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Improving Your Musculoskeletal Health... Starting With Your Feet

Feet & Posture

The Connection Between
Your Feet and Posture

The connection between feet and posture does not receive major emphasis in medical education. Generally, the impact of the foot foundation continues to be overlooked. Here is a very brief review:

You are probably familiar with the term pronation, but maybe you were not aware, that just like there are two kinds of cholesterol, there are two kinds of pronation. Normal (good) pronation is purposefully directed from the hips to unlock the feet in preparation for the heel striking the ground during gait. It enables the foot to cushion itself on impact.

Hyper pronation or Overpronation (bad) has its origin in the skeletal structure of the feet. It causes the longitudinal arch to collapse and ankle to roll inward, when the foot becomes weight bearing.

When the arch collapses it sets of a cascade of postural and mechanical changes that drive distortions all the way up to the head and jaw. With just a few exceptions, the medical professions from podiatrists to general practitioners either ignore this or are unfamiliar with this problem in spite of its simplicity and ease of correction. Some even take advantage of their patients by selling expensive custom appliances that do not address the problem effectively.

Overpronation causes the ankle to roll inward and forward leading to a functional shortening of the leg. Because one foot typically hyper pronates more than the other, the innominate on the short leg side will to be pulled forward and down more than the other, causing an unleveled pelvis. As these displacements cascade up the axial framework, scoliotic and kyphotic curves are exaggerated. The thoracic cage usually twists, one hip will look low while the shoulder on the same side will appear high. Both shoulders will protract, the head drifts forward into a head forward posture causing the jaw to retract.

We refer to this gravity induced collapse as bio-implosion, and the health consequences are significant. These changes also result in an anterior shift in the body's center of gravity which causes an increased load on the forefoot and increased muscular activity to maintain balance and stability.

Simply stated, the feet can be compared to the foundation under a building. If the foundation sags, so does the building. A forward leaning, head forward posture is common among 80% of your patients. People are and look off balance. Maximal stresses are placed on the body just from standing and walking. Over time damage is done to joints, ligaments and muscles.

Nothing seems more logical to maintaining good health than maintaining good posture. Good posture is the logical foundation for any therapy. Checking a patient's feet and recommending ProKinetics® Insoles is done in just a few minutes.

Over 80% of the population has Morton's or elevated first metatarsal. You and your loved ones probably do too.