Did you know that total knee replacement surgeries are estimated to grow 673% to 3.5 million procedures per year by 2030? (1) Wow! If you’re an orthopedic surgeon, that’s job security. For the rest of us though, that initially sounds like a total knee replacement is an inevitable part of aging. In fact, most conventional health practitioners would assume that knee degeneration and arthritis are part of the normal aging process.
A chiropractor who specializes in posture and functional biomechanics, however, would tell you that one of the most common causes of knee issues leading to injury, pain and dysfunction is faulty foot biomechanics.
Evaluating how the various structures of the foot work together to perform specific functions is the goal of analyzing an individual’s foot biomechanics. Chiropractors excel at understanding how structure affects function. The other common instigator of knee pain is arthritis resulting from low-grade inflammation which can be significantly reduced by our lifestyle choices. But more about that in other posts.
Most people are familiar with the medial arch running along the inside of your foot from the ball of the big toe to the heel. But did you know that there are actually a total of three arches in the foot? In addition to the medial arch there is a lateral arch that runs from the fifth toe to the heel and finally a transverse arch that runs side to side below the balls of the foot. This tripod arch helps the healthy balanced foot to act like a suspension bridge. This suspension bridge effect allows for great shock absorption for every step you take and promotes the proper alignment of the foot with the knee, hip and beyond. The plantar arches are necessary to support weight and carry high loads while still remaining flexible.
Loss of support in the feet, even in the absence of foot pain, creates an unbalanced loading of the tissues higher up the chain, like the knees, hips, low back and sometimes even the neck. When the loading of a tissue exceeds the capacity of that tissue, compensatory physiological changes occur. Eventually, there can be changes in the texture and structure of the tissue leading to inflammation and weakness of that tissue.
So, what’s the good news here?
The good news is that a properly fitted pair of customized orthotics that addresses the three arches can make a big contribution to the proper alignment of the joints and minimize the initiation and progression of the degenerative process.
If symptoms are persistent and chronic, if your adjustments don’t “hold” or you suffer frequent injuries then get your posture and foot biomechanics evaluated. Call Dr. Gosselin today [978-281-4977] to schedule your foot evaluation and avoid becoming part of that 673%.