SCOTT COOK: Listen to your feet
Your feet have a story to tell and it may be time you listen.
Have you taken a good look at your feet lately? You should start by looking at your own feet.
Slip off your shoes, take off your socks, and give your feet a good look. What do you notice? Are there any calluses, corns or bunions? Do your feet look red or do your toes look cramped and pushed together?
When you compare your two feet, do they look different from one another?
The feet are the body’s foundation and it is important to make sure that foundation is level and well-supported.
To give an idea of the connection your feet have with the spine and the rest of your body, here’s a good demonstration for you to do: Stand up with your legs comfortably apart and put your hands on your hips.
Next, roll your feet inward as far as they can go and hold that position for a few seconds. Now, ask yourself if you feel pressure on the inside of your ankles, inner knees, outer hips or lower back?
Next, roll your feet back to being level again and check to see if the pressure on any of those joints were reduced at all when you did this. Rolling the feet inward causes the arches of your feet to excessively lay flat. You are re-creating a scenario that occurs in over 80 percent of the world’s population. Some inward rolling of the feet is normal, but for many the dropping of the arches is so serious that it causes pain and problems in the feet, ankles, knees and more commonly in the hips and lower back.
Long-term problems will result from any of these conditions if the proper treatment is not sought. Medical research proves that 85 percent of all patients that have undergone hip and knee replacements have had one common factor, excessive over-pronation. Medical research also proves that low back pain can be a direct result of this. One of the first things we look at in our office is the patient’s feet. The feet are the foundation of the body. They support you when you stand, walk or run. Feet also help protect your spine, bones and soft tissues from stress as you move. Without proper arch support the body can never be fully balanced and structurally stable.
What to do: If you’re having low back, hip, knee or ankle pain, get your feet evaluated by a health care professional. Once the connective tissue in the feet stretches, it is permanently stretched out to some degree and will likely need arch support.
Remember, your feet are telling you a story.
Are you listening?