Posts for: January, 2015
Your feet are the foundation of your entire body—complex structures consisting of 26 bones, 33 joints and 126 muscles and ligaments. They support your weight, act as a shock absorber, serve as a lever to propel the leg forward and help maintain balance.
Since your entire body is interrelated, any mechanical issues with the feet can lead to chronic musculoskeletal problems in other parts of the body, including your back.
One common foot disorder affecting the back is excessive pronation. Also known as flat feet, this condition causes the foot’s arch to flatten and collapse under the body’s weight. While a normal arch promotes stability and alignment of the entire body, the ability to cushion and absorb forces is greatly reduced when the arch is collapsed. As a result, increased stress is placed on the joints of the body. This continued stress can cause deformities of the foot over time, such as misaligned bones, hammertoes and bunions, eventually making its way to the legs, knees and lower back.
If you suffer from chronic back pain, visit Ankle & Foot Clinic of Everett for an evaluation. Your feet may be the source of your pain. If your back pain is caused by poor biomechanics of the feet, orthotics may be an effective treatment option. These custom devices are designed to support and restore the arch of your foot. Restoring the normal alignment of the foot helps normalize the posture and alignment of the lower body. This can reduce unnecessary stress to areas of your back.
The shoes you are wearing may also be contributing to your back pain. Good, proper fitting footwear will provide your feet with the support they need to stabilize your body’s weight and relieve the stress on the rest of your body.
If you suffer from back pain, visit your Everett podiatrist for an evaluation. Your feet may be causing your pain. With proper treatment, you can achieve proper foot biomechanics and eliminate your back pain once and for all.
Following an ankle injury, such as a sprain or in more serious cases, ankle surgery, you will inevitably lose some strength and range of motion after being immobilized for an extended period of time. A weak ankle can hinder normal mobility and eventually lead to another injury.
Your ankle or leg may feel stiff, especially if treatment required wearing a cast or a walking boot. Stiffness and instability are common symptoms following an ankle injury that will need to be addressed in order to get you back to your normal range of motion and activity level.
Your Everett podiatrist may recommend post-injury physical therapy or home exercises that will help you strengthen weak muscles surrounding the ankle joint and restore mobility to lower your risk of re-injury. These series of stretches and exercises include range of motion exercises for the injured ankle and stretching exercises for the calf muscles.
Range of motion exercises help loosen stiff ankles while helping you regain any motion that was lost during the healing process. It’s also important to keep your muscles flexible by stretching, especially prior to any workout or physical activity to decrease the risk of re-injury. As with all exercises, progress slowly and discontinue if painful.
The shoes you wear will also play an important role in protecting your injured ankle and restoring your mobility. Supportive shoes will provide more comfort, better balance and help stabilize the weak ankle to prevent re-injury.
Proper care and rehabilitation following an ankle injury is critical to ensure your ankle fully heals. Always consult our Everett, WA office if ankle pain or stiffness persists or worsens, and before starting any new exercise program.