The foot and ankle is a very complex structure and the body has designed it this way because it’s a very important one. With 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments there’s a lot of potential for things to go wrong and cause foot pain. Bones can misalign, soft tissue can get injured, joint mechanics can change, and I see this problems like this on a regular basis.
When things start going wrong with the feet and ankles a lot of people assume they immediately need to buy a new pair of expensive custom orthotics. While some people may need them, going to orthotics as the very first solution to foot pain is somewhat comparable to the person experiencing neck pain who runs out to buy a neck brace- there may be a less drastic solution.
The feet are a lot like the spine- there should be a natural curvature in them, and this is called the arch. Like the spine, when this curvature is gone problems often arise. One of the most common issues I find in the foot is that people who once had this arch have lost it and it becomes flattened- often by things like injuries, changes in how they walk, sudden changes in footwear, overuse from poor running mechanics, increases in body weight, decrease in foot strength and physical activity, and so on. In cases like this the bones that make up the foot have actually misaligned or dropped in the foot and need to be adjusted upwards back into alignment.
When the bones of the feet become misaligned a number of issues can arise- general pain in the foot and ankle, decreased range of motion, plantar fasciitis, pain in the achilles and calf, numbness in the foot, and can even cause issues upward into the knee, hip, pelvis, low back, and so on (discussed here). All of these issues are like alarm bells going off and should be telling you that there is a problem happening that should not be ignored!
In a similar way the bone that makes up the ankle joint (the talus bone) can also misalign (most commonly in a forward direction) and cause issues with the foot and ankle and this can be realigned as well. Sometimes scar tissue can form in ligaments surrounding the ankle from past injuries like sprains, and this too can be adjusted to help restore proper motion- even if issues have been around for years.
Logically, when the foot and ankle are in proper alignment and moving well, the foot and ankle should function the way it should. More and more problems can arise from compensating for an issue in the foot and ankle and chiropractic should be considered as a very effective option for bringing balance fluidity back to this very crucial part of your body. Contact Us to see how we can help!