Feet as the Foundation

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Toe pain, foot pain, ankle pain – oh my!?!?! Have you or do you suffer from pain or other irritating symptoms (e.g. including but not limited to numbness, tingling, sharpness) in any of these mentioned areas? How about symptoms in your calf, heel, lower leg, foot, or even at the ankle? Do you have knee pain, hip pain, or even low back pain? Any of these symptoms can stem from movement dysfunctions caused by our individualized structure, muscular compensations, or bony adaptations that have developed throughout childhood, adulthood, or from injury. More specifically, all the symptoms mentioned could be a result of toe, foot, and ankle movement dysfunctions.

The human body inner-workings of interdependent parts (i.e. the way muscles, bones, and all the other parts work together) and the unique individualized way each of us are made can impact the way you move, causing pain and/or other symptoms at the farthest or closest areas of our walking parts.  This type of musculoskeletal pain can be caused when your feet or your foot move incorrectly from poor daily ergonomics (e.g. poor posture, staying in prolonged positions, etc.), previous trauma, other musculoskeletal related causes, or just from life happening. The initial incorrectly moving part either moves too much or too little. Depending on what the original movement dysfunction was, the areas surrounding the portion of the foot that are moving too little or too much will eventually compensate to allow more movement or to create more stability. Muscles and fascia will likely begin to tighten; bones will likely become misaligned. Consequently, joints will become too rigid or too lax, and you will likely feel pain and other irritating symptoms. As the movement compensations in the foot occur, effects can begin to move up, affecting movement of the lower leg, knee, upper leg, hip, and/or even back. So what can you do?

One of the best approaches to help avoid the catastrophic effects that can develop from foot pain is to be proactive about the situation. To help yourself be proactive, you should be aware, paying attention to your body, and seek a trained professional to help diagnose the root of your symptoms before they become worse. A quality professional will ask enough questions to help determine the exact dysfunction in order to create a plan that helps your symptoms and helps prevent dysfunction from occurring in the future. These questions will range from: where are the symptoms, what aggravates them, do you have any history of ankle sprains or other injuries, and many more. If the symptoms lead back to the toes, feet, and/or ankles, as the origin of dysfunction, a trained professional may utilize joint mobilization, soft tissue work, and/or corrective functional rehabilitation exercises to help you return to more normal functional movements and have a reduction of symptoms.

Focusing on prevention is the key to successful rehabilitation from injury. If you’ve had toe, foot, ankle, knee, leg, hip, or low back pain, let us help you get back to living pain free, decrease your propensity for injury, and return to what you need or love to do. Ask us how we can help you!

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Steve Rumboc, D.C.

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