Could My Feet Be Causing My Chronic Pain?

You don’t have to take chronic pain lying down. Brian A. Rothbart, DPM, PhD, says chronic pain can be related to two inherited foot abnormalities—Primus Metatarsus Supinatus (also known as Rothbarts Foot) and PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity. Take this quiz to see if your feet could be contributing to your pain problem.

Dr. RothbartBrian A. Rothbart, DPM, PhD has studied foot structure and says correcting abnormalities can alleviate chronic pain.A healthy foot sends signals to the brain, which is used to regulate posture, says Brian A. Rothbart, DPM, PhD. When the foot is structurally unstable, as in these two foot structures, the signals are distorted and bad posture results. When the body is not properly aligned, it can cause related muscle and joint pain.

Dr. Rothbart believes that the problems can be resolved using custom insoles to reset the signals to the brain, which in turn automatically corrects the posture. This will permanently eliminate the related pain.

The Foot/Chronic Pain Connection Quiz

To see if you are a good candidate for Dr. Rothbart's therapy—or if you may have foot-related issues that could be contributing to your chronic pain—answer each question below. Keep track of the number of questions you answer with a “yes.”

___Look at the oldest pair of shoes in your closet with soft rubber heels. Are the heels worn unevenly? If so, this can be a sign that your foot is twisting when you walk.

___Do you have calluses on the bottom of your feet? These can indicate your foot is twisting. Calluses typically occur on the heel and on the ball of your feet.

___Do you have bunions? Bunions can occur when the front of your foot moves around excessively.

___Is your head positioned forward? The position of your foot and your head are related.

___Do you have poor posture? This occurs as a result of an abnormal foot structure, which causes the joints to be mis-aligned (bad posture).

___Do you have scoliosis (a condition that causes a severe curve of the spine)? When the foot structure is abnormal, it can cause the spine to twist and can result in scoliosis.

___Were you awkward or clumsy as a child? The inner ear controls your balance and if you have a foot deformity, it prevents your ears from being level, which in turn causes your body to be unbalanced. As a child this lack of balance may have made you clumsier. But as you age, you may get better at compensating for this problem.

___Is your balance poor? The relationship between your feet and your balance is described above.

___Are your shoulders rounded? Your body follows the position of your feet. Therefore, when your feet are twisted forward and inward, your body also curves forward and inward, which causes rounding of the shoulders.

___Do you have crooked teeth? The abnormal foot structure and corresponding misalignment of the body can result in crooked teeth.

___Do you have a swayback (meaning is your pelvis tipped)? This problem can occur when your foot mis-alignment causes the hip bone to move forward too much.

___Do you frequently bump into a person when you walk with him or her side-by-side? When your foot twists as you walk because of an abnormal structure, this prevents you from being able to walk in a straight line. Instead, you may find yourself veering off to the side.

___Have you ever been told by your chiropractor that one leg is shorter than the other? When your foot structure is abnormal and twists inward and forward, it causes your hip bone to rotate forward, which elevates the hip socket and can make the leg shorter.

___Do you have sporadic pains in different joints? Foot abnormalities distort the posture (misalign the joints) and over time, cause inflammation and pain in practically every joint of the body. The pain can be intermittent depending on your overall health, but the joint inflammation can progress and become more severe and frequent.

___Do you enjoying walking barefoot inside? The abnormal foot structure, and the accompanying twisting of your foot, can make wearing shoes uncomfortable. Therefore, you may prefer to be barefoot whenever possible.

___Are your muscles stiff or tight? Muscles that compensate for a twisted foot often contract to keep the body upright though you may not be aware of it. Stiffness or tightness can result.

Learn More

If you answered yes to eight or more of the above questions, you may be a good candidate for Rothbart’s treatment approach. This therapy, which can be conducted long-distance, takes 12-18 months to complete. The result can give you upright posture and reduce or completely eliminate chronic muscle and joint pain.

Updated on: 04/12/19
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