What Do My Feet Have to Do with It?
Can a house with no foundation ever be solid?
A tree that grows crooked will never straighten its trunk.
Although we may not think about it very often, our feet are the foundation of our body. Any instabilities that arise will translate up the entire kinetic chain. Your feet have a direct impact on the rest of your body. When small problems develop in your feet, subtle change in the way you walk will cause a chain reaction of adjustments in your posture and walking mechanics. These changes can put stress on joints higher up in your body and lead to more serious problems.
Conversely, if there is a problem in the lower back, hips or knees, we will tend to bear weight differently, thus leading to problems of compensation in the feet.
How Do Orthotics Help?
Properly made orthotics are custom-moulded to support requirements of your feet. They help restore the normal balance and alignment of your body by gently correcting foot abnormalities.
Custom comfortable orthotics are a pleasure to wear as they gently reduce problems associated with pressure points, muscle strain and abnormal forces on the ankles, knees, hips and spine. Over time, custom orthotic support that is prescribed by your health care practitioner will bring you relief from fatigue and pain, allowing you to enjoy daily activities comfortably.
Fascinating Foot Facts:
- 25% of the bones in your body are in your feet
- The average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day
- The average person will walk over 100,000 miles in their lifetime, or more than four trips around the world
- Women have four times as many foot problems as men – blame it on fancy, ill-fitted footwear
- More than 75% of people will experience foot problems in their lifetime
So How Do We Maintain a Solid Base?
Movement is life. The more physically active we are (while not abusing our bodies with excessively strenuous periods of exercise), the more fluid joints will be. Blood flow is better and cartilage stays healthier longer.
Maintain healthy movement in joints and muscles by visiting a chiropractor regularly. Chiropractors are specially trained to detect areas where joints are moving improperly and to correct these problem areas. Regular spinal check-ups, much like a dentist appointment, will lead to detecting misalignments before compensation or pain occurs.
Purchase quality shoes. Especially for those who spend the majority of their time on their feet, a solid base with shock absorptive qualities is important. When buying running shoes, test them:
- Torsional rigidity (dish-rag test): should twist at ends
- Heel counter rigidity (pinch test): pushing thumb into back should be rigid, as well as when squeezing just
- Flexion stability (fold test): should flex in forefoot, not mid-foot
- Upper stability (shelf test): if you see a drift in the shoe, throw them out!
Orthotics are specially casted to your feet, with your physical complaints and medical history in mind. Orthotics are an excellent way to provide additional stability and support. Orthotics are made of special copolymer memory plastic and are thin enough to fit in most shoes. Orthotics last from one to three years, and usually need replacing due to the friction and wearing out on the bottom of the support.
What Conditions Can Orthotics Help?
- Plantar fasciitis – lower back, hip, knee, foot pain
- Shin splints – abnormal gait
- Sacroiliac joint inflammation – pes planus (flat feet)
- Bunions – patellar femoral syndrome
- Achilles tendonitis – heel spurs
- Diabetic neuropathy
Test Your Need for Orthotic Support
If you agree with any of the statements below, call today and ask me more on how orthotics can help you feel better, from the ground up.
- My feet are sore on a regular basis
- I spend a good portion of my day standing or walking on hard surfaces
- I play sports regularly (tennis, golf, basketball)
- Standing, walking or running gives me joint pain (ankles, knees, hip or back)
- I am over 40 years old
- I have visible foot problems (bunions, fallen arches, corns, etc.)
- One of my legs is shorter than the other
- I have knock-knees or bow-legs
- My shoes wear out quickly or unevenly
- My feet “toe out” when I walk
- My parents had foot-related problems