The Foot Bone Is Connected To The Back Bone- Mar. 2002

Taking Control of Your Health

The Stern Chiropractic Newsletter

Referral Corner:
The Greatest Compliment my Patients Can Give is the Referral of Their Friends and Loved Ones. Thank You For Your Trust. This month, I would like to thank the following people for their trust: The Opper Family, Elaine Fagan and The Donatelle Family.

Charity Corner:
Stern Chiropractic is collecting donations for The Buffalo Grove Junior Achievement Program. A matching contribution up to $500 will be made by Stern Chiropractic. Please join me in helping our children be prepared for their futures.


The feet are the body’s foundation and means of locomotion. They are designed to absorb shock and adjust to alterations in terrain while we walk. The way you stand and walk effects your body in many ways. Your bones and joints are like a stack of blocks held up by the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Gravity acts on the blocks with each step. When the bottom block is out of balance the whole stack falls. Your foot is the bottom block. The problem is most people don’t take care of their feet (or for that matter, their body or health) until they start to hurt. The thing is, foot dysfunction is not always painful; it may manifest, instead, at the lower leg, knees, hips or spine. These areas bear the stress of compensating for weakness in the foot and its functions.

A few facts to think about:

1. The foot is made up of 26 tiny bones.

2. Forces of 3.5 times the body weight pass through the foot with every step and in excess of 5 times the body weight with running.

3. The average person takes in excess pf 10,000 steps per day.

When you put these facts together, there a whole lot of tiny parts under extreme pressure and constant use walking you through each day and without a little care and maintenance, this mechanism is going to break down and cause you problems.

I am a chiropractor, why am I talking about this? As I chiropractor, I evaluate the “Gait Cycle” (the individual elements of one complete step from heel strike to heel strike) and the foot bio-mechanics of many of my patients as a potential source of their ankle, knee, hip, back, neck, shoulder … dysfunction as well as a potential contributor to their headaches.

The Gait Cycle

– Broken down into 2 parts

1. Stance Phase – the foot is touching the ground.

2. Swing Phase – the foot is off the ground going forward for the next stance phase.

– The stance phase has 3 main elements:

1. Heel Strike – Foot hits ground

2. Midstance – body over foot

3. Toe Off – push off on toe

When your foot hits the ground your arch drops. This is called “pronation”. It makes the foot flexible so it can adjust to the shape of the ground. This is your shock absorber. Some people over-pronate which makes the foot too flexible. This begins a chain reaction that affects your foot, ankle, knee, hip and spine. As your body passes over the foot the arch is supposed to raise back up. This makes the foot more rigid, so you can use it as a lever to push you forward. After pushing off the toe you enter the swing phase which will return you back to heel strike.

Problems Associated With Foot Dysfunction & Over-Pronation

Sprained Ankles/Ankle Pain

Knee Pain

Low Back Pain

Mid-Back Pain

Bursitis of the Hip

Neck Pain

Head Aches

Plantar Fasciitis



Shin Splints

Heel Spurs

Warning Signs of Over-Pronation/Dropped Arches

1. Toes flare out when walking

2. Inward bowing of Achilles Tendons when standing (seen from behind).

3. The arch of the foot drops when you change position from sitting to standing.

4. Excessive wear along the outer edge of the shoe heel.

How Do You Know If You Over-Pronate or Have Foot Dysfunction?

Besides the warning signs listed above, foot dysfunction and over-pronation can be diagnosed through a thorough history along with an examination and observation of foot which would include an evaluation of foot mechanics, gait observation and a Navicular Drop Test. I perform all of these services at my office.

What Can Be Done?

Chiropractic manipulation of the foot can restore normal function to the many joints of the foot that are restricted. Soft tissue work to the bottom of the foot can aid in releasing soft tissue restrictions. Acupuncture can be used to alleviate pain and aid in the healing process of many foot problems. Custom molded semi-flexible Orthotics gauged to your body weight can be made for you that will support your dropping arch and help (along with the above listed care) restore normal foot mechanics. If problems persist or surgery is a consideration, the appropriate referrals will be made.

During the month of March, Stern Chiropractic is offering FREE gait evaluation and Navicular Drop Tests. Call today to make an appointment for your FREE evaluation.

Products of the Month : Sole Supports Custom Molded Orthotics

These Orthotics really make a difference. They are custom casted and fit to your foot to improve structural stability and to aid in restoring proper gait and spinal biomechanics. After casting, the impressions are sent to the laboratory where a pair of functional, semi-flexible orthotics are produced. The orthotics are made from the most durable and resilient materials available and are gauged to your weight and foot flexibility. They are designed to transfer just the right amount of upward push and flexibility to control your over pronation. By improving the way you walk, Sole Supports can prevent, treat and, in many cases, cure your painful feet, knees, hips and back.

I hope this information helps you take control of your health and your life! If you have any questions, feedback or have any suggestions for future topics, please call or email me.

If you know someone who would be interested in receiving this newsletter, if you would like to receive this newsletter via email, or if you would prefer to no longer receive this newsletter, please let me know.

Don’t forget the importance of maintaining your health with regular chiropractic and acupuncture care.


Gregg Stern, D.C., FICPA