What does your feet have to do with your back?

According to Dr. Daniel Agegnehu, who is a Chiropractor practicing in San Francisco, your feet may have a lot to do with your back pain.

If you’re not properly caring for your feet, your arches will eventually collapse. When the arch collapses and your foot pronates [rolls in], everything starting with your ankle all the way up your leg to your sacrum moves out of alignment. The misalignment can irritate the nerves in your low back which causes pain.

Wow – how crazy is that!

So what does it take to keep your feet happy and healthy?

1/ Happy feet starts with your shoes.

Dr. Daniel advices his clients to get good shoes and fortunately, shoes don’t have to be expensive to be good.

5 Things you should look for when purchasing shoes.

1/ Comfort: Both the length and width of the shoe is important to the comfort of the shoe. To ensure you’re buying the right size, get your foot measured. Feet can change size and shape as you age and with changes in weight.

2/ Arch Support: The shoe should have some extra padding to support your arch. Running shoes are available with different levels of arch support.

  • Neutral Cushion: Provides the least amount of pronation control but lots of cushioning.
  • Stability: Provide a moderate amount of pronation control.
  • Motion Control: Provide the maximum amount of pronation control for those with moderate to severe pronation.

3/ Shock Absorption: Cushing helps absorb the pressure from standing, walking and running. The more you stand, walk or run the higher the risk for foot and back pain. Pick a shoe that will support you for your activity and replace them when they start to show signs of wear.

4/ Laces: Choose shoes that tie up over slip ons and tie them properly. Definitely a challenging criteria for women required to wear formal work wear every day. However, comfort may be the new back. Designers are incorporating dressier versions of running shoes into their collections. Check them out.

5/ Heel Height: The general rule is to keep your feel healthy and happy is to keep the heel height under 2 inches. Shoes classified as comfort heels aren’t nearly as fashionable but they typically deliver on comfort, arch support and shock absorption. If you love sky high heels, Dr. Daniel suggests finding ways to reduce the amount of time you wear them.

2/ Next rest and a little pampering:

When you’re inside, take your shoes off, wiggle your toes and walk around. It will help stretch and strengthen your feet. When you lie down, keep your feet pointed up in neutral position to prevent overstitching the ligaments and muscles in your ankles.

Dr. Daniel also recommends a little pampering to keep your nails at a good length and to keep the skin around your nails healthy. Treating yourself to the foot massage is also recommended. Massages stimulate blood flow which helps get fresh oxygen and nutrients all the way down to your tippy toes, stretch tired ligaments and muscles and make your feet feel happy.

3/ And finally, Exercise.

Learn how to stretch and strengthen your feet to prevent your arches from collapsing rather than relying on insoles to support your structure. It only takes a few minutes and many exercises can be incorporated into your workout routine.