A Common Cause For Common Foot & Lower Body Symptoms
Your feet are the very foundation of your overall well being. They play a key role in absorbing the shock that you place on your body every day. Problems with the function of your feet can have repercussions that are felt in many areas of the body, including your arches, heels, legs, knees, hips and back.
All the joints in the lower limb work in concert and affect one another. When the arch collapses in the foot, that affects the function of the leg, which causes the knee and thigh to rotate internally—leading to increased stress on the knee, pelvis and low back.
Rejuve Motion Technology™—what’s incorporated into every Propét Rejuve™ shoe—is designed to help reduce and even alleviate many of the symptoms affecting soft tissue and joints of the lower extremity. The biomechanically engineered outsole in all our Rejuve footwear features a deep heel cup that holds the heel and guides the foot with every step.
Read more below about the common conditions often associated with overpronation and poor foot function.
Flat Feet / Fallen Arches / Arch Pain
Muscle, ligaments, tendons and bones form the structure of the arch. When the arch lowers abnormally, symptoms will develop within the soft tissues of the arch and even the heel.
Flat feet in adults can arise from a variety of causes, such as an abnormality that is present from birth, stretched or torn tendons, damage or inflammation of the posterior tibial tendon (PTT), which connects from your lower leg, along your ankle and to the middle of the arch, and broken or dislocated bones.
Other health conditions and factors that can increase your risk of flat feet or fallen arches include arthritis, obesity, diabetes, aging and pregnancy or genetic predispositions.
More often than not, a flat foot results from excessive pronation, where the arch falls inward and the leg rotates with the arch. This causes the arch in the foot to collapse and lengthen, giving the appearance of flat feet.
Heel Pain Syndrome (Plantar Fasciitis)
Heel pain is one of the most common ailments treated by foot and ankle specialists. Many different disorders can cause heel pain, such as arthritis, collagen diseases, overuse, trauma, stress fractures, and nerve entrapments. However, the overwhelming majority of heel pain is caused by plantar fasciitis, also known as heel pain syndrome, which is most commonly caused by abnormal pronation.
Plantar fasciitis/heel pain syndrome is an inflammation of a thick band of tissue called the plantar fascia at the bottom of the foot. The inflammation of the plantar fascia at its origin (at the heel bone, or calcaneus) causes the classic symptoms of pain at the bottom and/or side of the heel. It is often most painful upon arising in the morning or when standing after sitting for a brief period. The pain results from the stretching of the plantar fascia after it has tightened during rest.
Another cause of heel pain is from over-use repetitive stress, which refers to a soreness resulting from too much impact on a specific area of the foot. This condition can be caused by shoes with heels that are too low, a thinned out fat pad in the heel area, or from a sudden increase in activity.
Lower Back Pain
The main function of your feet is to act as shock absorbers as you shift your weight with each step you take. Structural problems, such as your feet rolling inward, called over pronation, can cause problems all the way up to your back.
With the inward rolling of the foot, the lower leg begins to rotate internally. This rotation may cause the pelvis to tilt forward, thus increasing the curve of the low back. Excessive curvature of the spine can create tightness and stiffness in the low back resulting in pain.
You may have noticed that your low back pain is worse in different shoes, that walking in bare feet or prolonged standing makes your back hurt. This may be an indication that your feet—and most especially your shoes— are contributing to your back pain.
Flat feet or other foot problems cause you to carry your weight through the wrong part of the foot, setting off a chain reaction upwards through the body. Where the kneecap connects with the thighbone or femur, there is a V-shape groove, to help the kneecap glide up and down. If your feet roll inwards, the kneecap doesn’t move smoothly through this groove. This is called ‘bad tracking’ and, over time, it leads to damage of the cartilage and ongoing pain. Extra weight can put even more pressure on the kneecap.
Many people with pain in their lower back, hip, knees and ankles are actually suffering due to flat feet. Abnormal joint positions can be reversed allowing affected tissues to heal and normal joint function to be restored.
Lower Leg Pain
Much like bad wheel alignment on a car, badly aligned feet can have a profound effect on our legs, knees, hips and lower back. The lower leg is a common problem area for soreness.
Aching legs are commonly caused by abnormal traction on the calf muscles. Excess pronation at the subtalar joint (just below the ankle joint) leads to a rotating in of the knees and lower leg, putting torsion and strain on the musculature of the lower leg. This strain often causes general fatigue and a tired, aching feeling at the back of your legs, especially in the calf muscles and behind the knees.
Poor ankle and foot biomechanics result in overpronation. Less common is the opposite movement of oversupination (rolling outwards—usually present with a high arched individual).
Typically overpronation occurs because of low or collapsed arches. The arches may get lower as you age due to gravity, tissue stretch, loss of muscle, injuries such as ankle sprains, and other factors. Because of the lack of arch support, your feet may roll inwards when you walk. This rolling inwards not only causes stress on the ankle and foot, creating generalized foot and/or ankle pain, but it can also change the mechanics of your entire ‘kinetic chain’. That is, changes in your feet and ankle can greatly affect other areas of your body.