How Foot Biomechanics Can Hurt the Rest of You
Your body has a marvelous but unpleasant way of telling you something has gone wrong. If you clench your teeth while you sleep, you may end up with jaw pain. If you squint and stare at small print on a computer screen, you’ll likely have tired, achy eyes, and headaches. If the biomechanics of your feet don’t allow you to move in the most efficient and natural way, you could end up with foot discomfort. Understanding how your feet move can help you see why you have pain.
Studying Foot Function
Although you may hear people say things like “my brother walks just like Grandpa,” each person’s gait is slightly different based on their physical makeup and learned habits, as well as culture and environment. Walking barefoot in Kenya develops a different gait and style than walking on New York City pavements in shoes all your life. Which part of your foot strikes first? Do your feet tilt to the inside or outside as you take a step? Is your arch rigid, or does it stretch and flatten to help absorb your foot strike?
When the bones don’t line up and move past each other properly, your steps are less efficient, for one thing. For another, improper joint movement can stretch and irritate the tissues around the bones, causing symptoms like aching, tiredness, weakness, and injuries. It can also lead to deformities like bunions, skin problems like calluses or blisters, and even nail problems such as ingrown or black toenails.
Consequences Beyond Your Feet
The way your foot strikes has a big impact on how the force of your steps is absorbed. There is a great debate about what is the safest way to run—heel strike or on your toes? Wearing shoes or barefoot? What is not debatable is how your foot functions with each type of gait.
When you land on your heel, the force is immediate on that bone and the ones above it, because your arch doesn’t come into play as quickly. When you land on your forefoot, your arch is involved almost immediately, and it flexes and spreads your weight over more of your foot as the heel lowers. The trauma of the strike is absorbed by the stretching out of the arch.
With the side to side motion (pronation) of your foot, you add another layer of complexity to your foot biomechanics. Feet that roll in or out too far can develop plantar fasciitis and heel pain; in addition, those that roll outward can also develop shin splints, stress fractures, and ankle sprains.
Any problem with your feet can affect the rest of your joints above it, leading to ankle, knee, hip and back pain, even up into your neck.
Finding Help for Sore Feet
You can trust the experts at Aadvanced Foot Care Associates to do a thorough and exact analysis of your foot biomechanics to see exactly what is going on with your sore feet. Then we can pursue proper treatment, which may be something as simple as recommending the proper shoe types for your feet, or as complicated as surgical repair of injured bones and soft tissues. Custom orthotics have proven to be a common and effective treatment for many problems. We can design a pair that fits your feet and your particular challenges exactly. Give us a call at one of our New York locations below, or schedule an appointment online and give your feet a break from pain.
- Rego Park: (718) 896-4433
- Plainview: (516) 822-9595
- Flushing: (718) 969-2266