Whether you sit, stand, or are constantly on the go, your posture can have a great impact on the efficiency of your day and in the long run, your quality of life. If we get technical, correct posture is determined by optimal alignments of joints to minimize stress on them and the surrounding soft tissue structures, such as ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Basically, with correct posture, your body uses less energy when using its muscles and your body weight is distributed evenly to allow for joint stability and balance. Consequently, correct posture can reduce the risk of muscle strain, joint pain (including knee, hip, and back pain) and other complications as a result of compensation for any imbalances.
Now, did you know that your feet affect your posture?
Bad or faulty posture can be the result of spinal deformities or lower limb deformities -including issues with your feet! If your feet are not doing their job in supporting your pelvis and upper body, it can cause a chain reaction up the body of poor mechanical efficiency. For instance, overpronation which is characterized by excessive inward rolling of your foot towards its arches when walking, causes internal rotation of the entire lower limb and tilt of the pelvis. This in turn will distort the alignment of the spine and thus balance is compromised, and stress increases on all the soft tissue structures attached to their bony attachments. Not sure if you overpronate? In general, people who overpronate tend to have flatter feet or lower arches.
There are even cases when only one of your feet may be overpronating, possibly due to a functional or structural difference in leg length. This leads to asymmetry of the pelvis and changes in the structures above it to compensate for this imbalance.
In any case, if you find you are experiencing continuous back pain, hip pain or knee pain you may find it worth your while to get your feet checked and include a Registered Chiropodist in your circle of care. Chiropodists examine the alignment in your feet as well as how it functions in your gait to determine if it may be contributing to the symptoms you are experiencing. Most likely, a treatment plan which includes custom foot orthotics and regular stretching exercises will be discussed. Custom foot orthotics work to correct poor foot mechanics, alter the alignment in your lower limb, limit compensations, and ultimately, get you on the road to better posture and better health outcomes.