How To Relate Foot Pain With Chiropractic Care

By Joe Fleming

As many as 75 percent of Americans experience foot pain. While much of this discomfort is not a cause for concern, much of it is, because of proprioception, which is how nerve endings inform the brain that something is amiss.


There are many of these nerves in the foot, along with twenty-six bones. Since chiropractic care largely involves bone adjustments, it stands to reason that such an approach could significantly ease foot pain.


Once patients fully understand the ramifications of foot pain, they are much more likely to consult a chiropractor to address these issues.


The Sources of Foot Pain


Much foot pain begins in the forefoot area, because the cuboid bone is in the ball of the foot. This bone is essentially the spoke in a pain wheel, because this bone links to so many other bones in the foot, causing metatarsalgia, or a generalized pain in the foot. In simple terms, an aching foot may be very simple for a chiropractor to address without pills or injections.


Problems with the lateral malleolus are often an issue as well. If this bone is compromised, it affects the ligaments in the ankle. So, what may have been initially diagnosed as an ankle sprain might actually be a bone fracture, so an ankle sprain treatment regimen will not help the patient at all.


In a similar vein, ankle sprains that do not heal properly lead to a great deal of foot pain. Most people do not understand that a sprain affects not just the ligaments but the bones as well, such as the cuboid, talus, or the calcaneus.


Foot pain quickly causes problems in other parts of the body, because patients who experience foot discomfort nearly always adjust their gait to compensate. That adjustment might reduce foot discomfort, but it throws the body out of alignment. These problems are usually reversible, but only after considerably more effort.


A quick chiropractic adjustment or two not only stops foot pain but also keeps it from affecting other parts of the body, at least in most cases.


Some Common Conditions


A dropped transverse arch usually triggers the aforementioned metatarsalgia, a condition which is often acute and frequently recurring. The toes jut upwards, and the increased pressure causes calluses. Many people think that if they remove the calluses the pain will go away, but that is simply not the case.


Instead, a chiropractor can adjust the metatarsal phalangeal joints, and usually adjust the midfoot as well. A plantar fascia strip may also provide some relief and help reverse the damage that has probably already been done.


Poor biomechanics often causes Morton’s neuroma, a condition that inflames the nerves between the toes, so the illness is tailor made for chiropractic care. Correcting these biomechanics almost always resolves the pain and tingling that these patients feel. Obesity may be an issue as well.

Finally, although chiropractic care cannot “cure” plantar fasciitis, which is essentially a tear in the long ligament that travels along the bottom of the foot. Improper biomechanics, and specifically pronation (unnatural inward foot twisting), often causes this problem. And, if that is the case, an adjustment may at least partially resolve the issue and speed the healing process.


In all these cases, preventative measures, such as shock absorbing shoe insoles, may be effective as well.


The bottom line is that many people consider feet problems to be beyond the scope of a chiropractor’s expertise, but as the issues usually stem from nerve or bone problems, that is not the case. Once patients understand the link, they are much more likely to seek chiropractic treatment.