Many adults are faced with cumulative traumas, combined with the degenerative conditions of ligament laxity and decreased sensory input in general. You already know how complicated the process of human balance is, but are you aware that balance requires coordinated participation of sensory (visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive) and motor systems? Because of the complexity, treating balance often requires cooperation among several healthcare specialists; however, the chiropractor’s ability to positively affect proprioception and motor control should be fairly obvious.
Injuries to the lower extremity, whether acute or from chronic deformation, can alter proprioception and diminish the motor response of balance. Any musculoskeletal abnormality-for example, weakness of the ankle joint muscles and/or reduced range of motion about the ankles-shrinks the limits of stability.
Chiropractic adjustments improve proprioceptive input by normalizing joint alignment and muscle tones in general. Adjustments are most effective when supported by proper muscular retraining, rehabilitation, and orthotic support. The feet contain approximately one quarter of all the body’s joints and a concentration of proprioceptive fibers. Therefore, it makes sense that supporting the postural foundation using individually designed stabilizing orthotics will help enhance balance.
So next time you have low back or hip pain, look at your feet and examine how you walk in the mirror. You may need to properly be fitted for a good pair of orthotics. Contact our office to get a free complimentary foot exam. We use state of the art technology from Foot Levelers.
Sources: Foot Levelers Balanced Insights Vol 2, Iss 2, Sept 2012