Posted on February 2nd, 2017 by Dr. Gloria Adkins
In my West Seattle Chiropractic clinic I see patients with foot pain from a variety of causes. The most common ones are postural distortions and altered foot biomechanics. The spine is one link in the biomechanical Kinetic Chain, which extends from the feet through the ankle, tibia, knee, femur, hip, pelvis, and spine. Postural imbalances can put stress on the feet, knees and hips, but also, altered foot biomechanics can lead to pelvic, spine, hip and knee problems. Chiropractors are trained to evaluate the spine and the extremities, and then to find solutions for these problems.
The feet have 3 arches, medial and lateral longitudinal, and transverse, each being critically important for providing a strong balanced foundation. In addition, aging, gravity and stress over time will encourage further falling of these arches, which will alter centers of gravity in every joint in the body.
Relieving foot pain and correcting the underlying problem requires a multifaceted approach. Epsom salt foot baths, and a hot water bottle on the bottoms of the feet, are the best ways to get relief. Ice cube massage to the areas of soreness is also recommended but most people say that ice doesn’t feel good and that heat is better. In some cases taping procedures can provide temporary support and pain relief.
Rolling bare feet on a foot wheel or tennis ball or similar, on a regular basis helps to massage and mobilize. There are several ways to strengthen weak muscles in the feet and ankles, including using elastic tubing.
Flexible custom made orthotics work very well in cases of over pronation and arch ligament laxity. These are specifically made with a weight bearing imprint and provide just the right amount of support. They are firm but well padded, with shock absorption at heel strike, mid-stance support and propulsion at toe-off, and they’re available in several different tops.
The orthotics that I custom fit in my West Seattle clinic are very affordable even without insurance, though many insurance companies have orthotic coverage if medically necessary. If you have foot pain don’t ignore it until you can’t walk. Find out what’s causing it before it gets worse.