“The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.” – Leonardo da Vinci
Our feet are indeed amazing structures.
Composed of 26 bones, the foot and ankle make up a complex mechanical structure that includes 33 joints and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. In addition, there are approximately 8,000 nerves in the feet, which is a greater number per square centimeter than any place else on the human body.
Feet also experience the greatest amount of impact with physical surfaces.
Aside from those individuals who lead exceptionally sedentary lifestyles, most humans take anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 steps each day. This is more than 100,000 miles of bipedal locomotion that human feet are subjected to in an average lifespan!
Healthy feet and a proper gait can cause one to take them for granted. But when our feet hurt or we begin to suffer from chronic foot pain, it can impact our well-being in several ways.
The Interconnectedness of Compensatory Pain
“For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost…” Benjamin Franklin
While the feet may seem relatively insignificant and utilitarian parts of the human body, their health and proper functioning is interrelated to the whole of our body’s structure.
As one podiatrist has noted,
“Problems with your feet can affect your entire body, from your legs to your back, your neck, and even your shoulders. The entire human body is connected, which is why one affliction can easily affect a seemingly unrelated part of the body.”
A common scenario, for example, involves issues with your feet that lead to chronic pain in your knees, hips, and back. This can happen when minor misalignments of the bones and other structures in the foot alter your gait, or how you walk, which changes how your lower extremities bear your weight as you move.
Another common issue is pain from Plantar Fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis will cause you to walk with an altered gait pattern. View our videos below to learn more Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendinitis.
This can result in an abnormal distribution of weight, eventually causing knee pain. Oftentimes, the knee pain will occur in the opposite leg from the one with the Achilles tendon pain. This can happen as the other leg compensates by taking more of your body weight to avoid the pain.
The bottom line for most of us is, if we have any type of foot pain, we may hobble, walk on our tip-toes, or the outside of our foot. And these compensated walking patterns, or dysfunctional gaits, can cause pain and tightness in other areas of our bodies, most commonly the calf muscles, knees, hips and even our lower back.
Feet are the Foundation of the Body Structure and Often the Root of Body Pain
There are, of course, several reasons we experience body pain and chronic muscle pain. But the majority of pain issues, especially in the back, hips, knees and ankles, can often be directly linked back to foot pain issues or a dysfunctional gait.
The good news is that, with the proper techniques and therapies, the primary issues in the feet can be addressed, which often leads to the elimination of pain in these other areas of the body.
At Pain and Performance Solutions of Santa Rosa, we have seen this transformation take place many times and are confident that your chronic pain issues flowing from foot pain can be properly treated and corrected.
With the use of Anatomy in Motion, or AiM, we can discover and identify the underlying issues related to your gait cycle. Anatomy in Motion, simply put, is a comprehensive gait analysis system and a targeted movement therapy to correct movement imbalances.
In short, by applying the principles of Anatomy in Motion, we can effectively address issues with posture, back and neck problems, foot and ankle issues, and walking or running pain.
As the AiM website notes,
“The intention of the AiM method is simple: to help you to bring your own body into alignment and create an environment in which the healing can begin.”
From Foot Pain to Neck Pain, You Can Find Relief at Pain and Performance Solutions
During your initial session at Pain and Performance Solution, we will work with you to learn all we can about your pain issues, along with any history of discomfort. We start here because in order to effectively treat your chronic pain issues, we must first understand where and how your pain started.
Once the verbal assessment and history are completed, we then conduct a full examination. Taken together, these steps allow us to determine the best form of treatment to help bring you to a place of full recovery.
As we noted earlier here, our bodies try to compensate for pain we experience by making subtle adjustments in movement to minimize or avoid the pain. However, as our bodies work to avoid that pain to compensate for our discomfort, the result is often pain in different areas of our bodies.
Finding chronic pain relief with therapies like Anatomy in Motion, or Aim, along with applying Active Release Techniques® can only begin after we understand where your pain started. That could mean it started previously with another injury you might have sustained.
Your trust in us and your honesty are keys to our success.
Ultimately, the only way to achieve total pain relief and recovery is by getting your body healthy and working properly. So, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and answer any questions that you may have.