In our office, like many others, you’ll start off by laying face down on the table for an adjustment. Regardless of your complaint or ailment, one of the first things the doctor does is look at your feet. You’ve probably wondered why we do this and what kind of information we can get from playing with your feet!
First of all, assessing the position of the feet when you’re laying on the table allows us to see any postural distortions or compensations your body may be displaying without weight bearing or gravity. For example, your feet may be turned in, turned out or your toes may be flared in or out. These little deviations may seem simple, but they can give us a deeper look into the root cause of spinal issues and even how long they have been there.
We also assess leg length while we’re down looking at the feet. Everyone has a structural short leg, meaning one leg will be slightly shorter than the other, but the severity differs from person to person. Your structural leg length can be observed as you are laying down in either the face up or face down position and can be used as a tool to assess spinal or pelvic imbalances.
However, in our office, we focus on the functional leg length. What’s the difference? Functional leg length means we are assessing the neurological process that occurs when we elicit a deep tendon reflex at the achilles tendon. Remember going to the medical doctor and having them hit your knee with the reflex hammer and making your leg kick out? We are assessing the same reflex at the achilles tendon. Eliciting this reflex will show us if there is primary nervous system interference in the body and which side is affected. Once we have this information, we are able to locate misalignments in the spine and make a specific chiropractic adjustment!