Exam Room – Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Exam Room – Putting Your Best Foot Forward

With the weather in Texas finally improving and golf season now in full swing, we are starting to see more foot related issues here at the clinic. It is like clockwork for us, every spring we start to see sore feet due to overuse from golf to running and lots of sprained ankles. Many of the other issues we start to see this time of year, like low back pain and knee pain, are oftentimes caused by foot issues as well.

Ask any golf instructor, your grip is arguably the most important aspect and most basic fundamental when teaching golf. The grip is your only attachment to the club, which is your only contact with the golf ball. A poor grip can cause even a great golf swing to have adverse results. To us Chiropractors, your feet are like the golf grip of your body. They are your connection to the ground, your basic foundation. Every body part is influenced by the structure and the function of the feet. Many times we find that injuries in other places of the body are stemming from issues with the feet.

Plantar fasciitis and sprained ankles are the two most common foot injuries we see. Plantar fasciitis typically manifests as pain in the heel, especially when walking after sitting for periods of time and typically involves the worst pain first thing in the morning. Plantar fasciitis can be caused from many different things, the most common include improper footwear, improper pronation of the foot, and lack of big toe mobility. Any of these issues can cause pain in the foot as well as radiating into other areas of the body, as high as into the neck.

Sprained ankles are usually caused by an acute injury, like tripping or falling. But they almost always are amplified because of the footwear at the time of the injury. If there is any instability or weakness of the ankles, ill-fitting shoes are going to exacerbate the fall, resulting in a sprained ankle. This is why properly fitting shoes are extremely important, on the golf course, in the gym, and for regular walking. Our doctors at ChiroSport Specialists can help you to choose the best type of shoe for you to help stabilize and strengthen your ankles.

More often than not, without an acute injury to the ankle or intense pain in the foot, many people are either unaware or ignore foot issues and instead focus on pain in their low back, knees or hips. Without finding the root cause of the pain in your feet or elsewhere, often times it will be difficult to improve the pain you have elsewhere in your body.

The most common issues we see that often originate from the foot include:

Lower back pain

Knee pain on the inside of your knee

Knee pain on the outside of your knee, also called IT Band syndrome

Pain on the outside of the hip, in the muscle called your TFL

Neck pain

The easiest way to check to see if your feet are a problem is to check old shoes to see the wear pattern. Normal wear pattern is in the middle of the shoe, including the middle of the heel and the middle of the ball of the foot. Abnormal wearing of the heel or ball of the foot, either on the inside or outside of the sole of the shoe, indicates your feet may be a problem. This is especially true if one shoe is worn differently from the other.

There are so many different types of shoes, and getting fit for the correct shoe is extremely important. Just because they look good, does not mean they are the best shoe for your feet. You may need more support, or less, but your shoes will dictate how your feet work with the ground. Our doctors here at ChiroSport can help you decipher your wear patterns and help you decide which shoes you should be wearing to improve not only your feet, but the functionality of the rest of your body – starting from the ground up.

Our team is here to help you to improve your feet going forward with golf season this year. Active Release Therapy with our Doctors, and other soft tissue work can help to improve the mobility and stability of your feet and ankles. In addition, other tools we have available at the office include using cold laser therapy to break up scarring, fibrosis or scar tissue or using KT taping to support the arch for instance are just two of the ways we can aid in improving your foot health for the rest of the season.