How The Alignment of Our Feet Can Affect The Rest of Our Body:

Updated: Jun 9


In a weight bearing position such as standing or walking, your feet function to provide a stable base of support for the rest of your body. Dysfunction in your foot or ankle can make it difficult for you to bear weight efficiently and may be the cause of pain, discomfort, limitations, and dysfunction in other areas of your body as well.


Additionally, if you are recovering from an acute injury of your foot or ankle. Post injury, you may be wearing a boot or cast which can throw off your posture and your gait pattern (the way you walk). This can cause compensations throughout the rest of your body.


Physical Therapy can help to:


🦶 Correct your postural alignment

🦶 Improve your gait pattern to prevent injury from occurring

🦶 Decrease overall healing time

🦶 Restore your function

🦶 Avoid further local issues

🦶 Avoid issues elsewhere throughout your body.

Some foot/ankle conditions we can help with (but not limited to) include:


🦶 Plantar Fasciitis

🦶 Achilles Tendonitis

🦶 Ligamentous sprains

🦶 Muscle strains

🦶 Tendinitis/Tendinopathy

🦶 Stress fractures

🦶 Collapsed arches

🦶 Non-specific foot pain

🦶 Post-surgical recovery/rehabilitation

🦶 Arthritis of the foot and ankle

🦶 Sports injuries

🦶 Balance and mobility issues


What may cause us to experience an injury to our foot or ankle?


*Sports injury

*Trauma

*Overuse

*Postural misalignments/asymmetries

*Gait Abnormalities


How can our posture or gait pattern (the way we walk) lead to injury?


As we stand or walk, our body adjusts in whichever way it can to make contact with the ground. This may cause overpronation on one or both of our feet which may lead to a collapsed or fallen arch. When this occurs, the rest of our joints from our knees all the way up to our head end up adjusting as well. In addition to the impact this postural adjustment has on our joints, it also impacts our cartilage, tendons, muscles, and neuromuscular system.



What can occur at each joint and nearby soft tissue as our body adjusts to contact the ground

in order for us to stand and walk?

Foot

*Overpronation or inversion

*Pressure on the big toe

*Plantar Fasciitis

*Tired/fatigued arches

*Stress fractures

*Neuromas


Ankle

*Overpronation/inversion *Pressure on the inside of the ankle joint *Instability and weakness *Nerve irritation and compression *Achilles Tendonitis *Posterior Tibial weakness *Anterior Tibialis Overuse, "Shin Splints"

Knee

*A "knock kneed" or valgus alignment *Pressure and break down on the inside of our knees *Iliotibial Band (ITB) tightness *Breakdown of the medial meniscus *Overstretched Medial Collateral Ligament *Stress on the collateral ligaments, ACL and PCL.

Hip

*Adduction/internal rotation *Nerve compression *Stress on the labrum *Hamstring shortening/tension

Pelvis

*Rotation, pelvic drop, anterior tilt *Sciatica *Piriformis Syndrome *Weak pelvic floor muscles

Lumbar Spine

*Increased lumbar lordosis *Nerve root compression *Disc degeneration *Weak abdominal muscles

Thoracic Spine

*Scoliosis *Kyphosis​ *Nerve root compression *Rib flaring *Surrounding muscular weakness including *Back Extensors, Rhomboids, Latissimus Dorsi *Tight pectoralis muscles *Forward/rounded shoulders *Scapular winging *Tightness of the anterior chest wall muscles may make it more difficult to breathe

Cervical Spine

*Increased cervical lordosis​ *Anterior translation of your head *Tight upper trapezius muscles *Tight neck flexors *Overstretched/weakened neck extensors *Headaches/migraines *Nerve root compression *May cause temporary visual disturbances


When Musculoskeletal imbalances occur throughout your body due to postural asymmetries or misalignment, it is important to address these imbalances to prevent injury from occurring.


How can Physical Therapy help me?


*Through Neuro-muscular re-education and therapeutic exercise we can re-train, activate, and strengthen your lengthened/weak muscles.

*Through flexibility training and active and passive stretching we can lengthen your overactive and tight muscles.

*Through manual therapy, we can increase mobility of your hypomobile joints and help to relax your hypertonic soft tissue.

*Through re-education and training, we can activate your postural control muscles

*Through balance and gait training, we can increase your single limb stance time and improve your gait pattern.


Call F.I.T. PT, (561) 501-1983, to find out how our In-Home Physical Therapy can help you!


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