Could Your Feet Be Causing Your Chronic Pain?

A new therapy designed to correct posture may cure your chronic pain.

Do you have chronic muscle and/or joint pain that stops you in your tracks? If your pain temporarily improves when you address the problem by engaging in stretching exercises, taking pain medication, or undergoing chiropractic adjustments only to have it recur again and again, a common foot abnormality may be to blame, according to Brian A. Rothbart, DPM, PhD.

After decades of study and research, Dr. Rothbart, an expert in chronic musculoskeletal pain, has developed a non-invasive remedy that may end your pain for good.

Hyperpronation is the term used to describe excessive inward, forward or downward rotation in the foot or feet. Structural Foot Deformities and Chronic Pain

Dr. Rothbart explained that “about 85% of the world is born with an inherited, abnormal foot structure—either the Primus Metatarsus Supinatus [often referred to as Rothbarts Foot] or the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity.”

Both of these common foot structures force the feet to hyperpronate. Hyperpronation is the technical term used to describe the excessive inward, forward, and downward rotation that occurs in the foot when the person is standing or walking.

"Both the Rothbarts Foot and PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity, which I discovered after years of prenatal foot development research, can result in chronic muscle and joint pain throughout the body," Dr. Rothbart explained. The main difference between these two abnormal foot structures is that the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity is more severe than the Rothbarts Foot and therefore, leads to more debilitating symptoms earlier in life. 

Keep in mind that if you suffer from one of these conditions, you may not recognize the signs on your own. But the symptoms (chronic knee and low-back pain, for instance) are often hard to ignore and may seem unrelated to your feet.

Unraveling the Foot to Brain Connection

"When we stand or walk, our feet send signals to our cerebellum [the postural center of the brain]. The cerebellum responds to these signals by automatically adjusting our posture," Dr. Rothbart said.  If you have a ‘normal’ foot structure, correct signals are sent to your brain. The brain responds by automatically maintaining an upright posture. When you have good posture, your joints are in a correct alignment and your muscles will function optimally without strain or pain.

"But if you have a Rothbarts Foot or PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity, your feet will send distorted signals to your cerebellum and your brain will respond by automatically maintaining distorted [bad] posture. Bad posture results in misaligned joints and strained muscles. Over time, inflammation occurs and chronic pain develops," he says.

Treating the Problem, Not the Symptoms

If you’ve been grappling with ongoing pain that has not been cured by any treatments you’ve tried so far, it may be because they’ve been treating the symptoms and not correcting the problem. Dr. Rothbart developed Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy, which is a multi-faceted approach to correcting posture. He is currently the only person authorized in the world to use this approach.

The therapy corrects the distorted signals coming from the Rothbarts Foot and the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity. "When the signals are correct, the brain in turn corrects the posture. This eliminates the stress on the muscles and joints. They can then heal themselves without the use of drugs or invasive surgery. The end result is a great reduction or often complete elimination of chronic muscle and joint pain," he said.

In order to accomplish this, Dr. Rothbart starts by running computerized postural and gait analyses and neurological tests to determine which one of the abnormal foot structures the patient has. These test results also help him determine how to proceed with the patient’s therapy.

Using the results of his analyses, Dr. Rothbart designs and fabricates proprioceptive insoles for the patient. "Your healing begins once you start to stand on and walk in your prescriptive proprioceptive insoles," he said.

The treatment process, which takes 12 to 18 months to complete, can be performed in person in the expert’s office, which is located in Central Portugal, or can sometimes be done long distance via phone and email consultations. In most cases, Dr. Rothbart’s therapy is a long-term process because it involves more than the feet. His treatment involves correcting the signals going from the feet to the brain. This means the therapy must be done slowly and carefully, with multiple insole fittings and careful monitoring as things go along.

"The therapy [using prescriptive proprioceptive insoles] corrects the distorted signals being sent from the feet to the cerebellum. The cerebellum acts on the corrected signals, automatically adjusting the body's posture into a more anatomically correct position. This facilitates the body ability to heal itself," he explained.

From Research to Reality

The concept for this therapy grew from Rothbart’s own personal experience. "While a practicing surgeon in podiatry, I noticed that my patients initially responded to surgery, but ultimately their problem returned. I realized that the reason was because I wasn’t treating the cause of their problem," he said pointing out that most of the patients who had experience unsuccessful surgery had either a Rothbarts Foot or PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity.

Upon further study of the connection between the feet and the cerebellum, he finally  put all the pieces together. "Because of my discovery of these two abnormal foot structures and the development of my  therapy,  I have eliminated even the most severe chronic muscle and joint pain in thousands of former sufferers throughout the world," he added.

Updated on: 06/16/20
Continue Reading:
The Role of Body Posture In Musculoskeletal Pain Syndromes