Foot injuries and ankle problems are very common… and very painful. What can a chiropractor do to help? What can you do to help yourself? Here are some facts and tips, courtesy of the Virginia Chiropractic Association.
There are 26 major bones in each foot. The bones are held together by ligaments and moved and controlled by tendons that attach muscles to other bones of the foot, ankle, and leg. Sensation (feeling) and movement are controlled by nerves that originate in the lower back (L4, L5, and S1 nerve roots), travel down the sciatic trunk, and become the tibial and common peroneal nerves before branching into local motor and sensory nerves. A rich blood supply feeds all of these tissues.
When you stand, walk, run, or jump, the foot adapts to control the movement and absorb shock. Walking requires adaptation to body weight, and running or jumping requires adaptation to somewhere between 2.51 and 4.62 times body weight. Poor adaptation to those forces can lead to anything from an evening of achy feet, to more serious conditions like plantar fascitis (inflammation of the tissues under the foot), stress fractures in the foot and ankle… even knee and back pain. What happens in the foot translates upwards via the “kinetic chain” — in other words, if your feet hit the ground lightly and with good control, then your knees, hips, and spine will have a gentler “ride.” On the contrary, poor foot and ankle mechanics — or overwhelmed or arthritic feet and ankles — will fail to soften impact, allowing it to transfer jarringly upwards. Read more