Often overlooked in rehabilitating from injuries or preventing injuries is the foot and its mechanics and the effects on the entire body as a kinetic chain. When the foot hits the ground it is designed to collapse, lets call this pronation. Pronation is the bodies natural shock absorber. Often pronation gets a bad reputation because everybody has a unique arch type and some people who are overpronaters can suffer from many injuries. However pronation is an important and necessary motion and just the right amount is the key. Lets talk a bit about how pronation effects the entire body.
When the foot hits the ground it should pronate and in turn pronation causes the arch to collapse which then drives the entire leg into internal rotation. This internal rotation is the key to unlock muscle activation all the way up to the hip. This muscle activation is designed to control the internal rotation and thus absorb the forces of the body slamming into the ground (3-5 times body weight). Without pronation force transmission is increased throughout the entire body including the spine. On one hand with to much pronation the internal rotation is increased in the lower leg and muscles can become overused or overstress and inflammed and with to little pronation muscles in the lower leg can become tight and short thus creating problems in other areas of the body mainly the lower back and shoulder.
The point here is when a patient walks into the door with lower back pain, hip pain, knee pain, even shoulder pain it is always beneficial to look at what is going on in their feet. I always say its the chicken or the egg debate when it comes to the foot dysfunctions and other regions of the body being dysfunctional. It's more times that not a foot problem.
Andrew Gorecki, DPT
For more information regarding foot dysfunctions please contact us @ 231.944.6541