I was recently working on patient who had come in because of a flare-up of low back pain. In the course of our treatments, she mentioned that she had quite a bit of foot pain throughout the course of her day. I checked out her feet and found that, sure enough, they were a bit pronated (flattened) with restrictions in the articulations of the foot bones. I started adjusting her feet as part of her routine visits. After a few visits, while I was working on her feet, she exclaimed, “I didn’t know feet weren’t supposed to hurt!” With just a few visits she had experienced complete relief of her foot pain. When I queried further, she said that up to that point she had simply thought it was normal that working on one’s feet all day resulted in chronic soreness. I told her that no pain is normal. Granted, sometimes even after treatment patients may still have some residual pain here and there. But generally pain is an indication that something is not working right.
Foot pain is a common complaint, especially among women, thanks to women’s fashionable shoes. High heels put an increase stress on the joint toward the forefoot. Also, pregnancy doesn’t help. The added weight plus the hormones that loosen the ligaments of the body in preparation for childbirth can flatten out the feet.
In general, the most common issue I see is simply the result of a lifetime of weight on the feet that begins to flatten and misalign the bones of the feet. In addition to adjusting the feet, it is often very helpful to prescribe orthotic arch supports that the patient can wear in their shoes. Often a pair of high quality over the counter support will be sufficient. But the best are custom made orthotics that we can order through the clinic. These orthotics are manufactured according to the exact specifications for a patient’s individual foot and needs.
A small group of people are born with arches that are congenitally too high. These are called supinated feet. This type of foot is often more problematic than pronated feet. But the idea is the same. By adjusting the feet to the normal alignment for that person and supporting the feet as needed, tremendous relief can be experienced.