Did you know that a big part of taking care of your body starts with your feet? Yep, it’s true! And, in our opinion, they are probably the most important skeletal structure of the body. They are the “unsung heroes” of physical fitness and mobility in general.
They are also the most used and abused part of your body. Your entire body rests on your feet every time you stand up to do anything. They are also the skeletal structure of the body with the most bones. Tiny bones. Bones that take on 3 to 4 times your body’s weight every time your foot hits the ground, and up to 10 times your body’s weight when running.
Unfortunately, our feet are typically forgotten in the grand scheme of keeping ourselves healthy. Why? Probably because most of us are simply unaware of their importance. We just stuff them in a shoe, go about our day and never really think about them, until they hurt.
But No More! It’s 2020 – Year of the Foot!
In honor of starting the new year out on the right foot (<--- see what we did there😉), we asked some of our top foot care professionals for the single most important piece of foot health advice that they believe everyone should know, and here’s what they said….
The #1 Piece of Foot Health Advice from Top Docs…
Don’t Ignore a Misaligned Foot.
Now we know what you’re thinking…”Huh!? That’s the #1-foot health tip!?! What on earth is a misaligned foot?” We had the saaaammme reaction.
So here’s what we learned – a misaligned foot occurs when the ankle bone slides forward and off of the heel bone. (I know, that’s hard to picture in your head, but bear with me…) This shift in the bone structure can actually be visibly seen in the form of a flat foot…and we all know someone with flat feet. In fact, a rough estimation is that up to 45% of the population has some degree of misalignment in one or (typically) both feet. And a good majority of that population ignores it, but according to top foot specialists, you could be ignoring a much bigger problem.
So how exactly does a foot become misaligned?
Over-pronation (nope I didn’t know what it meant either). Over-pronation is excessive ankle bone motion. Now you’re supposed to have some motion between the ankle and heel bones. Some motion, good motion, is called pronation. Pronation is what helps you walk and move seamlessly. But too much motion, over-pronation, can actually weaken the bones and joints in your foot—kinda like a loose screw can weaken a table leg. This is what causes your arch to collapse.
Now, what does a misalignment in your foot have to do with your entire body?
Once the bones become misaligned, it not only creates a misalignment in the foot, but a whole bunch of shifting and misalignment all the way up through the body. Your ligaments, tendons, muscles, and even nerves become damaged.
Analogy—Think of the foundation of your house.
If the foundation is off, your house will become unstable. At some point, cracks and structural issues will appear. And not necessarily at the foundation, but wherever the structure is weakest. You can fix the cracks, but they’ll just keep coming back. And each time they will get worse and worse because you are not addressing the root cause of the problem—the faulty foundation. Over time, the foundational issues become more severe and the structural problems become worse.
Your body works in a similar way—Your feet are your body’s foundation.
If your feet fall flat every time you take a step, your foundation is faulty. A flat foot cannot evenly support the weight of the body; eventually structural issues will occur. This can cause some pretty ugly side effects that are incredibly un-fun to deal with, which include a variety of ankle, knee, hip and back problems. Why is it a variety? Because just like in the house, “cracks” will appear wherever the structure is weakest. Every person is different and therefore, it can be hard to predict where a symptom will show up.
When is it time to visit a Doctor?
Well, if you’re here and you’re reading this, the time is probably now. Only a doctor can properly diagnose a foot misalignment and get you on your way to treatment. Click here to find a qualified doctor near you. Prevention, or early intervention, is always the preferred route.
Now I’m sure some of you reading this are thinking “I have flat feet and I don’t have any problems”. We asked the docs about that too. Some people have problems from day one; some people see problems later in life. Its just kind of the “luck of the draw”. However, according to the docs, the most common age bracket to start experiencing symptoms: 25-33 (Think about it…10,000 steps per day x 365 days of the year x let’s say 28 years…that’s a lot of steps. And if you’re taking them on a faulty foundation, it makes sense that you would start to notice some side effects.)
Anyway, that’s enough for today. We hope you found this information useful. To learn more about anything discussed here today, visit our webpage at Contact Us. We love getting mail!