A Step in Time - The Nature of Foot Alignment
The human foot is a complex yet marvelous structure of living machinery.
It is designed to transport us through life and provide us with the mobility
to ensure our survival. Other than the heart, there is no other structure
that takes a beating like the foot (no pun intended). The foot is
stuffed into a variety of dark and cramped spaces, forced to go places
and distances it might not normally choose for itself. Relegated
to the bottom of the totem pole, it hardly ever requires personal attention
and sometimes is denied even personal hygiene, yet manages to "carry on".
Yes, it's quite a structure and performs its "feats" of strength, and eventually
falls prey to natural abuse. It is for all intents and purposes, a
locomotive structure, capable of initial shock absorption, performing in
most cases at least 8,000-10,000 times per day. There are lots of
moving parts, each working in conjunction with the rest of the system.
Some feet have lots of available motion and others have little. Certainly,
some feet work better than others and fall prey to fewer problems but,
all feet are prone to normal wear and tear and depending on usage can be
pushed to problems sooner. Everything starts as the foot makes its first
contact to the ground (with the heel). Motion in the foot takes place in
preparation of weight being transferred through the body and into the foot.
As this process continues, two things happen 1) the arch of the foot moves
towards the ground and 2) the muscles try to control the speed and depth
at which the arch moves. Eventually, the arch falls as close to the
ground as possible. At this very moment in time is when the foot
is at its weakest, most unstable and vulnerable to the forces passing through
(a bag of bones as it were). Every joint is twisted to the max, which in
turn allows the body above to also move in correlation to this instability
and vulnerability. The "soft tissue" (muscles, tendons, ligaments) are
also straining because they too are being stretched and off their best
"track". As this mechanical action repeats heat builds up (called inflammation).
This marvel of engineering, however, is designed to perform this task,
repeatedly in fact. The body will release endorphins to "cool" the heat
buildup, it will adjust the entire system if it recognizes a "pattern"
of inefficiency. This adjustment may in time produce a recognizable
inefficiency further promoting a "new" adjustment. Meanwhile heat continues
to build and build until the system's endorphins can no longer manage the
upper limits and the system says "OUCH!". Here then starts
the process of trying to reverse the pain. Self treatment, modern medicine,
old world medicine, external devices, and maybe even prayer all methods
used and abused to treat a "step in time".