Malalignment & Altered Biomechanics
When your foot contacts the ground, it sends stresses up your leg and into your back, hip & pelvis- for this reason, poor alignment can cause strain and pain in any of these areas.
Common Signs & Symptoms
- Pain or tightness anywhere within your legs or back
- Can be of gradual or sudden onset
- Usually made worse by standing activities such as walking or running
- Often accompanied by 'bad habits', such as locking your knees back, walking with turned out or flat feet
- Problem keeps returning, despite treatment on the painful area(s)
- You wear unsupportive footwear
- Your shoes wear out unevenly
When your foot contacts the ground, it sends stresses up your leg and into your back, hip & pelvis- for this reason, poor alignment can cause strain and pain in any of these areas. Areas where your foot and leg do not align with your pelvis and back can cause pain in the lower back include:
Foot & ankle - stiff joints, feet turned out with walking, flat feet
Knee - knock knees, muscle tightness, joint pain, stiffness or weakness
Hip - joint stiffness, poor muscle control
Pelvis & Lower Back - poor muscle control, uneven pelvis, differences between your leg lengths, stiffness and tightness in your joints and muscles
Changes in alignment of your leg must always be considered when you suffer low back pain from standing or walking and is particularly important in sports people or those with long standing or ongoing problems.
Advice & Treatment
Because mal-alignment can start from a number of areas, many people need a full assessment of your joints, muscles (foot and ankle, knee, hip, pelvis and lower back), postures when you are stationary and assessment of the way you move. As biomechanical problems can be caused by joint stiffness, core muscle weakness and muscle tightness, exercises to the right areas may help to settle problems. Manual therapy which works to release muscle and joint stiffness may also be needed for the best results.
Treatment by physiotherapists and podiatrists can also provide bracing, taping or orthotics to help promote correct biomechanical alignment.