Foot pain is often caused by the fascia on the bottom of the foot. This is usually caused by pronation of the ankle or flat feet, it means the arches have fallen. Flat feet are less shock-absorbent and make for a less stable “base” for everything above: bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons throughout the body. Pronation of the ankle is a drop in the arch when weight is added to it. Many people think there arch is fine because they don’t have “flat” feet. When they look at there foot there is an arch however, when they add weight to the arch it drops. This causes the pronation of the ankle.
Feet are the body’s foundation. Flat feet and plantar fasciitis can cause serious problems all the way up the Kinetic Chain. Because pronation shifts the body out of its natural alignment, patients may experience aches and pains in the feet, knees, hips, neck and/or spine. Pronation of the ankle can also lead to injury and problems like shin splints, Achilles tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis. Women with flat feet are 50% more likely than those without to have low back pain.1
Biomechanical problems also exist when one arch is lower than the other, creating asymmetry. The pelvis may drop slightly as the leg’s support structure—the foot—drops. The body may lean slightly to the side. The muscles and tendons must work harder, yet less efficiently, to “make up” for the imbalance.
Up to 1/3of people may suffer from flat feet or a loss of arch.2
Causes of Flat Feet or Pronation
The connective tissue or plantar fascia on the underside of the foot is critical to maintaining the foot’s healthy arched shape. Injury and certain health conditions can cause the fascia to stretch out and flatten, but so can every day, ongoing stressors like walking and standing. In fact, repetitive, low impact force over time can be just as devastating as a sudden, high impact force, like an injury—meaning every patient is at risk for flattened feet. Once the fascia stretches out, it is unable to “spring back.” With the foot structure flattened, the body’s very foundation is in trouble.
- Extremity adjusting to endure proper positioning of bones and joints.
- Wear functional orthotics in every pair of shoes; these provide support and comfort for flat feet, while helping to control excessive pronation.
- Cold Laser Therapy is very effective at resolving plantar fascitis
- Functional orthotics also helps to lift and position the foot to create healthy arches.
- Menz, H.B., Dufour, A.B, Riskowski, J.L, Hillstrom, H.J. and Hannan, M.T. Foot posture, foot function and low back pain: the Framingham Foot Study, Rheumatology, 2013 Dec; 52(12): 2275-82.
- Franco, Abby Herzog (1987). Pes Cavus and Pes Planus Analyses and Treatment. Physical Therapy 67 (5): 688–694.
- Currie, S. The Flat Foot–A Closer Look. 2011. In: American Journal of Clinical Chiropractic. Available online: http://www.chiropractic-biophysics.com/clinical_chiropractic/2011/2/11/the-flat-foot-a-closer-look.html.