A lot of leg complaints may have their origin in the foot, i.e. a foot related problem.

Often the foot may not be sore itself but because of the way it reacts to the ground, a rotational force travels up the leg, through the knee joint, to the hip, and into the pelvis and can cause aches and pains, usually of a repetitive strain type injury, along the way.


In the shin you may have diffuse pain along the middle and distal thirds of the lower leg. Typically seen in runners, but also in ballistic (ie, jumping) activities such as basketball, dancing, or racket sports. Early in the disorder, pain occurs at the beginning of a run, may resolve as the workout continues, and then recurs after the workout, or it occurs only at the end of the run. When the injury becomes more chronic the pain is more severe, sharper, and persistent. In advanced stages, the pain can be constant, even walking or to press lightly.

‘Shin splints’ or medial tibial stress syndrome.refers to pain felt anywhere along the shinbone from knee to ankle. People who play sports that involve a lot of running are particularly prone to shin splints. Treatment options include rest, the regular use of ice packs on the affected area, and anti-inflammatory medication such as aspirin.  One of the most common reasons for this pain is overuse, such as trying to exercise beyond your current level of fitness. So re-condition yourself to the activity by altering your training (try low impact like swimming)or cross training and slowly building up your strength and endurance to complete the task. If you have flat feet or leg rotation during weight bearing you may need different footwear or orthoses for results.

Conditions other than shin splints may be causing your pain. For example, you could be suffering from a stress fracture of the tibia, anterior compartment syndrome or referred back pain. If the pain is severe, or if it doesn’t start to ease after a few days of rest and home treatment, see your doctor for further investigation.


At the knee there are many potential sites of pain, The knee joint is made to swing in just one direction like a Hinge. At the front of the knee joint, the kneecap or patella sits in a groove at the lower end of the femur. The joint is further bolstered on each side by additional ligaments and then more ligaments and cartilages sit in between the knee joint. The entire joint is enclosed inside a tough capsule lined with a membrane and filled with lubricating synovial fluid. Extra capsules of fluid, known as bursae, offer extra cushioning.

Awkward movements, falls and collisions, sudden twists, excessive force or overuse can result in a range of injuries to the knee joint and the structures supporting it. Common knee injuries include ligament, tendon and cartilage tears and fluid build-up due to bleeding if you tear a ligament.

On the outside Iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome is a common cause of lateral knee pain, particularly among runners and cyclists. Caused where the ITB pops over the lateral epicondyle of the knee as the knee flexes and extends. If the leg is not straight the force of the “pop” may increase leading to more pressure and more friction.

At the front of the kneecap you might have pain going up or down the stairs, after sitting in a car or bending down to a squatting position. This could be patellofemoral pain. Patellofemoral refers to the joint that includes the knee (patella) and the thigh bone (femur). It can result from malalignment of the patella on the femur causing rubbing of the two bones , weakness of the quadriceps muscles, or tight structures on the lateral aspect of the knee. Pain may be felt behind or around the knee cap, grinding noises may be heard during bending or straightening the leg, the knee may feel like it gives-way without any particular reason, or some mild swelling may be noted around the knee.


Further up the leg the hip area is also prone to wear and tear, for example an inflamed bursa (bursitis) between the hip bone (greater trochanter) and some muscles that pass around the bone (gluteus medius/iliotibial tract) due to friction.

The pain may radiate down the lateral aspect of the thigh. Once again excessive friction caused by excessive motion at the foot can be assessed and managed by a podiatrist at Bentley Podiatry.

Contact Bentley Podiatry today for more information.