Researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and Harvard Medical School got together and found something pretty interesting. When it comes to lower extremity pain, there is a strong link to the knees or hips. When your feet hurt, taking a closer look at your knees and hips may be in order.
What the study showed was that doctors may want to start taking a new approach in evaluating foot pain in their patients. It is suggested by the researchers that doctors don’t neglect asking about knee or hip pain when discussing discomfort in the feet. They say the reverse is true as well…when the knees or hips hurt, doctors should ask about the feet.
The kinetic chain, or the joints and segments that effect each other when the body moves, is strong between the hip and foot. The foot, say doctors, can be looked at like a shock absorber. It’s the first part of the body to strike the ground and when the foot’s ability to absorb shock is reduced, other body parts can be affected. Doctors also point out that the feet are the body’s foundation. When they aren’t sound, the rest of the joints above the foot can be negatively impacted.
To complete their study, researchers looked at information from 2,181 people who had participated in a different study between the years 2002 and 2008. Of those peple, 16 percent had complained of pain in both feet, 6 percent of pain in only the right foot and 5 percent described left-foot pain.
When asked about other discomfort, many patients described pain in the knee or hip on the same side of the body as their foot pain. That pain, however, may have ultimately switched sides as patients altered their gaits or other movements to compensate for the discomfort they were feeling.
So what does this mean for you? For many people, it simply means speaking up when they visit the doctor. If you have foot pain and are noticing that your knees or hips are starting to be uncomfortable as well, tell your doctor. If you see a doctor for knee pain and are also experiencing foot and hip pain, be sure to detail that pain during your appointment.
Treatment for one area of your body may not alleviate the pain you are feeling in another. Your doctor can only treat you adequately if they are armed with all of the information. Don’t be afraid to tell your doctor where it hurts. It’s the only way that can help you in a comprehensive way.
If you have been experiencing pain or general discomfort in your feet, please call our office. Dr. Elizabeth Auger is happy to welcome new patients to her Salt Lake City office. Dr. Auger will examine your feet, discuss your medical history and current issues and work to diagnose and treat your condition. Call today to schedule your appointment.