"Ya know, it could be your feet."
"But Doc, it's my lower back that hurts. Why are we talking about my feet?"
The Root of the Problem
Has anyone ever told you that your feet might be the root of your lower back, hip, knee or ankle pain? If not, then today might be the day!
“So you’re telling me that if I use orthotics in my shoes, all of my pain could go away?”
In many ways, YES! Now, it might not always be THAT simple-there are exercises and lifestyle changes that may need to accompany the orthotics inserts, but yes! Healthy and happy feet can lead to happy ankles, knees, hips, and even lower backs. Let’s dive in!
Anatomy and Biomechanics
Let’s talk anatomy for a minute. Did you know that you have 26 bones in each of your feet? 26! That’s a lot! These 26 bones make up the clouds of happiness (or despair, depending on their condition!) that many of us depend on for walking, standing, and running. The bones make up a support system comprised of three arches in our feet. These arches are called the medial longitudinal, lateral longitudinal and transverse arches. This system aids in transferring forces from the ground into the lower leg and throughout our bodies. Over time, excess force that is placed on the feet can cause arches to collapse or flatten- particularly when it comes to the medial arch. Decreased support in the foundation of our bodies often causes negative effects in the body such as knees collapsing inward, or hips rotating and causing unnecessary force on the lower back.
More About the Orthotics
Orthotics are a manufactured insert that aid the foot in supporting the foundation and transferring energy to the rest of the body. Unfortunately, good orthotics can be few and far between. No worries though! We’ve done all of the leg work for you, or should I say, “foot” work, to streamline the process of selecting the right orthotic for you. Many orthotics these days are made to support only the medial or inside arch of our feet. However, the ideal orthotic is one that not only supports all three arches, but also breaths well, is durable, and is made specifically for your foot. In our office you’ll find the Foot Levelers kiosk, an orthotics system that measures each arch of the foot and analyzes the effect that decreased support will have on your body. With this data the Foot Levelers kiosk creates custom orthotics to combat or prevent the negative effects that your feet can have on your posture and the other joints of your body.
What are Foot Levelers and the Foot Levelers System?
Foot Levelers has created a revolutionary system that combines both a photograph and laser measured pressure scan to create an orthotic specifically for your foot. After being scanned, orthotics are designed specifically for your feet and their arches- even down to the material that they make your orthotic with! There are orthotics for any type of shoe that you use. From heels and business casual, to work boots, gym shoes and even golf shoes! The materials that Foot Levelers use are breathable AND durable. My last pair lasted me over four years. For those who want more than just the custom orthotics that you slip into your shoes, Foot Levelers has also come out with a line of shoes that have the orthotic built in. They have name brand shoes like Brooks and Merrell, and multiple styles including sandals and slippers.
Who needs them?
Everyone! “Everyone?!” The majority of us, yes! (P.S. Almost everyone on the WPC team has a pair!) Come check out the newly installed self-service Foot Levelers kiosk in our waiting room at Washington Park Chiropractic. Creating a solid base and foundation for your body can make all the difference!