Suffering from hip pain? You’re not alone. It’s a fairly common issue. Hip pain causes can range from arthritis to injury to anything in between.
One of these causes is poor alignment.
Perhaps you’ve been told by a doctor that your hip pain issues are related to alignment, and you’re researching the best shoes for hip pain. If that’s the case, this is the post for you!
Please keep in mind that this article is intended for folks who have already determined with a medical professional that their issues are related to alignment.
How Can Your Feet Cause Hip Pain?
There are at least two ways that your lower extremities can have a direct influence on your hips.
The first is leg discrepancy- where one leg is a different length than the other.
The second is a poor alignment in your gait.
Both of these issues can pull your hips out of their natural position and put unequal stresses on parts of the hip… leading, eventually, to pain.
Leg discrepancy could be something you were born with, or something that develops over time. It’s usually treated with a heel insert for one foot that boosts the shorter leg to match the length of the longer one.
This discrepancy doesn’t have to be vast… a common heel insert thickness is 2mm, about the thickness of a nickel. But even that small discrepancy, over time, can affect your hips if uncorrected.
It’s also possible to have all the symptoms of a leg discrepancy… without the actual discrepancy. This happens due to environmental conditions that simulate that discrepancy.
For example: let’s say you are a runner. You run the same route everyday, which happens to be on a road that is crowned… the centier is slightly higher than the shoulder. By exposing yourself to this condition where one leg has to drop further down to hit the ground, you’re exposing your hips to the same stresses they would be under if one leg was actually longer than the other.
Be sure to see a doctor to determine whether you have a leg discrepancy, and whether you require an orthotic heel insert to treat it. If the discrepancy is simulated, try changing your habits. (Run a different direction on the track than you’re used to, for instance.) And keep alignment in mind to see whether that may also contribute to your hip pain.
If your hip pain is related to your alignment, we’re probably talking about torque.
One of the most common alignment issues that causes hip pain is overpronation. Pronation is all about the way your foot rolls as you proceed through your gait. A little pronation is good: it provides some natural shock absorbtion.
But when you overpronate, your foot is rolling inward excessively. Your medial arch gives in to the motion and you lose support. You roll in too hard, which generates torque.
Torque is a twisting force that causes, or tries to cause, rotation. The overpronation in your gait, which causes your foot to roll in, generates that twisting force in your leg. And it has to go somewhere. It tends to carry up the leg and wreak havoc on your hips.
If your hip pain issues stem from overpronation or alignment issues, it’s important to take a look at the balance and support that you receive from your footwear.
If you look at the anatomy of a shoe, you’ll see that the parts of the shoe that impact support and balance lie mostly in the outsole and midsole regions of the shoe. Make sure your shoes have a wide enough base to help you stay balanced, and your midsole has enough medial arch support to help discourage overpronation.
Can Insoles Help?
A good, supportive Insole can help hip pain by providing additional arch support. When it comes to overpronation issues, it’s good to err on the side of more support. A strong arch helps keep the foot from rolling inward and significantly reduces the amount of torque generated in your gait.
A supportive insole can also be used in conjunction with issues related to leg discrepancy. Sometimes a gait can be affected by the habitual stresses caused by natural or simulated leg discrepancy. A good insole can be used along with a doctor prescribed heel lift to help encourage the development of a healthy stride.
Orange Insoles provide superior arch support, as well as a heel cup and metatarsal pad for additional benefits to alignment. And they’re available in three different styles to fit any shoe. Check out the inventory to find the one that’s right for you.