My Chiropractor Wants to See My Feet. …(Wait — What?)

You’ve finally made an appointment to see your Chiropractor. Perhaps it’s low back pain that brings you in, or bouts of throbbing headaches and you’re tired of popping pills. Or maybe you’re a runner who’s training for a big event and you’re hoping your Doctor can help you stay in tip-top shape to avoid injury. All of these are great reasons to see a Chiropractor, and some of the most common.

Appointment day arrives and the Doctor begins her exam. Suddenly, she’s asking to see the bottoms of your shoes (wait—what?) and then tells you to remove your shoes and socks completely. She leads a now-barefooted you over to what she calls a “3D digital foot scanner.” You’re instructed to “step right up.”scan

At this point you may be wondering: What in the world do my feet have to do with anything? Or, Did I take a wrong turn and end up at the podiatrist’s office?

As it turns out, feet have to do with a lot and there’s good reason for your Chiropractor to be interested in them. Chiropractors are trained to look at a patient’s entire body structure, and the foundation of that structure is the feet. Think of your body as a building. The way the building is put together is important, because it determines how it will hold up to stress and age. The foundation is especially important, because everything sits on top of it. When there are cracks in the walls or ceiling – in the analogy, that’s the low back pain or headaches that prompted you to call the Doctor in the first place – problems in the foundation may be to blame.

imBalance_biomanYour feet may feel just fine, but that doesn’t mean they’re not causing trouble up above. Foot imbalance or dysfunction can have ripple effects, transferring problems (and pain) to the legs, knees, hips, spine, shoulders, even skull. (The 3D foot scan helps your Doctor detect otherwise “silent” problems with the feet; so does examining the wear patterns on your shoes). We’ll talk more about foot imbalances in future posts, but in the meantime, when your Chiropractor asks to look at your feet, don’t hesitate. Good health starts from the ground up!

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And Now, A Word from Our Doctors…

We received this great message from Dr. Amy Olson in Birmingham, Michigan about her marathon-running patient!

“One of my most memorable patients, an avid runner, suffered from knee and shin pain when I first saw her. The runner was forced to abandon her goals of marathon events but one day said, ‘Forget this!,’ and made an appointment to see me, determined to run in the 2010 Chicago marathon.

She suffered from two very common problems: pelvic torsion, causing a leg-length discrepancy, and the inability to maintain the arches of her feet in a weight-bearing position. Both of these conditions are extremely common and can lead to problems such as: plantar fasciitis, shin splints, patellar tracking dysfunction (knee pain), low back pain, upper back pain, neck pain, and even headaches. For a runner these problems can become magnified due to the extreme stress on the joints of the spine, legs and feet.

I began my patient on a treatment plan of chiropractic adjustments targeting the spine and feet, stretching, massage therapy, and Foot Levelers functional orthotics. Once the pain was under control, my patient continued to see me once per week for the months leading up to the marathon. On the big day, my patient finished the marathon without a hitch.”

Thanks Dr. Amy! We’re glad we could help.

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