Custom Orthotics: Basics of your feet
Your feet are important part of your health and your spine. Many physical problems people have are directly related to their feet. I have seen things like low back pain, hip pain, SI joint pain, knee problems and even shoulder problems and headaches come from feet problems.
There are thousands of people who get massage, chiropractic and other forms of body work because the body is adapting to their feet. With proper evaluation and management of the feet you could save a ton of money and move your health forward significantly faster.
The feet are like any other part of the body. If there is a problem it only gets worse unless you do something about it. The hard part is that not every foot problem gives you foot pain or even pain in the lower extremity.
Here are some common problems that I find that I find most people have:
You have three arches in your feet. One on each side and one across the
As the arches begin to fall the bones in your foot subluxate or move out of place and cause nervous system dysfunction. This turns off muscle function to many stabilizer muscles in the hips and low back creating stability problems.
For many people it is not if the arches are falling but how much, how far and which side. When assessing need for supports for your feet it is ideal to figure out how far they are fallen and how you hold your weight on your feet. The people that really need supports have one foot with deeper fallen arches than the other foot. This is like driving a car with two flat tires on the left side.
A common postural alteration that makes problems worse is forward head and shoulders. This shifts the weight forward causing the calf muscles to stay tight. When these muscles stay tight for long periods of time they create inflammation. You can also see this alteration with women who wear high heels.
One way to see if you have inflammation built up in the Achilles tendon before you have a problem is to pinch the tendon. If you have pain when you pinch the Achilles tendon that means you have inflammation built up in the tendon.
This comes in from a sprained ankle. Almost everyone has had a sprained ankle. If the sprain has not been worked with you tend to develop problems in the soft tissue and you sacrifice stability. You can see this when you stand on one leg and your ankle will not support your body weight. This is also very obvious in women who wear high heels. As they put weight on one foot after heel strike you can see their ankle move from side to side.
Splay of foot
This is a condition that I found while working with professional golfers. This is a weakness in the front of the foot that gets worse when standing for long periods of time. What happens is that the foot begins to flatten and subluxate over time. This provides a problem for Chiropractors because it only shows when you stress the foot or test after standing for long periods of time.
I found that most professional golfers that have this do great and the longer they play the more out of control their game gets. I also find this on most people whose problems get worse when standing for long periods of time.
The first thing when looking at custom orthotics is assessing need. This is best done by looking at the biomechanics of the foot and the muscle function of the foot. The feet should also be kept in mind in conditions in other parts of the body that are not getting better with body work.
At DuChene Natural Health Center I look at the biomechanics of the foot, do a computerized foot scan and perform functional muscle tests of the foot, foot muscles, leg muscles and other specialty tests to determine the need for custom orthotics. I do this to figure out if custom orthotics are just nice to have or a need.
If you either have or think you have anything mentioned above contact us to see how we can help you.