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  • Writer's pictureDr. Amy

It's not a weird foot thing

Your friend said she went to the chiropractor, and he checked out her feet. Of course, she thinks she has the weirdest feet ever, but what was he looking for anyway?

My son runs cross country for his high school, and the season is in full swing. That's 25-30 miles of foot-pounding on pavement, grass, and gravel every week in addition to his normal walking. I'm adjusting his feet once every week or two.

The human foot has 26 bones and 33 joints. Like any joint in your body, these joints can become restricted. Whether it's the 2 miles that the average person walks every day, a rolled ankle on the stairs, or stubbing your toe on the bed, this mechanical marvel we call the foot can take a beating.

Almost 90% of Americans experience foot pain sometime in their lives, and foot problems are more common in women than men. It's easy to take foot health for granted, but think about how important your feet are to everyday life! Foot issues can increase risk of falls and lead to a decline in overall health, because people don't want to exercise when it hurts.

To be healthy and happy, feet NEED to move. Muscles need exercise to stay strong and supple; ligaments need to have tension alternately applied and removed; joints need to glide freely and rotate through their normal ranges of motion. One major contributor to poor foot health is our shoes. Many modern shoes have a narrow toe box, which prevents the normal movement of the forefoot during walking. Add a tightly laced upper that restricts fluid motion of the midfoot, and you've got a recipe for foot trouble.

Here are a few reasons your chiropractor might evaluate your feet.

  1. Abnormal angles of the ankle, knee, or hip joints

  2. Poor posture

  3. Unexplained pain in lower limb or low back

  4. Uneven shoe wear

And lastly, here are 5 ways you can support your foot health everyday.

  1. Don't put your babies in rigid shoes!!! When indoors, choose socks with non-slip bottoms if needed. When outside, use a soft, flexible foot cover to protect tender skin from scrapes. We used Robeez for our kiddos, but there are many options now.

  2. Choose shoes with a roomy toe box and a sole that flexes with little to moderate effort. It should bend easily in your hands rather than stay stiff or fold at a harsh angle.

  3. Exercise your toes. Practice spreading your toes apart and try picking up small items such as marbles or bouncy balls from the floor.

  4. Walk barefoot in the grass, dirt, or sand.

  5. Roll a tennis ball back & forth under your foot.

Questions? Leave a comment or reach out privately to Dr. Crowe.


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