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Feet Are a Crucial Link in Your Body’s Kinetic Chain

Your feet are essential in the structure and stability of your body. If they’re not aligned, you’re more likely to develop discomfort throughout your body. In fact, feet are one of the most important links in the kinetic chain.

What Is the Kinetic Chain?

A train can derail if just one train-car starts to shake on the tracks. Since each car is linked, any unusual motion in one area sets off a chain reaction that impacts the other cars in the link.

Your body works pretty much the same way. All body parts are part of a linked system called the kinetic chain. The links in the chain work together to provide support and stability and allow easy movement. An issue with one link in the chain can lead to issues that impact other areas.

Role of the Feet in the Kinetic Chain

Your feet serve three important roles:

  • Support Your Weight. Balanced arches distribute your weight evenly over the surface of your feet.
  • Keep Your Bones Properly Aligned. Feet serve as the foundation for your body. Without a balanced foundation, the bones in your ankles, legs, hips, and back may become misaligned.
  • Absorb Shock. Feet absorb shock when you walk or run. If there’s a problem with your feet, the other body parts in the chain must absorb more shock than they should, which can lead to pain and injuries.

An issue with your feet, such as flat-feet or dropped arches, can alter the alignment of the bones in your legs, hips, and back. Excessive pronation, a common foot problem that occurs when your feet rotates outward too much, may also be to blame for your aches and pain. Any foot issue may force the other links in the kinetic chain to compensate. Unfortunately, this may cause misalignments that affect your posture, balance, and gait.

If you don’t correct the problem, you might develop ankle, knee, hip, or back pain. A kinetic chain issue can also cause:

  • Sore Muscles
  • Falls and Injuries Due to Balance and Gait Problems
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Leg Weakness
  • Stress-Fractures
  • Calf Pain
  • Achille Tendinitis

One side of your body may become unusually weak or strong as it struggles to realign itself. This can cause imbalances that pull on muscles and tissues and force the vertebrae in your spine out of alignment. Sometimes you don’t even feel this happening.

What You Can Do to Keep Your Feet Strong and Healthy

Protecting the kinetic chain starts with good foot care. Keep your feet in top shape by:

  • Choose Shoes Carefully. Look for comfortable shoes that offer arch support and provide plenty of room to wiggle your toes. Shoes like flip-flops are fine for occasional wear but shouldn’t be your primary footwear choice. The American Podiatric Medical Association notes that flip-flops don’t offer enough arch support or shock absorption.
  • Visit Snyder Family Chiropractic. If nothing you do eases your back, hip, or leg pain, a problem with your feet may be to blame. Dr. Jeff Snyder will perform a comprehensive examination to determine if a foot issue is the cause of your pain or a contributing factor. He can also provide a variety of treatments that will relieve your painful symptoms, such as spinal adjustments to realign misaligned vertebrae, ankle, knee, or hip adjustments often help too. Soft tissue therapy often helps to relax tight tissues.
  • Using Orthotics. During your visit to Snyder Family Chiropractic, Dr. Snyder may recommend orthotics. These custom prescription shoe inserts keep your foot properly aligned when you wear shoes, add extra cushioning, and provide arch support specifically designed for your feet. Custom Orthotics improve your comfort, help you avoid injuries, and keep your kinetic chain balanced. The inserts can be particularly helpful if you’re a runner. In a study published in the World Journal of Orthopaedics, researchers reported that people who wore orthotics when running were more comfortable, ran 0.3 mph faster, and were 2.22 times less likely to experience injuries.

Wondering if your pain could be caused by a kinetic chain issue? Contact our office by texting or calling 610-935-5900 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Snyder.

Sources:

American Podiatric Medical Association: Avoid a Flip-Flop Fiasco https://www.apma.org/flipflopFAQ

World Journal of Orthopaedics: Does Orthotics Use Improve Comfort, Speed, and Injury Rate During Running? a Randomised Control Trial, 5/18/2023 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10251264/

National Institute of Health: Focus on Your Feet, 3/2023 https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2023/03/focus-your-feet

Harvard Health Publishing: Feet: How Your Feet Work – and Three Steps for Keeping Them Healthy, 8/1/2009 https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Special-section-Feet-How-your-feet-work—and-three-steps-for-keeping-them-healthy

Chiropractic Economics: As a Chiropractor, You Need to Be Supporting the Kinetic Chain, 11/2/2018

Ace Fitness: What Is the Kinetic Chain, 1/8/2019 https://www.acefitness.org/fitness-certifications/ace-answers/exam-preparation-blog/2929/what-is-the-kinetic-chain/

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