The human body is an intricate machine and everything is connected so when something goes wrong in one area, it can cause problems in other areas. The back carries a lot of the stress in the body so when there is a problem with the hips, knees, or feet, the back can bear at least some of the brunt of the pain and other effects.
This is particularly true with foot problems. When the mechanics of the foot are off it can throw off the alignment of the entire body. Overpronation and oversupination in the foot can lead to serious and chronic back pain.
What is Pronation and Overpronation?
Pronation describes the way that the foot rolls inward during its normal motion. The foot rolls inward, flattening out, as the heel’s outer edge strikes the ground.
In order for the foot to function properly there must be a significant degree of pronation. However, excessive pronation, or over pronation, can cause injury and damage to the foot and ankle. It causes the arch in the foot to flatten and the ligaments, tendons, and muscles under the foot overstretch.
What is Supination and Oversupination
Supination describes the way the foot rolls outward during its normal motion. It occurs during the push off part of the gait, particularly when running, when the heel lifts. The heel leaves the ground and the motion carries through as weight is transferred to the forefront and toes. It moves the body in a forward direction.
When there is excessive supination, or oversupination, it strains the tendons and muscles that provide stabilization for the ankle. This can cause the ankle to roll, causing injury to the ankle including sprain, a torn tendon, or ligament rupture.
Conditions and Injuries Caused by Overpronation and Oversupination
Overpronation and oversupination can cause a variety of injuries and conditions that affect not only the feet and ankles, but also the knees, hips, and back as well. Some of the more common injuries and conditions include:
- Flat feet or posterior tibial tendon dysfunction
- Ankle sprains
- Achilles tendinitis
- Arch pain
- Plantar fasciitis
- Shin splints
- Heel pain
- Tight calves
- Knee pain
- Patellar tendonitis
- Hip pain
- Tight hip flexors
- Back pain
- Herniated disks
How Foot Problems can Cause Back Pain
Problems with the foot can very easily cause a domino effect that extends all the way to the back. The feet are the foundation of the body and when there is a problem with the way they function it can cause the entire body to shift out of alignment.
For instance, overpronation of the foot causes a series of internal changes that extend up through the leg. The femur may rotate causing hip pain and inflammation of the sacroiliac joint which leads to back pain. Other misalignments in the body that are caused by foot problems can also lead to chronic lower back pain as well.
Chiropractic to Treat Foot Problems
Chiropractic seeks to find the cause of the conditions it is used to treat, including pain, instead of just treating symptoms. Because of this, the chiropractor will work to find the cause of the pain, in this case overpronation and oversupination, and correct it – or the effects of the condition – in addition to treating the pack pain.
Typically, overpronation and oversupination are caused by muscle imbalances in the foot, ankle, and lower leg. This can be caused by improper shoes, misalignment in the body, and other issues. The chiropractor will work with the patient to find the cause of the foot problem so that can be corrected, then work to correct the damage or injury that has been done.