Sports science and training news
HIP AND KNEE PROBLEMS COULD CAUSE PAINFUL FEET
IF FOOT pain has been interrupting your training, it could be problems with your hip or knee joints that are to blame.
Researchers at the US Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and Harvard Medical School set out to set out to find if there was a link between foot pain and lower extremity joint pain. Their findings suggest a strong association between foot pain and existing hip or knee pain.
It also demonstrates the importance of the ‘kinetic chain’, the theory that the body’s joints and segments have an effect on one another during movement, playing a key role in pain.
“Studying the interaction between the knee and the foot, or the hip and the foot is very important because it’s a kinetic chain,” says Dr Rock Positano, director of the non-surgical foot and ankle service at HSS. “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 minimised, it’s going to affect other body parts.”
The study used data from the 2181 people who had participated in the governmentfunded Framingham Foot Study between 2002 and 2008. It revealed that in the study, 16% of participants reported bilateral foot pain, 6% right foot pain only and 5% left foot pain only. Slightly more women than men reported foot pain.
Researchers found that foot pain was linked with bilateral and same-side knee pain in both men and women. Men with right foot pain, for example, were five to seven times more likely to have pain in their right knee or in both knees.
Foot pain was also associated with hip pain on the same side in men whereas women with bilateral foot pain were more likely to have hip pain on both or either sides.
Harvard study: found strong evidence for the kinetic chain