Tuesday, May 3, 2011

One Key to Perfect Posture

So my topic for this month's Blog Talk at the clinic (on Wednesday the 18th at 6pm) is "The Power of Perfect Posture".  And I thought it would be the ideal time to talk about a much overlooked and essential anatomical feature that has a great deal to do with our posture.  Our feet.

Even though our society as a whole is getting more and more sedentary, we still spend a great deal of time on our feet.  And, our feet play a very vital role in our posture.  I especially think this is an appropriate topic given the fact that it is now flip-flop season in much of the country.  First, a little anatomy.

Did you know that there are not one, not two, but actually three arches in your feet?  It's true.  We not only have the main arch along the inside of the foot, but also one along the outside, and one along the ball of the foot. 
The bad part is that most shoes do NOT provide support of any kind to the former two arches.  Some are very good at giving ample inside arch support but there are few flip-flops that do so.

Since we typically do not get enough support for our multiple arches, most people will have decreased or even collapsed arches.  When this happens, we typically get pronated feet.  It basically means that your flat feet cause your foot to lean toward the middle of your gait.  When this happens, it can have other ramifications.

Anytime that you are on your feet, your body's weight is being supported by your feet and the arches in your feet, or at least the arches that should be there.  So if your feet are pronated, for example, it can put more stress on your ankles, knees, hips, and spine all the way up to the base of your skull.  It's a lot like a building.  It could be perfectly level in the beginning but then ground settling and changes in the earth may cause the building to sit crookedly and over time, even the smallest beams can become warped and cracked.  Therefore, if the base of your body is out of alignment, your spine is more susceptible to imbalances such as subluxations.

So, the moral of the story is, if you have chronic knee, hip, low back, or even neck pain and nothing seems to be helping, it's worth getting your feet looked at.  Because a sturdy foundation can only be good for the weight it supports.

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