Wednesday, June 25th 2008
“Does Your Back Hurt? Look At Your Feet”
By Elio Leturia
Dr. James Stoxen DC, David Diaz’s chiropractor, reconstructs the patients feet who have different aches.
“Your right leg hurts and your right knee cracks”, I was told by Dr. James Stoxen DC, chiropractor, born in Chicago.
“Is this doctor a wizard?” I ask myself in silence. I am with him to interview him, not to consult with him medically”. Where did he get that from?” I ask him, surprised and interested.
“The way you walk”, he answers. Wizard or not, Stoxen is right.
Known worldwide for his revolutionary technique, Stoxen has dedicated many of his years to study the biomechanics of our body; the way we walk and move and how this determines the stage of our body. We live in an era of knee pains, hip, and spine.
The traditional doctors, according to Stoxen, only observe the area in pain and treat only that area, not the origin of the problem. “If you see that a bridge is not stable, you don’t just put a patch on it, you fix the structure”, he says in a comparative example.
Stoxen explains the root of the problem that a lot of his patients present. “ A lot of people come to consult with me about their terrible low back pain or sciatica. A lot of them were referred to surgery as the only solution”, says Stoxen.
With a teenager’s excitement and energy, Stoxen throws himself on the floor to explain to me how our feet work. Using his hands as example he adds “We take about 10,000 steps a day, 5,000 with each foot. Our feet have to be exercised to function like springs, but we wrap them in leather (shoes) that are not appropriately designed”.
“Think of the ancient man”, he continues “ he would walk barefoot, over uneven fields, he would get up to look for food; then would rest” With this, Stoxen draws on a picture on which humans were not on their feet so many hours a day, walking in different directions, over rough surfaces, and not wrapped in shoes that are made for fashion and don’t go with the natural necessities of our feet”.
“I reconstruct the structure of the patients feet and retrain the patients to walk the right way. Generally the arches of the feet have collapsed and that’s the cause of their aches. The bad steps cause un-alignment to the knees, which affect the hips and back”, he adds energetically.
This problem is not only present in older people. “The actual fashion of teenagers to walk with untied gym shoes does not offer the correct support; which will cause for aches to show up afterwards.
But Stoxen does not only blame the feet for aches in our generation. “We live in an era in which food is altered genetically, in obesity, unhealthy eating. We cause inflammation to our bodies and that inflammation is the cause of a lot of our illnesses”. And if to that we add the stress caused by bad posture and the wrong use of our feet, the inflammation raises and our lives are shortened, says Stoxen.
Among his patients, Stoxen doesn’t only mention the boxing world champion David Diaz (who will face Manny Pacquiao for the lightweight title on June 28th) but other celebrities. He shows me dozens of working backstage passes he collects of artists he treats, among them the tours of Alicia Keys, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, Luis Miguel, and the participants of ‘Dancing with the Stars’, among others.
1. Kids should walk without shoes everyday for an hour.
2. Control your weight. Every pound is five pounds (when running) and two pounds (when walking) extra work on your feet.
3. Wear shoes with good heel support.
4. Shoes should not be worn loose nor tight.
5. Avoid ‘flip-flops’, they make your feet move in an unnatural way.
6. Athletic shoes should not be worn for more than four hours and only for athletic activities.
7. Do not walk only forward.
8. Remove your shoes after four hours of use, exercise your feet before putting them back on.
9. Don’t be on your feet for more than 45 minutes at a time.
10. Flat shoes might be worse than shoes with heel, they move the heel further in than they should be.