Your feet have a tough job to do every day. With the help of your core, your feet are responsible for keeping you upright and allowing you to move from one point to another. Depending on the amount and type of physical activity you participate in, your feet may have a wide range of stress exerted on them frequently. This could cause many potential issues to develop, and these issues may not always manifest themselves within the feet. Your feet help to form the foundation of your body and by properly supporting your feet, you can help to better support your overall body.
Your feet contain 25% of all the bones in your body, have over 60 joints, and contain 200 muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Not only that, but with each step a force of approximately five times your body weight is exerted on these structures. Problems arise when this force is not absorbed or redistributed properly and can manifest in other parts of the body.
Most commonly, problems that are rooted in the feet manifest themselves in the lower back. Specifically, improper footwear and hyper-pronation are two main causes of lower back pain. Although some inward turning is normal, hyper-pronation refers to the excessive inward turning of the leg when walking. Hyper-pronation can affect the knees, hips, and lower back posture. The reverse of this condition, hyper-supination, is when the legs rotate excessively outward, and can also cause issues in the knees, hips, and lower back.
One way to support your feet is to find the right shoe. Some modern shoes can be too constrictive or provide too much support, which can cause issues. Shoes that are overly supportive don’t allow the foot muscles to provide support to the foot and eventually these muscles will weaken and cause other problems. Although shoes are beneficial and essential for protection from hard objects, temperature, and hard walking surfaces, finding the right shoe is key to supporting your feet.
To find the right shoe, you will want to look for four main components. The first thing to look for is a flat shoe with no heel or lift. This will ensure your foot is not being constantly angled, which could aggravate it. The next component to look for is a wide toe box that has ample room for your toes to spread out with each step when you step down. You also want to look for a flexible bottom that enables your toes to bend to a full ninety degrees of flexion when you step. Finally, you need to find something to attach it to your ankle area (aka: no flip flops).
Overall, properly supporting your feet is an important way to provide support to your entire body and reduce the likelihood of developing lower back pain. To find out more about how to support your body by supporting your feet, schedule a consultation with Dr. Dempsey today at Waco Chiropractic.