So what does your feet have to do with your hips and low back?
Everything in the body is connected to some degree. Some of those connections make huge functional changes in the body, others don’t. There is a huge functional relationship between your feet and your hips and low back. For some of you reading this your hip pain can be managed through all kinds of different modalilites but ultimately caused by your feet.
Think of your feet like the foundation for your spine and body.
When you alter your arches your foundation changes. Just like your house, if your foundation is off the rest of the house will be off. This can cause greater stress on the house. The biomechanics in your foot and lower extremity are extremely sensitive and small changes can mean big compensation at the other end of the leg. This means if your big toe moves in, called hallux valgus, just slightly changing foot biomechanics, it can cause stress in the low back, hip pain and low back pain because of how the whole leg has to now compensate.
Fallen arches is the most common condition I have seen altering lower extremity function. You have three arches in your foot anterior, medial and lateral. Think of your arches like shocks on your car. Your body takes on more wear and tear from activity if your shocks are not working right. Your arches are also directly related to things like balance and athletic performance.
The bad news is that when your arches begin to fall you cannot really get them back. A main cause of fallen arches is poor footwear/shoes. So, it is important to know if they are fallen and how much they have fallen. The good news is that you can support your arches and maintain what you have. You can do this through custom orthotics, chiropractic care and kinesio tape.
As your arches drop the bones in your foot move out of alignment causing the nervous system to malfunction. In chiropractic we call bones out of place causing nervous system dysfunction, subluxation. The reason why this is important is that when we have subluxation around a joint the muscles around the joint become inhibited, so they cannot do their job.
In the case of the foot many of the hip and pelvic stabilizer muscles stop working when the foot subluxates. This means that when you are working out, training, or doing hard work half of your core stabilizers are not working. This can lead to overt gross trauma like throwing your back out or microtrauma causing low grade muscle pain.
A Chiropractor is the only person trained to assess and adjust a subluxation.
First would be to stop abusing your feet. Like many things, correction of the symptom is a waste of time if you continue to abuse the problem.
- Make sure your shoes are the right fit for your feet
- Limit use of high heels
- Any other activity you do to provoke fallen arches
For long term management a combination of therapies would be best:
- Chiropractic: for assessment and adjustment of subluxation
- Kinesio Tape: for stabilizing of the ankle and foot to support the soft tissue
- Rehab: to retrain the muscles in the ankle to support the body
- Custom orthotics: to manage fallen arches
- Massage: therapeutic massage can help release fascia in foot and ankle
If you have low back pain or lower extremity problems, you need to get your feet checked out. At DuChene Natural Health Center we use Applied Kinesiology and muscle testing to test your muscles for activation and subluxation. We also use a computerized scan of your feet along with a navicular drop test to test for fallen arches. If you have low back pain or extremity problems contact us now.