Chronic Knee Pain Linked to Having Flatfeet

Research suggests that people with flatfeet are more prone to chronic knee pain. The study’s authors put forward the possibility of developing knee osteoarthritis where the cartilage of the joint would break down as a result of wear and tear, thus, exposing flatfooted adults to compromising knee problems.

According to lead researcher Prof. K. Douglas Gross of Boston University School of Medicine and of the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, about 31 percent of the 1,900 flat footed participants, aged 50 and above, said they had knee pain on most days. Moreover, 43 percent are prone to knee cartilage damage.

However, they clarified that having flatfeet is not the root cause of certain knee problems. But there is sufficient basis to deduce that having flatfeet could be a factor for knee problems, the researchers said.

“When your feet flatten, it can change your posture or the way you move,” Gross explained. When a person shifts his weight on the flattened feet, the legs tend to move inward, which can result in damage to the knee cartilage.

The researchers also discovered that 22 percent of the participants reported knee problems.

However, Prof. Gross said it might be too early for flatfooted individuals to buy arch supports. “There are still many things we need to know before we can recommend that people do that,” he said. “We’re just at the first step.”

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