When the plantar fascia becomes painful or injured, joints throughout the leg can be affected. A person who suffers from foot pain may change the way he walks to avoid aggravating his injury. These changes in gait can cause additional stress to be put on the other joints of the leg. If you have knee pain that you suspect is tied to a foot injury, talk to your doctor.
What is the Plantar Fascia
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the plantar fascia is the band of tissue that runs from your heel to your toes on the bottom of your foot. This connective tissue forms the arch of your foot.
Problems with Plantar Fascia
Plantar Fasciitis is a common problem that causes pain in the foot and the heel. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, this condition occurs when the plantar fascia swells, bruises or tears. The condition is common in runners, those who spend a lot of time on their feet, and flat footed individuals. The pain is the most acute in the mornings.
Effect on Gait
According to the Mayo Clinic, the pain associated with plantar fasciitis can cause the sufferer to change the way he walks. An individual will use his foot differently to avoid putting pressure on the painful area. This change in foot movement can effect the entire leg, as each joint and muscle has to subtly shift to accommodate the changes in a person's gait.
According to the Road Runners Club of America, the changes in gait caused by plantar pain can result in pain traveling up the leg. As the foot position shifts to avoid the pain associated with the condition, the knee is also moving in different ways. These shifts can put extra pressure on the knee joint. They also cause the knee to absorb more shock that it is typically used to. These subtle changes can lead to pain throughout the leg.
Talk To A Medical Professional
If you have knee pain that you think is associated with your plantar fascia, be sure to bring it up with your doctor on your next visit. He might prescribe orthotics, which are custom-fitted shoe inserts that are meant to correct your gait. Also, he will treat your plantar fasciitis, which will reduce your propensity to walk incorrectly.