Your Foundation and Its Connections
Your feet and ankles are the foundation of your body. Whenever you walk, run, or even stand, you are able to do so because your feet are distributing the weight of your body in a stable manner.
While a house doesn’t move, its foundation also supports its structure. But if that foundation becomes unstable or falls out of alignment, you know how it can affect the home above it (and hopefully never had to experience that yourself!).
Structural abnormalities can have similar effects on your body. While you can certainly develop foot pain or heel pain from conditions such as flat feet or high arches, the effects can run up your musculoskeletal structure.
Let’s start at the bottom. Your feet are tasked with supporting and properly distributing your weight, and that can be quite a lot! For every pound you weight, about 4 pounds of force need to be handled by your feet whenever you move. And that’s every step.
A problem with your foot structure can change the distribution of weight across the foot, and can lead to a higher concentration of stress in areas that aren’t built to handle it. This increases the risk of painful foot problems such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis.
But that is not always all. A deformity in your foot structure can also change the way you walk, also known as your biomechanics.
For some people, an abnormal foot structure can lead to an abnormal gait. One common instance is overpronation, in which the foot rolls too far inward with each step.
But our feet are not independent pieces of our bodies. They’re connected to our ankles, which are connected to our legs, our knees, our hips, and all destinations upward.
When our feet move in an abnormal way, it often causes other parts of the body to shift as well in order to compensate. In the case of overpronation, the legs themselves can begin to rotate inward. Our legs and knees also tend to work overtime to keep us more stable while running. In most cases you won’t even realize it’s happening, but all these changes place extra strain throughout the body, which can add to fatigue and once again lead to pain.
Just keep moving up the chain with abnormal stances and overcompensation, and it’s no surprise that you can end up with backaches, too!
But in many cases where all these problems can be traced back to the feet, addressing the problem there can also rest the alignment further up the musculoskeletal system.
Fix Your Foot Pain (and Maybe More)
No two patients are the same. The causes of pain for one may be different than another, so we can’t guarantee that back pain and foot pain are always connected.
What we can guarantee, however, is that we will always perform a thorough evaluation and consider all the needs of each patient, including how their symptoms are affecting their daily lives. That way, we can recommend the best courses of treatment to meet each patient’s individual needs.
Call our Greater Dayton office at (937) 435-7477 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sunshein or Dr. Samouilov. If you prefer to contact us electronically, you can always fill out our online contact form and a member of our staff will respond to you during standard office hours.
Looking For More Info? Download Our Guide!
Exercise is just one component of living a healthy lifestyle despite your peripheral neuropathy. You also want to make sure you maintain a healthy diet, and of course work closely with your medical team (including the folks here at Sunshein Podiatry Associates) to make sure you get the advanced treatments you need.
To help you with the “at home” component, we’ve written a brief downloadable guide on health and wellness. Keep it on your phone or print it out to keep those diet and exercise guidelines easily accessible and top of mind!