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Understanding the Foot-Spine connection

Updated: Feb 5, 2022

Let's review the important role of optimal foot function and how it correlates to overall biomechanics and related kinetic chains. According to some research, most people will have some degree of pronation in one or both of their feet. Pronation refers to the way the foot rolls inward and supination refers to the way the foot rolls outwards. In excessive pronation and excessive supination, the forces on the medial ankle, medial knee, hip, sacroiliac joint, and lower back are much greater. It has been estimated that 99% of people will have mild to moderate pronation and 77% will have moderate to severe pronation.

When the feet overpronate, the medial rotational forces on the ankle, tibia, and femur become the predominant biomechanical pattern. The eventually wears down and causes injuries from the feet up to the head. Symptoms may include foot pain, knee pain, hip pain, back pain, neck pain, and even jaw issues.

Do you know how many bones make up the foot? Each foot is made up of 26 bones, 30 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments, all of which work together to provide support, balance, and mobility. We offer a variety of chiropractic techniques that help reduce abnormal stress on joints, alleviate associated symptoms, and improve optimal biomechanics. These include chiropractic adjustments to the spine and extremities, Graston Technique, Active Release Technique, Acupuncture, Acupressure, Massage Therapy, and Kinesiotaping.

Nearly one-fourth of the body's bones are in our feet. The bones of the feet are:

Talus – the bone on top of the foot that forms a joint with the two bones of the lower leg, the tibia, and fibula.

Calcaneus – the largest bone of the foot, which lies beneath the talus to form the heel bone.

Tarsals – 5 irregularly shaped bones of the midfoot that form the foot's arch. The tarsal bones are the cuboid, navicular and medial, intermediate, and lateral cuneiforms.

Metatarsals – five bones (labeled one through five, starting with the big toe) that make up the forefoot.

Phalanges (singular: phalanx) – the 14 bones that make up the toes. The big toe consists of two phalanges – the distal and the proximal. The other toes have three.

Sesamoids – two small, pea-shaped bones that lie beneath the head of the first metatarsal in the ball of the foot.

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