Dr. Heather shares the newest installment of her series, Ask the Doctor, on feet:
Question: Doc, I sprained my foot three months ago, and while it has seemed to heal, I have noticed that now my knee and lower back are more stiff and sore when I have never had these concerns before. Do you think my foot injury could be related to my knee and lower back complaints?
Answer: Many foot ailments and injuries can lead to knee, back and even neck problems. Your feet are your foundation – they must be moving correctly for the rest of your body to respond to the daily stresses placed on it. It is possible that even though the foot is not hurting much anymore, the improper function which resulted is causing a chain reaction leading to your knee and lower back complaints. Have you had your ankle and foot fully adjusted by a chiropractor since the injury? Not all chiropractors adjust feet, but here at Glow we feel because they are the foundation, they require attention.
A full ankle adjustment restores efficient foot mechanics to allow proper movement and function of the numerous bones/joints while decreasing your healing time. This also allows the knee and hip movement to be more efficient rather than accommodating a poorly functioning ankle joint.
Alleviating stiffness or pain in one part of your body often requires treating a different part. The pain and stiffness you presently feel in your knee and lower back may be caused by unbalanced positioning in your feet. For example, a fallen arch in one of your feet can trigger an entire chain reaction. While the foot doesn’t usually hurt in such cases, the structural inadequacy shifts harmful amounts of pressure to the knee, hip and spine.
I am blessed that through my training and career as a chiropractor, I have been mentored by some amazing chiropractors who taught me unique adjusting techniques for the extremities. As a result, most of my patients, whether they have a foot/ankle complaint or not, I will assess and adjust their feet to prevent the small inefficiencies there from causing issues further up the body, as is the case with a ‘healed’ ankle or foot injury leading to knee and lower back concerns.
I have had successful outcomes when working on things such as Achilles tendonitis, Plantar Fascitis, Morton’s Neuroma, and sprains, as well as several other foot and knee concerns. Book in with one of the chiropractors at Glow to see if we can help!
3 Tips to Maintain Healthy Feet
1. While sitting, gently roll the full length and sides of each foot daily on a piece of 3/4″ dowel (ie broomstick). Roll the bottom as well as both sides of the foot as high up on each side where there is soft tissue.
2. Use the simple PROFOOT Flex-Tastic Toe Separators 5-10 minutes per day to loosen the feet (available at Shopper’s drug Mart)
3. Keep the lower legs loose by using a rolling pin on all the muscles, front and back.