GET IT STRAIGHT. THE FOOT-BODY ALIGNMENT.
According to ACC Statistics NZ in 2018, Injuries from falling represent a whopping 39% of all ACC claims and cost new Zealanders $1.1 billion. The risk factors considered to have a high association with falls, which are also modifiable, include age, limitations in mobility, impaired balance and walking patterns (gait), reduced muscle strength and poor reaction times.
Of course, Age, is the biggest risk. As the human body gets older, proprioception and muscle strength weaken, and reflexes in reaction to sudden changes decline due to the physiological effects of aging. These affect the body’s ability to balance and increase the likelihood of an injury from a fall but there are also the structural misalignments that some of us are born with, such as those with flat feet or scoliosis that can cause us to fall no matter what age we are.
What is the foot-body connection? And how does it affect our balance and alignment?
Your feet are your foundation. If the foundation of your home has a crack in it, the entire structural integrity of the building is compromised. This is likewise true with your body. If your feet are unsupported this can make your whole body unbalanced and increase your risk of injury.
Misalignment can start small; you may not even notice that it has occurred.
Footwear: Plays two important roles –
1- When balancing the lower limb on the ground
2- Stabilising the foot within the shoe. Not only does footwear help protect your foot and lower limb from the external environment but it balances the whole body on the ground (which is not always a steady environment).
Overpronation: The foot in the image (on the left above) is over pronated rolling too far inward. Some pronation is normal but when it is excessive it can cause any number of issues affecting the body.
From Foot Pronation to a Twisted Knee: To support the weight now being put on the inside of the foot, the knee starts to turn inward, creating excessive torque and strain on the knee structures.
Twisted Knee to Rotated pelvis: To try to keep the knee from twisting, the pelvis follows the knee, rotating inward and pulling the lower back with it. The lower back is connected to the spine which then twists unnaturally taking the shoulders and neck and jawbone with it.
Phew, that is a lot of twisting where there should not be any. The image shows just how big of an impact the misalignment of one part of the body can have on the rest of the body. If you have pain in any of these areas, there is a high chance poor alignment could be the resulting factor.
Aubrey Podiatry runs The Alignment Clinic South Canterbury’s only clinic dedicated to the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of injuries to the lower limb and feet. Louise’s mission is not only to improve her patient’s injury but to improve their structural function as well. Louise also offers a range of orthotic friendly footwear that help support your arch during gait.
Louise would love to help - Get your body straight. Book online at www.aubreypodiatry.com or phone 03 688 9095.