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When struggling with a particular health issue we tend to focus on the bit that hurts or doesn’t work properly. We overlook the fact that the problem area isn’t a standalone feature – it’s attached to and dependent upon other parts of the body.

Everything is part of a mutually dependent system and one important link to be aware of is between our posture and our feet. At first glance, this isn’t an obvious connection, but as the majority of us have bad posture to some degree understanding this interconnection is vital for our good health.

The Main Causes of Bad Posture

  • Lack of exercise leads to weak muscles throughout the body. Weak abdominal and back muscles seriously affect our ability to balance and move correctly.
  • A work desk and/or chair placed at the wrong height or angle encourages hunched shoulders and aching backs.
  • Weight gain for any reason shifts the body’s centre of gravity and adds strain in all the wrong places.
  • Pregnancy causes abdominal muscles to stretch and weakens your core.
  • High heels alter your foot position and affect your balance.
  • The body’s natural reaction to stress is to curl inwards, which leads to hunched shoulders and backs.

Foot Conditions and Posture

Foot pain makes you alter the way you stand and move in order to avoid the painful spot. Inevitably, you’ll adjust your posture to compensate and stop yourself from falling, and this creates more problems. It’s a vicious circle.

These are just some of the foot conditions that can lead to problems elsewhere.

  • Corns, blisters, ingrown toenails and plantar fasciitis.
  • High arches force your weight onto the front of the foot, causing you to lean backwards to compensate.
  • Low arches (flat feet) encourage the feet to pronate (roll inwards) as you walk which places extra stress on your entire lower body – from feet and ankles to knees, hips and lower back.

Knock On Effects

Poor posture does a lot more than just give you backache. It places unnatural stress on ankles and feet, creating circulation issues and swelling. This also strains the soft tissues of the joints resulting in sprains, tears and problems with flexibility and balance.

Major body systems can be affected if poor posture continues over time. Constant slumping and hunched shoulders squash internal organs and may impede their function. For example, restricting the lungs can lead to respiratory problems. Indeed, cardiovascular issues or problems with the digestive or nervous systems can all be attributed in part to postural issues.

Ways to Correct Bad Posture

Improving posture is perfectly possible if we keep our feet, legs, back, shoulders and neck in the correct position when we sit, stand and move. Realistically, you can’t keep these things in mind all the time but there are many ways to improve the situation and your overall health.

  • Yoga and Pilates are great for improving core strength, balance and flexibility throughout the body.
  • Stretching exercises ease muscle tension and joint stiffness, making it easier and safer to keep active.
  • Orthotics correct bad foot placement and allow you to walk properly with your weight correctly distributed to avoid pain and injury.
  • The right shoes support, stabilise and cushion your feet so that movement isn’t hampered.
  • Biomechanical assessment – to check the structure, alignment and function of legs, feet, hips, knees and ankles.

Comprehensive Care at Feet By Pody

Our experienced podiatrists can help with advice on exercise, footwear, orthotics and gait (walking) issues. Come and see us at one of our London foot clinics.

Contact Feet By Pody today