Doc's Blog

What’s Shoe Got to Do With It?

No, this is not a typo for 'what's she got to do with it.' We are answering the question of "how can the way you wear out your shoes have anything to do with your spine?"

The answer is that because everything in the body is connected, a problem in one part can be caused by a problem in another part. Problems with your foot can very easily cause a domino effect that extends all the way up your spine. Because feet are your body’s foundation, when you have a functioning foot problem your entire body shifts out of alignment. Your body will work harder and more improperly if your joints aren't moving the way they are intended to move.

The amount of force that comes from your foot daily hitting concrete and other hard surfaces travels up your leg resulting in serious, chronic back pain. Shoes wearing out differently could be one of the first signs your body is out of alignment and needs a chiropractic spinal manipulation before the problem becomes a chronic issue.

There are two types of conditions that can be identified by the wear of your shoe. The first is when your foot rolls inward to the big-toe-side producing an over-pronating gait - Pronation. The second is when your foot rolls outward toward the little toe producing an under-pronating gait - Supination.

In Overpronation, your foot rolls inward. This causes your tibia to rotate and put pressure on your medial knee joint. If your femur becomes rotated (as often it does), you will experience hip pain. This pain occurs because your pelvis has dropped on the problem side and is putting torque on your lower back causing your sacroiliac to become inflamed. Next, your lumbar spine will pull harder to one side because the muscles attached to your hip are also attached to both the discs and the vertebrae in the area. This can continue up to your spine and shoulders. Oversupination occurs when you are coming off your toe during your gait cycle. When this motion is causing excessive pressure, it strains the tendons and muscles which should be providing stabilization to your ankles. This will cause your ankle to roll which will result in a sprain, torn ligament or even a ligament rupture.

In my chiropractic practice, I can help with foot dysfunction because I don't treat symptoms - I look at the body as a whole. First, I adjust the spine. After that is done, I assess the type of shoes you are wearing. For example, high-heels, flip-flops, and sandals are notorious for causing more stress on your feet. Next, I adjust the motion in your feet, if necessary. Depending upon the severity of the problem, you may need a customized, functional orthotic to realign your feet and ankles and restore your foot function. Our orthotics will help your knee, hip, and back pain by correctly aligning your foot. The orthotics will evenly distribute the force going through your ankle, knee hip and back. At Livingston Chiropractic, I never just treat your symptoms. I always get to the root cause of your problem and fix it. So, without putting any wear on your shoes, unlock your cell phone and call Dr. J at 440-528-0005.