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If you’re struggling with hip pain, your feet may be the culprit. Foot problems exacerbate or even create additional problems throughout the lower limbs.

Many foot conditions force you to compensate for the discomfort or lack of stability by adjusting your posture and gait. This may work for a time but is sure to lead to further problems elsewhere – not least in your hips.

Your hips are complex structures of bones, muscles, and soft tissues. Issues further down the legs put the hips under additional pressure and this has painful and debilitating consequences. Inflammation, bursitis, and tissue tears for example.

Four Common Foot Conditions that Affect the Hips

1. High Arches

The sole of your foot is protected by three arches. These vital structures of tough tendons and ligaments support the bones of the feet and toes. They function as shock absorbers to protect your feet and legs when walking, running or jumping.

Some people have arches that are positioned higher than normal – a condition known as cavus foot, which can be due to genetics or a neurological issue. This forces the foot to roll outwards when you walk, placing extra pressure on the hips and causing hip pain.

2. Flat Feet

This is the reverse of high arches but has a similar effect. Sometimes the arch may be too flat to efficiently absorb the impact of weight and movement (usually because it hasn’t developed correctly during childhood).

If weight distribution is uneven, the feet can easily roll inwards when walking (overpronation). This affects the entire alignment of the legs and hips, causing the latter to roll inwards as well, thus putting them under constant pressure and making them vulnerable to injury.

3. Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia connects the heel bone to the toes. The constant stress of movement and weight can result in small tears which become inflamed. It’s a painful and debilitating condition which forces you to change your posture and places your hips under constant strain.

Plantar fasciitis often affects anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet; athletes, dancers, runners or anyone who needs to stand for their work. Being overweight also places additional stress on the lower limbs.

4. Inadequate Footwear

Poor footwear creates many problems, and your hips will suffer as a result. Shoes must provide cushioning, support and stability. They must also be suitable for your activities – whether you’re hiking, doing sports or simply walking to work, the correct shoes are essential for each situation.

Your Podiatrist Can Help

Feet and hip issues are closely related so your podiatrist can help in many ways.

Biomechanical Assessment

By assessing the movement of your joints, muscles and bones, we can identify problems with posture and gait. This may also reveal other conditions such as plantar fasciitis, bunions and sports injuries, to name but a few.

Custom Orthotics

These are an excellent way of providing cushioning and correcting postural issues to improve foot and leg function. This allows your weight to be evenly distributed, eases pressure on your hips and so eliminating hip pain.

Advice on Footwear

Even comfortable shoes can cause problems if they’re not suitable for a specific activity. Your podiatrist can advise you on the best footwear for your age, activity level and foot conditions.

Exercises for Better Foot Health

We can suggest stretches and exercises to ease pain, increase strength and improve foot function, gait and stability.

Comprehensive Support at Feet By Pody

Our experienced podiatrists are experts in all conditions of the lower limbs. For reassuring advice and top-quality care contact one of our London foot clinics.

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