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Columns : Body by Blower - Dr. Brian Blower DC Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Chiropractic and Morton’s Neuroma: The Painful Foot Syndrome
By Dr. Brian G Blower, DC
Dec 20, 2009 - 11:40:13 PM

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How many many times patients have hobbled into my practice with a painful foot.   Often the foot pain is just a few days present and the pain, in the ball of the foot is excruciating.


Our feet are an anatomical wonder and we take them for granted.   We take it for granted that they are what they are and will just do what feet do, always.


With foot pain it’s hard to keep up with the pack and that means an immediate solution to the pain becomes first on our list of priorities.


Towards this end, that of immediate relief of pain and restoration of foot function or foot health, we go and seek out an expert and willingly initially, comply with the suggestions.


Therein lies a great dilemma for most sufferers of foot pain.   Conventional appraisals and diagnosis of foot pain come up way too short all too often.  


Foot pain is of interest, but the cause of it should be of concern.   The gnarling and binding of the small bones at their distal ends just short of the beginning of the toes is common.   The ball of the foot.


While walking our anatomical weight transfer should sequence across the ball of the foot smooth and painlessly.   The bones of the healthy foot slide and glide alongside each other without binding and jamming.  


Dyskinesis from loss of correct and healthy long linear axis of our foot or other abnormal changes in the vertical axis of our foot creates fasciitis, tendonitis and swelling.   The ligaments and tendons upon straining from a weak axis may damage the periosteum of the bone and create the telling foot pain upon pressure through the area.


Often the diagnosis is one of “Morton’s Neuroma.”   Many of the cases chiropractors treat with great success are previously mislabeled Morton’s Neuroma.  


A “Neuroma” is a tumor of a nerve, either benign or malignant.   It is supposed that the space occupation of the enlargement of the nerve at the tumor site wedges in between the closely fitting foot bones.   The resulting pressures on the nerve cause the pain.


Often a nerve Neuroma just isn’t the case.    Many times foot pain is telling of a physical binding of the foot bones, a subluxation complex.  


Bone pain, from the periosteum covering the bone, is a familiar cause of our symptoms and our foot incapacity.   The failure of our muscles to hold up the vertical and true up the longitudinal foot axis and arches preceded the cause the symptoms.


There are twenty six bones and thirty six joints in each of our feet.   They form up four distinct arches both longitudinal and transverse.    Underneath our foot we look not unlike a stone arch of a bridge or doorway.   There is a key bone forming the apex of each arch, locking in and supporting the return of the foot arches to a “podular” shape.


Sometimes the key bone drops.


Muscles from our foreleg starting at the knee run down alongside the leg bones, the tibia and fibula and continue as tendons after traveling underneath a firm ankle wrapping ligament.   Some of these muscles turn their tendonous attachments under the instep of the foot and firmly grip the arch bones centrally, underneath.   As our front foreleg muscles contract, their pulling up helps lift our arches, returning our tension taking ability by resetting the leaf spring like apparatus of the foot, ready to take on another punishing step.


Beautifully functioning by design our foot step begins on the outside small toe edge and sequentially rolls inward from the 5th to the 4th, 3rd. 2nd and finally the 1st or great toe.   We stand up to or push against resistance with our large toe.   And after our stride we slap our foot down upon it’s outside edge again ready for the next “roll across the toes” step.


Failure to efficiently transfer the weight of our stepping across and through the joints of our forefoot forces changes in direction of the forces of weight.  


The distal joints of the metatarsals or foot bones are designed to align in tight fitting positions.   Left with little room for error any changes upon weight transfer through the joints of the distal metatarsals soon cause unbearable focal pressures bruising and tearing at some of the cartilage and bursal sacs.   Symptoms ensue and the diagnosis often offered incorrectly, the Neuroma isn’t the problem.   Rather the symptoms are from faulty foot mechanics.


Nerves nourish and the foreleg muscles require an adequate nerve supply to activate them, to have them contract and pull up our foot while walking.   Only with an adequate nerve supply can the muscles hold our feet and return the arches to healthy functions and positions.  


Often upon further chiropractic examination a subluxation or misalignment of the lower spine or pelvis is found, revealing a “sciatic” nerve impingement.   This low back nerve reaches the toes.


Failure of the sciatic nerve to nourish the muscles of the leg, those positioning and stabilizing the foot, preclude our inability of the foot to withstand normal loads when the bones of the arches subluxate.


There may have been absolutely no prior indication from back pain but the foot failure is often caused by the “silent killer,” the subluxation phenomenon of our bodies spine and extremity joints.


There is a further phenomenon of this type of foot dysfunction that reflects subluxation of the spine quite distally from the site.   There is an autonomic component to the foot that requires the moderating involvement of the phrenic nerve.   This nerve root in the anterior upper neck region is associated with the working of the tibialis anterior and the peroneal muscles of the front of the foreleg.   These are the muscles that go to the inside of the foot and lift the arches.  


Subluxation of the anterior or   front of the spine is common especially post trauma like whiplash,   But in practice many cases of foot conditions such as “flat feet’ reflected in young children may be related to difficult births where the head is used to support the extraction of the fetus thereby causing subluxation of the neck and developmental compromise distally.


Treatment of the foot with manipulation to restore the arch integrity and reduce other bony subluxations in the foot and ankle lay the foundation for therapy, especially in the acute stage of foot pain.   Reducing and restoring the spinal segments that are subluxated is a must for ongoing health and function of the whole of our body.


Consult your chiropractor and have your subluxations found and eliminated.   Only a chiropractor is educated for eight years while being trained in the science, art and philosophy of removing the subluxations that are interfering with your health.  

About the author: Dr. Brian Blower has been a licensed chiropractor for 35 years practicing Applied Kinesiology and has been in private practice on Grand Bahama Island for the past 10 years. He is a founding member of Applied Kinesiology Canada and was educated at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. He has treated many celebrities and also specializes in sports medicine.  Dr Blower is currently in practice at the Family Wellness Center on Coral Road, Freeport. He can be reached at 242-374-5424.  You can also find Dr. Blower on Facebook HERE

Feel free to contact Dr. Blower with any of your questions or comments at BodyByBlower@yahoo.com

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