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Back pain? Look at your feet!
June 23, 2016

Back pain? Look at your feet!
By Michele Firra Ward, PT. Our feet are structurally designed for locomotion and structural support of our bodies. Sound structural mechanics of our feet are important for 2 reasons. The first is to maintain structural integrity and therefore proper mechanical function of our feet and ankles. Painful feet and toes are alert signals that the mechanics are changing. Our feet also determine the alignment of our bodies. Poor structural alignment of feet and ankles spell trouble for the joints "up the chain". Overtime, the added stress of abnormal loading of the knees, hips and spine leads to degenerative changes in these areas too.

Our feet and ankles are comprised of sophisticated joint systems with incredible mechanical abilities but the complex system of joint structures can be described as 2 basic movement patterns-pronation and supination. In pronation feet roll from heel strike to foot flat. And in supination our foot ligament systems are re-engaged making the feet rigid again for no propulsion at toe-off and stable for the next landing at heel strike.

Feet that either over-pronate or remain too rigid and under-pronate will cause problems elsewhere in the body. Typical areas of pain with over-pronation are inside knee pain, lateral hip pain and subsequent sacroiliac joint (buttock) and lower back pain. Burning sensation to the soles of feet, especially with walking and running, generalized knee pain, lateral hip pain and subsequent back pain are typical complaints with under-pronation.

Both the over-pronator and the under-pronator benefit from proper footwear to address their unique biomechanical problems. And when footwear and over-the-counter insoles are not enough to correct the problems encountered, custom in-shoe orthotics can be made for almost every type of footwear including sports-specific shoes. The physical therapists at In-Motion Physical Therapy Services can assist our patients with lower body biomechanical problems including the design and fitting of custom in-shoe orthotics. Orthotics for athletic shoes, dress shoes and even ski boots may be fitted for our patients who are currently sidelined from the activities they enjoy.

The process is typically 2-stepped, the initial assessment and then casting and fitting with orthotics. A footwear assessment and recommendations are also a part of this process.

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    Physical Therapy Services
    4611 Langland Rd.
    Suite 104
    Farmers Branch, TX 75244
    214-348-3516 Phone
    214-348-5727 Fax
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