When a patient comes into Elite Health Services complaining of knee pain they’re often surprised to learn that one of the first things our Certified Functional Manual Physical Therapists will do is examine their feet.Â The therapist does this because often times there is a foot component that is the main driver of the knee pain.
If you are experiencing pain in the knee, there is most likely dysfunction there in the form of soft tissue restrictions and joint misalignment, but these issues can be a result of foot dysfunctions. These knee dysfunctions need to be addressed and you might start to notice improvement in your pain but if the reason for these dysfunctions are not addressed then the pain will return.
How can you determine if your foot is a driver for the knee pain?
During a squat, in the efficient state, your knees should track over your 2nd toe. This test can help to lead to further exploration of foot alignment. If you do not have an efficient squat there can be break down in the knee. A Manual Physical Therapist can also evaluate your standing posture and torsions created at the knee from the alignment of the femur and tibia. If there is a discrepancy, then the foot can be held into subtalar neutral and look for improvement of knee alignment. The foot wants to make full contact with the ground and will create compensations to ensure this happens but this can lead to the torsions seen in static standing.Â These examinations help the Manual Physical Therapist to make a clinical decision on whether or not your foot needs to be addressed in your treatment plan.
Manual Physical Therapists will utilize specific techniques to adjust the alignment of the feet and improve the torsions on the knee. When necessary, the patient may need to be fitted for custom orthotics to help with the alignment of the leg. If you suffer from recurrent knee pain, it is recommended that you be evaluated by a Manual Physical Therapist to find out if your knee pain is really a pain that is coming from your foot.