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How Flat Feet May Cause Knee Problems

How Flat Feet May Cause Knee Problems

When you have flat feet, you typically won’t notice any other malformations up the rest of your leg.


However, the flat feet can create a chain reaction up your body, and that damage usually starts in your knees. In some people, the pain and damage continues up to their hips and into their backs.


If you are having problems with back pain, shin splints, knees, or hips, there is a possibility that it is coming from your feet. Although these might seem totally unrelated to one another, they are often linked to the feet.


The foot is the foundation of the body. When you walk, you put the force of as much as five times your body weight on each foot. If the foot doesn’t absorb that shock or redistribute it properly, you can develop problems elsewhere. The most common site of pain with flat feet is the knee.


Flat feet can lead to tendinitis in your Achilles tendon, which runs down the back of your leg, because that tendon has to compensate when you push off with your feet.


Poor foot architecture can also stress the medial collateral ligaments of your knee. And although flat feet don’t cause you to be knock-kneed, people who are knock-kneed sometimes have flat feet; their feet rotate inward to compensate for the misalignment of the knees.

Here are some ways in which flat feet may lead to knee issues:

Poor Shock Absorption: The arches of the feet act as natural shock absorbers, helping to distribute the impact of each step. In individuals with flat feet, this shock absorption is reduced, causing increased stress on the knees. Over time, this can contribute to wear and tear on the knee joints.



Overpronation: Flat feet often result in overpronation, where the foot rolls inward excessively during walking or running. This can lead to misalignment of the lower limbs, causing the knee to rotate inward as well. The increased internal rotation of the knee can put strain on the structures surrounding the knee joint.



Misalignment of the Lower Extremities: Flat feet can lead to misalignment issues throughout the lower body, affecting the ankles, knees, and hips. When the foot arch collapses, it may cause the lower leg to rotate inward, creating an abnormal angle at the knee. This misalignment can contribute to conditions such as patellofemoral pain syndrome and other knee-related problems.



Increased Stress on Ligaments and Tendons: The altered biomechanics associated with flat feet can lead to increased stress on ligaments and tendons around the knee. This heightened stress may contribute to inflammation and overuse injuries, such as patellar tendinitis.


Reduced Stability: Flat feet can result in reduced stability during weight-bearing activities. The lack of a proper arch may affect the foot’s ability to provide a stable base, leading to increased stress on the knee joints as they try to compensate for the lack of support.


What can be done for flat feet?

A properly aligned body will have symmetrical feet, level knees, pelvis and shoulders. Wearing Custom Orthotics may help alleviate imbalances and conditions caused by those imbalances.


Custom orthotics work on your feet much like glasses work on your eyes – they reduce stress and strain on your body by bringing your feet back into proper alignment. Medical grade orthotics often provide almost immediate relief form knee pain caused by flat feet, as well as curing a number of other related problems in the foot, back or hip.



If you have knee pain due to flat feet, there are many noninvasive treatments that can help.



A correctly built orthotics that can help alleviate different kinds of pains, prevent recurring pain, prevent injuries and possible knee surgeries. 


      • Do you suffer from knee pain? Is it aggravated during activity like when you are walking or playing sports?.

      • Do you get pain in your ankle, hip and back?

      • Have you tried all medical interventions like steroid injections and anti inflammatory drugs

      • Have you been advised on surgery to help with your pain

    The pain is probably manifesting from your feet, fallen or high arches- are one of the most probable reasons why you are suffering from pain.

    At Don Kelly Physiotherapy and Acupuncture, we help all kinds of people with knee pain. If you have flat feet or any other issues contributing to knee pain, contact us today.



    With 25 years of experience, I’ve treated thousands of patients with knee injuries and chronic pains, understanding how pain limits your activities. Let us help you break free from pain, regain movement, and live YOUR best life. Proudly serving the Charleville and Limerick communities for over two decades