The human body works as an intricate kinetic chain from the foundation up, and if one part of that chain doesn’t move or function properly, it eventually breaks down. Similar to the foundation of a skyscraper when damaged or imbalanced everything above shifts to compensate. Our feet are no different. Thankfully, our bodies can compensate more than a building, but it comes with severe consequences.
Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain throughout their body caused by imbalances and instabilities in their feet, but today individually designed stabilizing orthotics are helping people live active pain-free lives. Stabilizing orthotics are designed for your body based on a laser scan of your feet, unlike the one-size-fits-all orthotics that don’t address your specific needs.
Your stabilizing orthotics can provide more stability and support. The difference in these orthotics compared to over-the-counter is supporting the three arch structure called the plantar vault. This structure provides momentum for the movement. Your arches permit springy flexibility to accommodate changes in terrain. If one arch in your foot is compromised or you have flat feet, flexibility will diminish and can lead to considerable pain in your ankles, knees, hips, and back.
Stabilizing orthotics give you the stable foundation you need to help reduce unnecessary stress and strain on your joints. Your plantar vault also provides strength to support the weight of your entire body. Once your feet are properly supported, a leveling effect will occur to your ankles, knees, and hips.
With more than twenty years background in running, completing half and full Ironmans, experience with gait analysis, and being in private chiropractic practice fitting orthotics for twenty years, and seeing thousands of cases I’d like to share my insights as to how flat feet can cause a cascade of joint problems later in life if not corrected.
Modern medicine merely treats the damage after symptoms appear done through surgery and masking your symptoms with dangerous medications. Even after the latest research showing the high rate of failed orthoscopic knee surgeries five years after the procedure, knee surgeries are on the rise. Synergy Wellness Chiropractic & Physical Therapy in Manhattan looks closer at the structure and function of the foot.
26 bones make up the entire foot (one-quarter of the bones in the human body), 33 joints, containing over 100 ligaments, muscles, and tendons (Tendons are fibrous tissues connecting muscles to bones, ligaments connect bone to bone.); and a network of nerves, skin, soft tissue, and blood vessels.
All of these components work together to provide the body with the support, mobility, and balance needed. A structural misalignment or malfunction in any one part can result in the development of problems elsewhere in the body. Moreover, Abnormalities in other parts of the body can lead to problems in the feet.
Prevent and Correct Ankle, Knee, Hip, and Lower Back Pain
One of the simplest ways to prevent and correct ankle, knee, hip, and lower back pain is to have your feet properly evaluated by looking at all three arches in the foot. If you’ve been diagnosed or think you have flat feet the time to address, it is now before more damage occurs with custom orthotics (also known as pelvic stabilizers) made specifically for you.
Not all orthotics are created equal; Unfortunately, I see patients come in more often with poorly made custom orthotics. Many Podiatrists are using the same methods from 40-50 years ago. Only correcting the medial (not all three arches) arch by taking a mold of your feet while standing in a foam box or making an impression with plaster, these methods are outdated and inaccurate.
Luckily, over the past decade, laser technology from foot levelers has helped doctors improve and streamline the accuracy and fabrication of the perfect custom foot orthotic.
At Synergy Wellness Chiropractic and Physical Therapy in New York City we always offer a FREE Foot levelers Laser Scan to evaluate your feet and if needed make a perfect pair of affordable orthotics or your money back. Unfortunately, most orthotics only correct one arch (your medial arch). Footlevelers Scanner can read all three arches using laser technology. Therefore, fabricating a better quality orthotic that is guaranteed.
Each foot and arch needs to be properly evaluated;
- Plantar arch (aka; transverse arch) crosses the forefoot.
- Medial arch runs along the inside or medial part of the foot, from the heel to the toes.
- Lateral arch along the outside or lateral aspect of the foot.
After each new patient has is screened, the system delivers a highly detailed view of the left and right feet in true color. The colorized image shows the height of the arches. The accuracy of this new height mapping is within 300 microns or the width of two hairs. 3D Body View is the only software that helps patients understand how imbalances in their feet impact their entire body. Patients will receive their pronation stability index number quantifying the severity of foot and joint and body imbalances above the feet.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
A condition where the plantar fascia a thin, broad sheath that crosses along the bottom of the foot gets irritated and inflamed when stretched or stressed too much. Often, worse after sitting awhile or early in the morning, it sometimes loosens up and feels a little bit better unless it’s a severe case.
Why do we get Plantar Fasciitis?
First and most common is overpronating the foot, or flattening your foot. It’s crucial to understand there are three arches in each foot and each arch must be supported correctly.
The second cause could be an overuse injury, such as; long distance running, tight calves, working on your feet all day, or choosing the wrong running shoes. (click here for my article on picking the right running shoe to avoid tendonitis & plantar fasciitis). If you’re a heel striker when running this can cause the calcaneus bone to jam superior and anterior creating a reduced range of motion in the ankle and foot and eventually tendonitis or plantar fasciitis.
A third cause could be compensation for an unlevel pelvis due to a short leg, a disc bulge, herniation or spinal stenosis pressing on L4 or L5 nerves which control the muscle in the medial arch (anterior tibialis muscle) via the deep peroneal nerve. Tibialis Anterior muscle is controlled via the deep peroneal nerve coming from branches of L4 and L5 nerves in the lower back and is the most medial muscle of the anterior compartment of the shin. It functions to stabilize the ankle as the foot hits the ground during the contact phase of walking (eccentric contraction) and acts later to pull the foot off the ground during the swing phase (concentric contraction).
Moreover, if you have nerve damage, it can cause flat-footedness on one side and a perfectly balanced foot on the other side. Our Footlevelers 3D laser scanner will be able to pick that up right away. Try these three simple stretches at home.
3 Flat Foot Stretches
- Freeze a sealed bottle of water and roll your foot and heel over the frozen bottle, icing and stretching the plantar fascia reduces inflammation while loosening the soft tissue.
- Use a lacrosse ball (not a tennis ball) to roll your foot and heel over, to release and stretch the plantar fascia.
- Stretch your calf muscles on the edge of a step or remove your shoes and with legs outstretched place a towel over the toes and pull the towel towards you, stretching the bottom of the feet and plantar fascia.
3 Exercises for flat feet:
*Check out this video; Three exercises for flat feet to strengthen the medial, lateral and transverse foot arch.
If pain persists after 2-3 weeks of stretching there are other safe options for the relief of chronic persistent cases of plantar fasciitis. You should seek professional help or call Synergy Wellness Chiropractic & Physical Therapy in New York City for rates on cold laser therapy, myofascial release, foot/ankle joint manipulation and custom foot orthotics if needed.
Cold Laser therapy is a game changer in the professional sports world, helping to speed up the healing process while reducing inflammation 40-50% faster. Synergy Wellness in the east village just upgraded to the NEW MR5 Deep Tissue Laser.
Helping you get back on your feet as quick as possible, and being able to walk, run or play with your children without foot pain is the goal.