The knee is a hinge-type joint. This means that the predominate movement in the joint is to extend forwards and to bend backwards.
As a hinge joint, there is minimal allowance for side-to-side motion. When the knee is forced into a sideways position, especially in dynamic weight bearing movements such as walking, running and multidirectional sports, the impact on the soft tissues that surround and stabilize the joint can be compromised.
In order to relieve your knee pain and ensure correct knee alignment, we need do two things:
- Firstly, it is important to strengthen the surrounding soft tissues.
- Secondly, we must look to the joints directly above and below the knee. Is the pain coming from the knee being misaligned? Or is foot and ankle malalignment causing the knee to compensate and this compensation is leading to pain?
If the foot has a tendency to significantly pronate (roll in) throughout the gait cycle then the knee is forced medially into malalignment, which can result in pain. The use of an orthotic devices can help maintain appropriate ankle and foot ranges of motion to offload the mediolateral movements and reduce pain. From there a strengthening plan can be initiated.