If you complain of back, hip or neck pain, the problem could be in your feet. Some podiatrists, like Kathya Zinszer, are studying the gait of a patient to pinpoint pain elsewhere in the body. The technology uses sophisticated sensors to measure the pressure points in each step. Now, doctors can track the motion of the joints and the gravitational pull on the body and they can tell if simply stepping into the right shoe or custom orthotics may actually prevent problems with pain beyond the feet.
Dr. Zinszer, D.P.M., says, "Here we can actually see what's going on biomechanically, where the high pressures are and what could actually cause breakdowns for people at high risk or people just wearing shoes that are inappropriately fitted for their foot type. So we instruct them, you know, you need to wear a shoe that has some arch support. You need some shock absorption. You need to stretch that plantar fascia and you have to get rid of wearing the flip-flops or the flat shoes that are causing and exacerbating this problem. Controlling the biomechanics of the feet actually will control the knee joints, the hip joints, and the lower back".
So, if your back is giving you trouble, taking a good, hard look at your feet may be a step in the right direction. By the way, Doctor Zinszer says the solution does not always mean getting rid of high heels. She says some women with a very high arch actually do better in heels than in flats.
If you are interested in having a gait analysis, talk to a podiatrist or go to the American Podiatric Medical Association's website by (clicking here).