What Causes Pain From Knee To Ankle
Leg pain can affect people in any areas. It can appear as pain from knees to ankles, in the foot, in the knee, behind the knee, in the ankle, down the back of your leg, etc. In most cases, those who have pain from their knee to ankle have lower leg pain. Even though your legs are affected the most by your daily activities, you shouldnt be in pain. Pain in your lower legs may be due to issues with nerves, blood clots, or a number of other potential problems.
Foot Pain New Study Says Look At Hip And Knee Too For Complete Diagnosis
New York, NY
A study by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery and Harvard Medical School suggests new guidelines may be in order for evaluating and treating lower extremity pain. Investigators set out to determine if there was a relation between foot pain and lower extremity joint pain, and they found a significant association between foot pain and knee or hip pain.
“Our overall goal was to provide practitioners with evidence-based guidance for evaluation and options for treatment for their patients,” the researchers wrote in their paper, which appeared in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association.
“The study shows that a physician evaluating a patient for foot pain should also ask about possible hip or knee pain, and vice versa, so we can address all of a patients issues. In medicine, many times it comes down to what does your MRI look like or what does your x-ray look like? But its really important to conduct a thorough medical history and physical exam,” says , a sports medicine physician at HSS and study co-author. “A comprehensive orthopedic evaluation may prompt a broader treatment strategy and possibly a referral to another specialist.”
“Studying the interaction between the knee and the foot, or the hip and the foot is very important because its a kinetic chain,” says , director of the Non-Surgical Foot and Ankle Service, Joe DiMaggio Sports Medicine Foot and Ankle Center at HSS.
Riegger-Krugh and Keysor, JOSPT. 1996
As With Many Injuries You’ll First Want To Rest And Ice The Area To Reduce The Swelling You Can Also Take Over
- Try swimming, stationary bikes, and other low-impact activities that won’t stress your knees.
- Wear a knee brace to provide support and relieve pain.
- Wear stable shoes with good arch support, especially while walking or exercising.
- Strengthen your gluteal and hip muscles, which will promote knee stability while walking and running.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of Dark Spots On Your Knees
How Do You Know If It Is Sciatica
The key to diagnosing sciatica is a thorough history and a focused exam. Unfortunately, many patients expect an x-ray or MRI, and doctors, often facing time constraints, order one even though we know imaging tests dont really help us treat early sciatica any better. The Sciatica symptoms are often worse with sitting or coughing and may be accompanied by numbness or tingling in the leg. A physical exam can confirm that the sciatic nerve is involved, and I look for weakness or diminished reflexes in the legs that suggest that someone needs early referral to a specialist. With this information, I can make an initial diagnosis and start treatment.
Dont Miss: Who To See For Carpal Tunnel
What Causes Nerve Pain In Legs And Feet
Peripheral neuropathy can result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, inherited causes and exposure to toxins. One of the most common causes is diabetes. People with peripheral neuropathy generally describe the pain as stabbing, burning or tingling.
Recommended Reading: Is Nano Knee Covered By Medicare
Can A Misalignment In The Foot Cause Pain In Other Joints
A misalignment of the structures of the feet and ankles causes a ripple effect that travels up, through the leg, and into the hip and lower back. If the foot doesnt function properly, it can cause the other joints in the lower part of the body to overcompensate. This causes stress and pressure on the joints that normally wouldnt pose a problem. The longer the misalignment exists, the more damage it can cause to both the feet and the other joints.
How The Spine Causes Knee Pain
The nerve roots that transmit the sensation of pain to the legs and feet are located in the lower back. Occasionally with age or injury, the discs between the vertebrae can degenerate or bulge out and press on these nerves.
When this occurs, the nerve becomes irritated and sends out pain signals. The location of the pain depends on which disc is protruding.
The severity of the pain depends on how much of the disc is pressing on the nerve. The nerves that send fibers to the knee are located at the second, third, and fourth lumbar vertebral levels in the lower back area.
If a bulging disc, bone spur, or arthritic joint in the second, third, or fourth lumbar vertebra compresses a nerve, the referred pain will often be felt in the knee.
Referred pain is pain perceived at a location other than where the cause is situated. It is the result of pain signals being sent along the network of interconnecting sensory nerves.
This condition can be diagnosed by your physician with a thorough history and physical exam. If the nerve that travels to your thigh and knee is irritated or pinched, you may feel a host of symptoms, including:
- Pain in the front of your thigh
- Knee pain
- Numbness or tingling in your thigh
- Weakness in your hip or quadriceps muscles
If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor. In some cases, the hip may be the culprit, so a careful examination is necessary to find the true cause of your knee pain.
Don’t Miss: How To Whiten Knees Fast
Sciatic Nerve Glide Exercise
This seated exercise can alleviate sciatica symptoms. You can use this exercise to help your sciatic nerve relax and desensitize.
Follow these steps to complete this exercise:
- Keep your other foot flat on the floor as you sit upright in a chair.
- Bring your toes towards you while slowly bending your ankle.
- Keep bending your ankle backward and forward, pointing your toes away from yourself and then towards your body.
- When the first stretch is tolerated, you can also do the nerve glide while bending your head forward and bringing your chin towards your chest.
- Repeat the exercise 15 to 20 times with one leg, and then with the other.
- Make sure to do three rounds a day for each leg.
Its worth noting that while home remedies like stretches for sciatica pain can help reduce sciatic nerve pain, but they dont fix the underlying cause. A thorough chiropractic review pinpoints the cause of the discomfort, offers medication to alleviate sciatica symptoms, and creates a personalized treatment plan to ensure you stay pain-free for the long haul.
Sciatic nerve pain can be so excruciating and debilitating that you dont even want to get off the couch. Reclining pigeon pose is a common yoga pose that works to open the hips. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out straight in front of you, standing hamstring stretch. Standing hamstring stretch is a great way to stretch the hamstring muscles. Sciatica pain is triggered when vertebrae in the spine compress.
What Are The Types Of Sciatica
There are two types of sciatica:
The discs between the vertebra can bulge, herniate or sequestrate causing direct pressure on the nerves leaving the spine. Pressure directly onto the spinal cord from within the spine can also compromise the function of the sciatic nerve. Tight muscles through the buttocks and top of the legs can also irritate and put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
In most of these cases the leg pain is worse than the back pain and described as a sharp, burning, shooting pain. It is often associated with a feeling of numbness, pins and needles, hot and cold sensation and muscle weakness.
With neurogenic sciatica there are usually abnormal neurological exam findings such as a loss the normal reflexes, muscle weakness and sensory changes.
In some cases the pain is worse in the back than it is in the leg and doesnt usually have a shooting quality to it. Abnormal neurological findings, such as reflex changes, objective weakness and sensory changes, are unlikely to be present.
Read Also: Can You Rebuild Cartilage In Your Knee
Treatment Of Knee Pain Caused By Sciatica
If knee pain is caused by sciatica, treatment is required. This is accomplished by focusing on the underlying cause. And symptoms can be treated with self-care or medications. You can also relieve pain through physical therapy and exercise. In some cases, epidural steroids are injected.
In most cases, knee pain should subside with self-care. You can also try medical management and altering activities. However, if it continues or worsens, you need to see your doctor. Additionally, you want to cease activities that cause your pain level to increase.
Back problems commonly cause sciatica. And, sciatica is a common reason behind knee pain. Make sure you mention all symptoms to your doctor. So, he/she will be able to effectively diagnose. Furthermore, with regular exercise, you can prevent back injury and sciatica.
If you continue to experiencing knee pain or sciatica, call us at 888-409-8006. Our joint specialists can help. Offices are located throughout South Florida!
Nutritional Causes Of Leg Pain
Deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals may cause damage to the peripheral nerves resulting in leg pain and/or weakness. Typical nutrient deficiencies include7:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B6
Excessive intake of alcohol and heavy metals, such as arsenic, thallium, or mercury may also cause peripheral nerve damage and pain in the legs.
Read Also: How To Use Ginger For Knee Pain
Common Conditions That Cause Sciatica
Conditions that are known to cause sciatica include:
The compression of the L4 spinal nerve root causes sciatica. A herniated disc or spinal stenosis contributes to this. You may also get pain in your thigh and calf.
These are the muscles at the back of the thigh. When muscles are tight, back stability is reduced. Therefore, the curvature is altered. This increases back stress and causes sciatica. Pain can then radiate to the knee.
A herniated lumbar disc causes L3 nerve compression. This part of the spine is in the lower back. This can cause pain in the knee as well as weakness. Pain can also be felt in the groin, hip, and thigh.
Patellofemoral stress syndrome:
This is a condition where the kneecap rubs the thigh bone. This is also known as runners knee. You will feel a burning sensation at the edge of the kneecap. The pain will not be felt elsewhere in the leg. But, it is often mistaken for sciatica pain.
How To Fix It:
The major cause of tightness behind the knee has a saddle that is too high or too far behind. It is best to look out for the level of your saddle if you are experiencing pain or tightness behind the knee. But above all, I would suggest that you get a bike that fits you perfectly or change your saddle completely if you have to. If you are suffering from a saddle sore and don’t know what to do with it. Check out ‘How To Prevent and Treat Saddle Sores‘ here.
You May Like: Cellulite Above Knees
How Do Knee Overuse Injuries Occur
Various factors can cause overuse injuries to the legs, including poorly fitted footwear, inappropriate training programs and inadequate training surfaces .
Another major cause of knee pain, which can often be overlooked, is abnormal alignment of the foot and lower leg.
Excessively Pronated Feet commonly known as flat feet, this can lead to excessive internal rotation of the lower leg at the same time that the upper leg is rotating in the opposite direction with forces produced during walking or running. The knee is the area that therefore must absorb these twisting forces, and thus injuries due to excessive strain or force can be the end result. Excessively pronated feet can result in a knock-kneed position, which can contribute to various muscles exerting their forces in abnormal directions.
Abnormally High-Ached Feet high arched-supinated feet, or feet which roll out excessively, do not allow normal knee flexion during walking. This foot type is often accompanied with a forefoot valgus which can also alter mechanics and forces on the ankle and the knee joint. Neutralising these abnormal foot and leg mechanics can help to reduce damaging forces on the knee joint.
Ways To Treat Knee Pain Radiating Down Shin
1. Lose weight
Losing weight can help improve your knee pain because it reduces the weight on your knee joint. The Community Health Research Research Guidelines recommend losing 5 percent of your weight over a 20-week period.
How to lose weight in order to reduce knee pain radiating down shin.
2. Improve movement
Exercise is important for people with arthritis. It increases strength and flexibility, relieves joint pain, and helps fight fatigue. In fact, when strong and painful joints are already falling, the idea of walking around a barrier or swimming a few thighs may seem overwhelming.
But you dont need to run a marathon or swim as fast as an Olympic competitor to help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis. Even moderate exercise can reduce your pain and help you maintain a healthy weight. When arthritis threatens to weaken you, exercise makes you able to move forward.
If you have osteoarthrosis, exercising to strengthen and straighten your knee is about improving your function and mobility. This can help reduce pain and stiffness. Both ground-based exercises, such as yoga, and water movements, such as water aerobics, can help.
3. Perform heat and cold therapy
4. Find helpful materials
If you have limited mobility as a result of arthritis of the knee, working with a physical or occupational therapist can help you find tools to use in your daily life. For example, you can succeed with a regular knee brace or walker.
5. Use natural remedies
6. The pain subsides
Don’t Miss: Inversion Table After Hip Replacement
Set A Weight Loss Goal
When it comes to arthritis, what your scale says really matters. People with a higher body weight are diagnosed with arthritis at an earlier age and have more severe arthritis. It makes sense: Feet are a weight-bearing joint, so obesity makes arthritis worse, says Dr. Domingues. Even one extra pound on your frame can equal about five extra pounds of force on your feet. Losing 20 pounds can mean sparing your feet from an extra 100 pounds of force with every stride.
Excess body weight also increases inflammation, which fuels the painful symptoms of inflammatory types of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Its not easy to lose weight when you have stiff or sore joints, but even a five- to 10-percent reduction in body weight has been shown to dramatically diminish joint pain and improve exercise tolerance. Check out these weight loss tips that are especially helpful when you have arthritis.
Knee Pain & Your Feet
Knee pain, hip pain and lower back pain can occur due to local structures in these areas being directly traumatised or damaged. However, if there is no history of trauma in these area and they are painful when weightbearing, it will be due to poor foot posture and mechanics. Alternative poor foot posture will aggravate the knees, hips and back thus causing pain.
Also Check: How To Whiten Your Knees Fast
Pain Behind Or Around Your Kneecap
The most common cause of knee pain is your kneecap rubbing against the lower end of your thighbone instead of gliding smoothly over it. That friction damages the cartilage beneath your kneecap, in some cases wearing it all the way down to the bone.
- Overuse, the most common factor among active people.
- Muscle weakness in your thighs and hips, which prevents them from properly stabilizing your knee.
- Your gait. Too much inward collapse of your knee as you run or walka common problemresults in extra stress to your knee joint and kneecap.
- Overpronation, which also stresses your knee as your lower leg turns inward while your thigh rotates your knee outward.
- Aging and/or osteoarthritis, which contributes to the softening or breaking down of cartilage.
- Trauma, such as a blow to your knee that damages or breaks off part of the cartilage or bone.
Lower Leg Pain Caused By Veins And Nerve Issues
1. Blood Clot
When blood thickens in veins, it can develop a clot. This typically happens in the thigh or lower leg, commonly leading to pain from knee to ankle. There is a higher risk if you are overweight, on certain medicines, or inactive for a long car ride or flight.
2. Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are caused by weakness in the vein walls or valves and can lead to a dull ache, particularly after standing.
3. Lower-Extremity Peripheral Arterial Disease
This occurs if your legs arteries get damaged and harden. The legs begin to miss needed blood flow, leading to pain or cramps when walking or climbing stairs.
4. Narrowed Spinal Canal and Sciatica
When the spinal canal narrows due to a herniated disc, arthritis of the spine, or another cause, it can lead to weakness, fatigue, numbness, tingling, or cramping, burning leg pain when you sit or stand. It may start in the hip and the back before extending down the leg.
5. Diabetic Neuropathy
This diabetes complication can be due to high blood sugar levels and leads to pain in both legs. It also features less sensation and numbness in lower legs.
When to See a Doctor
You should see your doctor for pain from knee to ankle if you have the following symptoms:
Recommended Reading: Can You Use An Inversion Table After Knee Replacement