Is Your Flat Foot Causing Knee Pain?


We’ve all heard the saying about being caught flat-footed. But what may really catch you by surprise – your flat feet could be causing your knee pain.

If you suffer with knee arthritis, you understand the familiar symptoms of joint stiffness in the morning or pain when walking and standing for long periods of time. But when you combine knee arthritis and flat feet there may be a quick answer to alleviating pain – shoe inserts.

Dana Hoskins, Physical Therapist at St. Elizabeth Healthcare Florence Outpatient Physical Therapy says, “If a patient with knee pain has a flat foot, I can give them some immediate relief with a shoe orthotic.” She adds, “Once we have your foot in the correct position, it puts your leg in alignment and you will notice an immediate decrease in strain on the knee.”

Often a person with knee pain will wait until the pain is unbearable to see a doctor, but your first line of defense for arthritic knee pain should be physical therapy. The physical therapist will:

  • Assess the movement of the knee.
  • Assess leg and core strength.

If the physical therapist notices flat feel during the assessment, they will recommend a shoe insert. Once the shoe insert is in place and your foot is in the proper position, you can continue physical therapy to strengthen the knee and leg.

There are three categories of shoe inserts they may recommend:

  • Over-the-counter shoe inserts.
  • Semi-custom inserts, available at St. Elizabeth Healthcare physical therapy.
  • Customized inserts ordered through a physician.

Hoskins added, “If we determined you need a fully customized orthotic we would facilitate getting that order from you doctor and have you fitted for a custom insert.”

Orthotics can also help prevent or delay knee replacements for people with flat feet.

If you suffer from knee pain and think you may have flat feet, talk to your doctor today about a referral of St. Elizabeth Healthcare physical therapy.