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IS KNEE PAIN RELATED TO MY SHOES?

knee pain

Have your knees racked up the slings and arrows of tendonitis, bursitis, or tissue tears? Maybe your knee pain is of the congenital variety, such as patellofemoral syndrome, chondromalacia, or a generalized osteoarthritis. Or perhaps you have nagging pain in your knees you haven’t had examined by a doctor yet and are looking to find relief without taking medication.

Did you know your knee is your body’s largest joint, designed to bear downward force in three directions while allowing for 150 degrees of movement? The entire hinge joint, as it’s termed, is cushioned and held in place by layers of superbly wound cartilage, tendon, and ligament—all working in delicate balance. If one variable is not working optimally, you’ll feel it with a vengeance. It’s no surprise that most of us suffer knee pain at some stage of life.

CAUSES OF KNEE PAIN

While knee pain can be felt at the local site, it’s usually the result of other underlying conditions, most of which can be traced to how your feet get traction as you step within your shoes. There is a pathway back to good knee health that doesn’t require pills, injections, or the dreaded unpredictability of surgery. Clouding your symptoms with steroid injections or oral medications is potentially shortsighted, given the relief that awaits with the proper arch support.

Your gut probably already tells you what an orthopedist may be reluctant to say: Correct posture aligns your body in a way that actually diminishes inflammation and pain. By making a few habit changes that are focused on proper body alignment and walking gait, you’ll find your knees (and other joints) will benefit. Making these changes are generally longer lasting and less expensive than orthopedic “quick-fixes” administered in the name of medicine. It’s also gentler on your body as compared with drastic intervention.

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PROPER BODY MECHANICS TO REDUCE KNEE PAIN

The field of biomechanic science has been studying athletes, astronauts, and soldiers for the better part of a century to better understand the effects that forces have on the motion of our bodies. The value of this research is broadly applicable to anyone who goes about on two legs. It has discovered that misalignment causes strained tendons and ligaments when your knees angle away from the midline. Examples of this include internal tibial rotation, also known as “pigeon toes,” or inward arch pronation.  

But knee pain may not be a lifetime sentence, regardless of your age. If you have any type of misalignment, dynamic orthopedic insoles may be for you. Using an insole like SelectFlex allows you to choose comfortable, corrective levels of arch support and address the causes of poor knee alignment. When your knees are properly supported by your shoes and footwear, you can reduce acute knee pain. Furthermore, SelectFlex insoles are designed to reduce forces your foot experiences with each step by mimicking the ligaments in your foot and providing energy return with each step. Isaac Newton would be pleased.

KNEE PAIN AND WEIGHT GAIN

Is your knee pain partially the result of being overweight? Excess weight is especially rough on your knees, yielding 1.5 times the force of your body weight with each step, according to Harvard Medical School. But how will you walk off some of that weight when your knees hurt? The first step is to address any issues of structural alignment starting from the ground up with proper arch support to reduce foot, knee or hip pain. Dynamic arch support, available with customizable SelectFlex insoles, is a great option to get you going. Over time, you can adjust these insoles to account for changes in your own downward forces relative to your weight reduction.

ADDRESSING CHRONIC KNEE PAIN

If your pain is chronic, it’s good diagnostic practice to obtain imaging, such as an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI. Even if your doctor assesses your pain as structurally or mechanically based, you may find that any kind of invasive technique is too premature, especially when structural options can be addressed with ground-up adjustable arch support. The right support can help relieve the pain you feel and slow down further damage to your joints.

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