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From the Ground Up: Feet and Health

By Sara Butler

The human body is a complex machine. Every single part of it is connected in some way. When one part isn’t functioning right, it can throw everything else out of whack – especially the back. A common place for something to go wrong that impacts the entire body is the feet. And when something is wrong in the feet, it is often felt in the back! If this surprises you, read on to find out about the ways in which feet can cause back pain and discomfort.

The Mechanics of the Foot

When the mechanics of the foot are off, then the alignment of the entire body can be put into question. The feet are truly the body’s foundation. Just as with a building, if that foundation isn’t strong and balanced, then cracks will begin to show.

Oversupination and overpronation are two problems that can lead to chronic and sometimes serious back pain.

Overpronation and Oversupination Defined

Pronation is the way the foot moves during normal motion. A normal, balanced foot will roll inward, flattening as the outer edge of the heel strikes the ground. A foot must have pronation to function normally, but excessive pronation (called overpronation) can cause issues such as injury to the tendons, ligaments, and muscles on the underside of the foot.

Supination is used to describe the way the foot rolls out during normal motion. It happens when the foot is being pushed off of and the heel lifts to help the body to move forward. A problem with supination is called oversupination and it often has a negative impact on the ankle, causing sprains, ligament rupture, and torn tendons.

Conditions Caused by Overpronation and Oversupination

Both of these issues can cause a variety of conditions and injuries that impact the feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back. The most common injuries or conditions include:

  • Flat feet
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Ankle sprain
  • Arch pain
  • Corns
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Heel pain
  • Shin splints
  • Calluses
  • Tight calves
  • Knee pain
  • Hip pain
  • Tight hip flexor muscles
  • Herniated discs in the spine
  • Sciatica

Chiropractic Care for Foot Problems

Since the position of the feet can lead to back problems, it makes sense for chiropractors to treat these conditions. Remember, chiropractors don’t just treat symptoms, but work to find the root cause of your back pain and try to fix it. Muscle imbalances in the foot, ankle, and lower leg may be responsible for back pain, so a chiropractor will look there to see how these imbalances can be addressed.

If you’re experiencing back pain, make sure you see a chiropractor at The Joint to determine what the underlying cause of your problem is and help you feel better!

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.


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