Custom Orthotics

Did you know that the majority of spinal problems start at your feet? By age 20, about 80% of people develop some type of foot imbalance.  By age 40, foot imbalances plague virtually everyone.  Your feet are the foundation of your entire body.  Each foot has 26 bones and 19 muscles, which is one-quarter of your body’s bones.  If you do not start with a solid foundation, your entire body will be affected.

There is a cause and effect relationship between your feet and your spine.  Movement is passed up your body from one joint to the next, and each time your foot strikes the ground to take a step, you are passing that imbalance the entire way up your skeletal structure.  Your body is continually trying to compensate for this imbalance and can cause pain in any number of places, such as your knees, hips, pelvis, low back, and neck.  Each time your feet strike the ground, a shock wave travels all the way up your entire body.  With properly balanced feet, much of that shock can be absorbed.   If your feet are not balanced, they are not able to absorb as much of the shock as they should, which can cause your body additional strain and eventually pain.  Surprisingly, most of the time, your feet don’t hurt.

When you walk, your feet go through a gait cycle, which is a three-phase process.  Phase one is when your foot hits the ground (heel-strike); phase two is when your whole foot is on the ground (mid-stance); and phase three is when you start to take the next step (toe-off).  Research has proven that during the gait cycle, there are small movements in the spine itself.  Therefore, if there is a problem with your gait cycle it will eventually create problems in your spine.

When your foot hits the ground during normal gait cycle, a series of responses occurs along your body’s kinetic chain.  Excessive pronation due to structural or functional abnormalities is responsible for more chronic postural problems than any other foot disorder.  Orthotics can control both the degree and duration of pronation.

Heel-strike shock generates forces reaching five to seven times your body weight.  Normal pronation relaxes the foot to absorb some heel-strike shock directly, and decreases the angle between the bones at your knee joint to help protect your spinal/pelvic structures from extreme shock.  When you have excessive pronation, this protective mechanism breaks down, resulting in excess shock transmission to your spine.  By controlling pronation, custom-made orthotics enhance your body’s natural shock absorbers. 
Inadequate or unbalanced support from your feet puts abnormal stresses on your spine.  Excessive shock, unequal leg lengths, or poor joint function in the feet or ankles all can affect your spine.  The most common foot problem is pronation, or collapsed arches, which can seriously affect your body’s ability to absorb shock. 

Custom-made orthotics are specifically designed for spinal stabilization.  They help your foot maintain its normal position and control foot function.  This is accomplished by supporting all three of the foot’s natural arches.  A gradual weakening of the arches often occurs naturally after years of standing, walking, and wearing shoes.  Custom-made orthotics can enhance the structure and performance of your foot’s three functions, which are support, locomotion, and shock absorption. 

Over time, the effects of gravity upon a normal weight-bearing position will weaken the tissues and stress joints in your feet.  Custom-made orthotics can help reduce body weight stress and strain by supporting proper joint position and reducing excessive motion.

The most effective stabilization is based on two principal considerations: the amount of imbalance in your weight bearing foot, and the degree of physical stress created by your occupation or lifestyle.  A digital scan or a weight bearing cast provides the most accurate image of your foot for prescribing a stabilizing, custom-made orthotic.  Your body’s movements and forces on your musculoskeletal system can only be observed in a standing position.  An orthotic made from a weight bearing cast or digital scan, allows your foot to be supported, not “crutched”.  The resulting foot balance allows your body movements to function properly.

If you are experiencing a loss of spinal stabilization, your imbalances can easily be corrected using orthotics that are custom made for each of your feet.  Sore or tight muscles; muscle or joint pain in the back, neck, or extremities; poor foot function; and sore or tired feet are just some of the indications of loss of spinal stabilization.

Your feet are foundational to the functioning of your entire musculoskeletal system.  Spinal stabilization is the first step in spinal health. 
Orthotics are a great way to help with issues related to walking and alignment. Some of these include but are not limited to knee, foot and lower back pain. The need for orthotics is often related to an issue with the natural functioning of the foot. Orthotics will often help to realign the bones within the foot and ankle and therefore take pressure of other parts of the body such as the back, neck, shoulders and hips. In addition, orthotics will help with distributing your weight properly and take further pressure off of toes, bunions and other parts of the foot. 

Orthotics are really for anyone with an issue or discomfort relating to walking or imbalances in the body that are known to cause related pain. The great benefit of orthotics is that they can be worn on a daily basis and be utilized during most activities to take further stress of the body. 

Orthotics can often be prescribed by your chiropractor and can last well over a year in most cases. This is a great investment into your overall health and well being via a biomechanical standpoint. 

Ask Us About Getting Yourself Started With Orthotics Today!
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