner foot.Prolonged overpronation or supination can cause stress and strain on the inner or outer joints, accordingly.  As Dr. Positano puts it, "studying the interaction between the knee and the foot, or the hip and the foot is very important because it's a kinetic chain." The use of custom orthotics can provide additional support to the inside or outside of the foot as needed, which over time can help to correct the alignment issues and alleviate knee or hip pain.


Back Pain

Lower back pain can be caused by a number of issues - but one that is often overlooked is the overpronation of the foot. Often times, overpronation of the foot is due to fallen arches (flat feet). When your body weight falls disproportionately inward, your legs rotate in with each stride. When this happens, the pelvis begins to tilt, ultimately causing the lower back to curve. This causes the common ailments of stiffness and discomfort.

Using custom orthotics can help correct your foot posture by supporting the arch. With proper arch support, pronation can be corrected to bring the legs and pelvis back into proper alignment, alleviating pain.


DIY Custom Insoles Offers Support to Help Alleviate Back & Knee Pain

A body that’s free from pain starts with a solid foundation - at the feet! DIY Custom Insoles offers a quick, easy, and affordable way to care for your feet, without the hassle of prescriptions. Our custom insole starter kits are conveniently delivered to your door and can be made and ready to wear within ten minutes. Learn more about our proprietary process here.