The Foot Headache Connection

The Foot Headache Connection

Rather read the transcript?

Here it is…

So, this afternoon I am just having a quick chat about the foot and headache connection. Foot health may reduce headaches. I’d like to start with understanding a little bit about how the feet work and what they do. So obviously our feet are involved in our walking.

The function of feet

One of their major functions is to make sure that they act as a shock absorber. And in that process of acting as a shock absorber, they also allow the energy that movement creates to be propelled up through the body to support active movement, with as little energy from us as possible. So when our feet function correctly, they do this sort of a movement as we walk. This is a kind of supination and this is a sort of pronation, the flat foot and the high arch.

And when they do that, hopefully you can see that that would allow the pressure of moving to dissipate through the feet and not go up the foot. So when our feet are functioning properly, that pressure moves comfortably. But when our arch isn’t moving very well, then with every step it just goes nice and hard. Which means the pressure doesn’t dissipate through the foot, and instead moves up our body chain to wherever our weakest point is, and causes extra pressure in that spot. And over time, will create muscle tension and pain.

So if our legs are different lengths; if our spine has a twist in it; or if our feet don’t pronate or supinate the same amount.  If you’ve got one going like this, which causes a twist in your body, then that will cause a twist all the way up through your pelvis and then further up. I’m just going to give you a look at my feet. So here we’ve got my feet. When we pronate, you can see how you get a bend in the knees, when I pronate. It’s hard to see, without hyper-accentuating. It causes my bottom to stick out and my body to go forwards, it also causes my knee to extend further.

When our pelvis twists, that then creates another twist and then another, etc… Probably another twist in the middle and one at the top. So when it’s uneven, you end up with extra pressure in one side of the top of your neck.

 

Twisting leads to nerve irritation, which leads to headaches

The aim of that twist is to keep our eyes balanced and equal parallel to the floor, so that we have good distance vision and perception of depth.

However, when we twist, we get extra use of muscles and extra energy used. We get tight muscles, tight ligaments, restriction in our joints, which causes trigger points. They all can cause nerve irritation. And then the nerve irritation, the trigger points, and the tight muscles and ligaments themselves can all refer pain up into the head, causing our headaches. That’s all on top of if you’re standing incorrectly.

It also affects the way you breathe, which can worsen our stress levels. When our stress levels are higher, we’re also more likely to get a headache. I’m hoping that gives a little bit of clarity about how our feet function or lack of, will affect the muscles, joints, ligaments and nerves all the way through our body and actually create a headache.

 

Supporting your feet

So what that all means is that we can work with the feet to improve the joint function ability, so that they start to move more effectively. and so there’s no pressure in one specific spot that shouldn’t be there. We can also support them by using a specific inner sole that still allows the feet to move. And these inner soles also activate the cerebellum, which is in the bottom of our brain. And that is our natural posture and walking pattern organiser. So when we activate the brain, the brain becomes more aware of our feet. And our function becomes much more subconscious and much more effective, using less muscles and energy, while creating less tension and less likelihood of headaches.

I hope that made sense and that it was useful for you?

If you have any questions, please pop them in the comments, and I will definitely get back to them. And I look forward to seeing you next time. Thanks for joining.

Final Thoughts:

Our feet are often taken for granted. When was the last time you focused on having healthy feet? Foot function may be complex, but most of us understand that our feet support us.

The connection to headaches is rarely thought of, and yet, in some cases, treating the feet can be the key to improving the way your body works, and reducing and sometimes even removing your headaches.

Now that you are aware of the foot headache connection, take action and support your feet… You won’t regret it.

Are your feet affecting your headaches?

If this has helped you realise that your feet may be part of your issue, and you would like help with them, or if you have headaches that you want out of your life. Book a consultation today, we can provide a full assessment, treatment plan, and help you enjoy your life, pain-free.

 

Author: Alexis Weidland

About Blossoming Me

BlossomingMe offers a fully integrated approach to your wellbeing. Located on Sydney’s Upper North Shore. Sarah is our Cranio-sacral and Remedial Massage Therapist and health and lifestyle coach. She can help relieve those problematic knots, tightness and other specific ailments to promote a healthy recovery. These complementary massage therapies can be combined to suit your needs, and include: craniosacral therapy, shiatsu, acupressure, reiki, remedial, swedish, and body-mind-massage. 

Our qualified Osteopath, Alexis, offers a drug free, minimally invasive, “hands on” treatment focusing on the musculoskeletal system with its associated muscles, tendons, ligaments, membranes, bones and joints. Alexis takes a functional approach. This means that she focuses on the way a component (body part, tissue or group of tissues) performs its role, as well as the way the body works, performs and integrates as a whole. Our team can support you to improve your posture and therefore your overall health.

**Disclaimer** The information provided by BlossomingMe, on our website, in our courses, and in our blogs and posts, is for educational and informational purposes only. The information provided on this site and social outlets is not, nor intended to be, a substitute for professional advice or care. Please seek the advice of a qualified health professional before you make any changes to your health regime, before dealing with new symptoms, and if something you have read here has raised any questions or concerns regarding your situation.

Healthy Teeth and Gums: Optimising with Food!

Healthy Teeth and Gums: Optimising with Food!

We all want healthy teeth and gums, right? Did you know that the health of our teeth, gums and mouth in general, is a window for the health of our bodies? If we have bleeding gums or chronic mild infection, this can directly increase the inflammation present in the rest of our body and may even be an indicator of ill-health somewhere else in our body. By eating fruits and vegetables, we can positively impact not only our general health, but also create the healthy teeth and gums that we want.

We know that fruits and vegetables are good for us, but
how do they help our mouth and teeth?

B VITAMINS

Many fruits and vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. For example, folic acid and other B vitamins, found especially in leafy greens supports healthy cell growth in general, supporting a healthy mouth.

FIBRE

Fresh, crisp fruits and raw vegetables help freshen breath and clean plaque from teeth. Eating fibrous, fresh, raw foods such as apples, oranges, carrots or celery, as well as other hard and fibrous vegetables for example, help to clean teeth (although not a substitute for flossing and brushing). The large amount of chewing required, stimulates saliva production, washing away the acids present (citric and malic acids predominantly) as well as other food particles that may be present in the mouth. The chewing also stimulates the gums and reduces cavity causing bacterial build up.

VITAMIN C

Foods rich in vitamin C such as apples, pears, oranges, pineapples, strawberries, cucumbers and tomatoes, protect tissues, including gums from cellular damage as well as against bacterial infection. Vitamin C also provides an immune boost, improves blood vessel and gum health and acts as an anti-inflammatory.

BETA-CAROTENE

Foods rich in beta carotene or any carotenoids, such as carrot, root vegetables (and celery) support vitamin A production, an essential nutrient for strong, healthy teeth.

COFACTORS FOR CALCIUM

Dark leafy green and cruciferous vegetables such as kale, cabbage, chard, asparagus and broccoli, contain a great variety of micronutrients. These include calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin A, as well as the B vitamins already mentioned. Many of these nutrients especially magnesium and phosphorus are important for the body to absorb and store calcium in the bones and teeth. As well as supporting the body’s ability to balance pH, which is essential for strong bones and teeth.

ANTHOCYANINS

Cranberries have been shown to reduce plaque formation and tooth decay by disrupting an enzyme involved in this process. Anthocyanins, phytonutrients (plant nutrients) present in foods containing reds, purples and blues are also healthful. This includes foods such as all berries, pomegranates, cherries, eggplant, plums, prunes, raisins, red grapes, red apples, red onion, red cabbage, red kidney beans and beetroot. These compounds are powerful antioxidants that seem to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-cancer properties. Further, they may specifically prevent the attachment and colonisation of pathogens.

VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE

These are just a few ways in which fruits and vegetables can help keep your mouth and teeth healthy.
Hopefully, it is clear that a large variety of different fruits and vegetables, especially encompassing the rainbow of colours, can support general health as well as tooth and mount health in a multitude of ways. Thus making eating as wide as possible a variety a useful, cost effective, efficient, simple and healthful strategy for most of us.

The easiest way to make use of the power of healthful fruits and vegetables is just to make sure to incorporate as many as you can into your daily life. Any improvements here will not only improve the quality of your general health, but also greatly impact your mouth. Allowing you strong and healthy teeth and gums, well into old-age.

Another, is to strip your diet back to a simple, clean eating protocol for just a short period of time. During this time, make sure that the majority of what you eat is fresh fruits and vegetables. This allows your digestive system a chance to not work so hard, as you’ve reduced your meat and processed food intake. This in itself, plus the addition of a larger volume of nutrients and fibre from this plant based eating, can allow your body to take a moment and remove more toxins from the system.

A short and simple detoxification process is a great way to periodically help your body to purge and to repair. Are you ready to begin a simple, food-based detoxification process? 

Jaw Pain?

Jaw Pain?

Due to a number of recent client questions about the jaw, we thought we would dedicate a blog to more information (please write back if you have other specific questions) …
Are your jaw muscles tight and sore?

You may be surprised to know that the strongest and hardest working joint in the body is the jaw or the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). It is almost constantly working, when we talk, chew or clench. With upwards of a couple of thousand movements each day, it comes as no surprise that some of the muscles we use in moving our jaw can become overworked and sore.

Tightness in the jaw is a common problem, and can lead to jaw or tooth pain, jaw clicking or teeth grinding, problems chewing, headaches, dizziness, earaches, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), eye pain or irritation and / or neck pain. And can often result in poor sleep, constant pain or discomfort and a general disturbance to your quality of life. 

Most commonly, the masseter muscles around the jaw and the temporalis muscles up into your temples (superficially), and the medial and lateral pterygoid muscles (inside the mouth) are the culprits.

The medial and lateral pterygoid muscles are inside the mouth and with pressure, generally are very painful.  Because of their difficult location, accessing them from inside the mouth (along the jawbone, behind the teeth; behind the teeth and backwards, towards the joint itself; and up underneath cheekbone), they are best assessed and treated by a professional.

Fortunately it is relatively easy to massage the superficial muscles yourself so long as you know where to work. And once this tension is released, headaches and neck pain etc. will often subside. A few techniques are offered at the end.
Some things to be mindful of, especially if pain continues, are that constant tension in these muscles can lead to the jaw being disarticulated, and that jaw pain can also be caused by malocclusion of the jaw (incorrect “bite”). While tension in the skull itself (from previous trauma, growth spurts and even pressures occurring at birth) can cause this, the feet and other factors affecting posture can also. These more complex conditions, can be assisted by some very specific dental devices. And the effectiveness of this treatment can often be speed up by reducing the associated tissue (membrane, ligament and muscle) irritation, supporting movement of the bones themselves into better alignment using gentle cranial osteopathic techniques and balancing postural factors using remedial massage and osteopathy and the like.

Ultimately we believe that a personalised combination of dental devices, postural and foot assessment, osteopathic treatment, remedial massage and possibly even soft proprioceptive innersoles, as well as self massage and relaxation techniques are often required for complete resolution of jaw tension and pain, especially in stubborn cases.