Problems with the feet in which there is too much movement (hypermobility and flat feet).
feet Hypermobility syndrome is a condition where numerous joints are capable of an unusually wide range of movement, commonly genetic (increased elastic quality of soft tissues) or associated with hormonal changes of pregnancy or the OCP. In some cases there can be a regional hypermobility compensating for a lack of anatomical movement.
Some people with hypermobile joints suffer pain that may caused by sprain of ligaments or often associated with compensatory muscle changes related to postural problems.
Widespread hypermobile joints, with exaggerated spinal curves. Diagnosis of Hypermobility Syndrome is based on the Beighton scale which assesses the degree of hypermobility in 9 areas.
Back-in-Action clinical comment
To help people with hypermobility syndrome, education about their problem is often the first priority. Clinically we also emphasise optimising standing and sitting posture to reduce recurrent problems. Foot orthoses and ergonomic advice are often beneficial. Therapeutic self help exercises to maintain flexibility, increase strength and improve balance are also often useful. Nutritional supports for ligaments and muscles may be recommended. Manual therapy (chiropractic, massage or mobilisation) may be applied to help the muscles and joint where indicated. Even though this condition is defined by increased flexibility there are often regions of muscle spasm and joint tension.
Flat feet/ foot pronation problem
A positional or functional problem with the foot. A true flat foot is quite rare. Generally a flat footed person is only suffering from a functional flat foot caused by excess pronation. Excess pronation causes the foot’s arch to collapse and elongation giving the appearance of a flat foot. A functional flat foot is quite common and generally exhibits symptoms ranging from sore/tired feet to general leg fatigue and body aches.
Diagnosis of mechanical foot problems are derived from the patient’s history and physical exam with an unremarkable neurological exam and no indicators of potentially serious pathology.
Chiropractors perform a thorough history of complaint and examination (orthopaedic, neurological and chiropractic testing).
Back-in-Action clinical comment
Chiropractic assessment and treatment of mechanical foot problems is aimed at correcting the structural position and movement patterns of the joints in the foot. Our approach usually involves joint manipulation (both in the feet and functionally related areas) and use of foot orthotics. Massage and exercises may be useful to address muscle dysfunction. Diet and nutritional advice may be given to facilitate tissue repair. Functional neurological and cranial techniques may be used to help facilitate overall postural improvements. Acupuncture (dry needling) techniques may also be beneficial in some circumstances. Self help advice for using cryotherapy (heat/ ice) may be recommended for symptomatic relief.
A consultation with a podiatrist may also be recommended.
From the Preston Chiropractor Team
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