Serial Distortion: How our legs and feet can effect the spine
Believe it or not sixty percent of the shock absorption of the spine comes from controlled rapid pronation of the foot after heel strike. 1 If there are problems in the ankle, longitudinal arch or with the L5 nerve root we have lost the primary shock absorption system.
The secondary shock absorption system is controlled by extension of the big toe causing rapid supination during the toe off phase of gait and by the popliteus muscle. 2 Fifty percent of the population has a problem called Functional Hallux Limitus which inhibits this action.
We can often correct this with functional orthotics and adjustment of the foot, knee and hip. There are also a few rehabilitative exercises which will assist you in restoring this vital shock absorption system.
1. Clinical Biomechanics-volume II. “Normal and Abnormal Function of the Foot” M.L. Root, W.P Orien, J.H. Weed. Clinical Biomechanics Corp., 1997.
2. “The Conservative Treatment of Hallox Limitus” Howard J. Danenberg, D.P.M. Current Podiatric Medicine, April 1990.