Like many of you have probably heard before, humans were not meant to be walking with shoes on. However, shoes have become an important part of our society. They are used to show status, style, they make up a large part of a country’s economy, and you get strange looks if you don’t have them on when in public. While most of us hold love for our shoes, the bad side is that these beloved shoes have made our feet weak causing problems all the way up the body. Since there is no going back, we must now find a way to prevent the problems our shoes have caused. This leads us to orthotic inserts.
Why does supporting our feet and ankles matter?
Think of your body as a Jenga game. When all of the pieces are stacked nicely on top of each other and lined up perfectly, the tower is most stable and least likely to fall over. As the game gets going, pieces are pulled out one by one. While the tower hasn’t fallen yet, it is a lot less stable than it was at the beginning. The tower is able to survive this instability until finally it has maxed out on how many pulled pieces it can adapt to and it falls. Why did this happen? You need all of the wood pieces in their original place or bad things happen; you lose the game. Your body is very much the same in that the optimal function is dependent on every part of your body being lined up in its proper place. No one has a perfect body, but it is adaptable to instabilities until finally it hits its breaking point and bad things happen; you are in pain. This is because your body is made up of what is called a kinetic chain. What that means is that your body functions as one unit and not separate pieces. A left ankle sprain can lead to right hip pain. A dysfunctional low back can lead to neck pain.
So what does this have to do with me wearing insoles in my shoes? You may ask. The point of insole orthotics is to put your feet and ankles back into the perfect alignment they were supposed to be in. If your arches aren’t supported, it causes your ankles to collapse inward. Knees are often referred to as the “stupid joints” of the body because they follow the ankles wherever they go. So, along with your ankles buckling in goes your knees. As a result of all this inward pressure, the top of your femurs (thigh bones) are pushed outwardly from the hip sockets. Long story short, your unstable knees can cause unstable hips. Where there is hip instability, there is hip and low back pain. No, this does not mean that all hip and low back pain is solely caused by ankle instability, but it is very often a factor in it.
The current research shows several benefits of wearing foot insoles. First and foremost, it shows significant decrease of pain and increase of function in the low back, especially with the addition of chiropractic care. Additionally, orthotics plus exercises are proven to help with knee pain as opposed to exercises alone. Finally, the research shows that foot orthotics can prevent stress fractures and other non-soft-tissue injuries.
Why Aline insoles?
At Washington Park Chiropractic, we stand behind Aline insoles as the best prefabricated insoles currently on the market. They are used and endorsed by Olympic athletes, professional golfers, chiropractors, PTs, and more. These insoles are specially designed to support your foot while moving with your foot. Unlike other insoles that can be very stiff and awkward to walk on. At our clinic, we measure our patients feet and take into account their personal biomechanics in order to fit them for the perfect insoles for their feet.
Feel free to click the link below to check out their website for yourself.
Mølgaard CM, Rathleff MS, Andreasen J, Christensen M, Lundbye-Christensen S, Simonsen O, Kaalund S. Foot exercises and foot orthoses are more effective than knee focused exercises in individuals with patellofemoral pain. J Sci Med Sport. 2018 Jan;21(1):10-15. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2017.05.019. Epub 2017 Jun 28. PMID: 28844333.
Bonanno DR, Landorf KB, Munteanu SE, Murley GS, Menz HB. Effectiveness of foot orthoses and shock-absorbing insoles for the prevention of injury: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2017 Jan;51(2):86-96. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2016-096671. Epub 2016 Dec 5. PMID: 27919918.
Cambron JA, Dexheimer JM, Duarte M, Freels S. Shoe Orthotics for the Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2017 Sep;98(9):1752-1762. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2017.03.028. Epub 2017 Apr 30. PMID: 28465224.
Julianna Oates is a chiropractic intern at Washington Park Chiropractic. She has spent the last 8 years studying human anatomy, physiology, and related topic areas. She has taken a keen interest in the care and treatment of toddlers, infants, and pregnant women. She is a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, and she will be continuing her education to specialize in pediatric and prenatal care after becoming a licensed chiropractor later this year.