To Your Health
June, 2007 (Vol. 01, Issue 06)
When a patient comes into a chiropractor's office, our philosophy of care focuses on how different parts of the body fit together as a whole. In other words, we don't just look at your knee if you come in with knee pain.
We don't just look at your neck when you have neck pain. Believe it or not, all of your body parts and systems function in harmony with one another. Pain in one area does not necessarily mean that the problem is located in the same place.
It is our responsibility not only to analyze the area of pain you are telling us about, but also to uncover and educate you on why other body parts may be causing that pain. It's all about whole-body care. You can walk into my office complaining of lower back pain, and it would be common sense to think that if your lower back hurts, the cause of that pain would be in your lower back. Sounds good, doesn't it? Well, there can be more to this story than meets the eye.
Sometimes, the source of the pain is, in fact, coming directly from your lower back. Often, however, the cause of the pain, or a large contributing factor to it, comes from your lower extremities and feet. Most people do not realize their feet have three springy arches that help support the weight of their entire bodies. Whether it's due to genetics, heavy weight-bearing activities or bad shoes, to name a few, these arches can fall down over time. This makes your feet unable to support the weight of the body correctly, causing them to start rolling inward. We call this overpronation, and it's a fairly common condition, especially for runners. You may be surprised to know that 80 percent of people are overpronators.
Once your feet begin rolling in and the arches continue to fall, it places stress on your inner ankles, inner knees, hips, lower back, and different bones and joints, all the way up to your head. Pain can result in any or all of these areas. Your chiropractor can adjust your feet and other affected joints, and can recommend treatments that help support all three arches of the foot.
So, to wrap up this example, analyzing your feet is an important part of whole-body wellness. As chiropractors, we want to keep our patients feeling great, but the adjustments are just a part of the entire health package. Diet, exercise, healthy work and life habits, proper shoes, and suggestions on pillows and beds also come into play. We can use many other tools, combined with spinal adjustments, to tailor a specific chiropractic treatment plan to meet your needs.
Kevin M. Wong, DC, a 1996 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic West in San Jose, Calif., practices full-time in Orinda, Calif. He is also an instructor for Foot Levelers, Inc.