You might have been put in a boot for any number of reasons from a high ankle fracture to a sprained foot. These devices are great for the area in question but wreak havoc on the rest of your body. The longer you are in the boot the more opportunity your body has to compensate for the artificial leg length inequality. Differences in leg length most commonly manifest as pain in the sacroiliac joint (the SI joint). However, you can also get pain in your knees, the foot without the brace, and as far up the spine as the neck. I have even had patients that come in with headaches that are new since they started wearing their boot.
How do I get through my boot experience?
- Try and find a shoe that has a similar sole height to the boot you are wearing.
- Get adjusted as soon as you go get into the boot. Chiropractic adjustments help prevent unwanted alterations in the kinetic chain. I have found that most people do well with one adjustment a week while they are in a boot. Less than once a week and they start to get back pain.
- Take this time to stay off your feet. The less time you spend on an altered foundation (your feet) the less your body will try and compensate.
- Get a massage! As your frame starts to shift because of the uneven leg length, your muscles start to tense to compensate. This will cause muscle tension and pain. A massage will keep this from becoming its own problem down the road.