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How can an injury in one body part affect the rest of the body?

Edward Phillips
Physical Therapy
The toe bone is connected to the foot bone, and the foot bone is connected to the ankle bone, and so on up the long, linked chain of bones that make up a complete skeleton. So, for example, injuring your left ankle may alter your gait. To take the weight off the painful foot, you move more quickly than usual on your left side, lurching forward repeatedly onto your right leg. This potent combination of force and misalignment can trigger bursitis and pain in your right hip. Thus, new problems may zigzag up the body, making you vulnerable to further injuries, particularly if muscles supporting other joints are weak. If you stage a general slowdown in response to all the new discomforts, other muscles eventually become deconditioned, too.

Take steps to prevent misalignments, when possible. Be aware of pain and restrictions in range of motion as you increase your physical activity. Pause occasionally to take stock of your body position and actively practice good posture. Wear supportive shoes (and orthotics to align your feet properly if your doctor feels you need them). Choose bags that distribute weight evenly, such as backpacks (worn over both shoulders).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.