We often underestimate the importance of looking after our feet, but we really shouldn’t, they are the body’s foundation, supporting your knees, hips, back and head. In a standing position, the foot and ankle complex is the only structure touching the ground and is consequently responsible for weight and pressure distribution throughout the body when gravity, the ground and our own kinetic energy come together. This complex needs to be functioning properly to ensure the forces of heel strike when walking and running are dissipated through the rest of the body equally. If it is not functioning properly the imbalance of the foot can cause pains and strains in other areas. Low back pain, hip pain and knee pain can all arise from problems with the feet.
Pronation is the way the foot rolls when you run and walk, it helps the lower leg to deal with shock and impact. It is effected by the posture of your feet and the function of your arches and vice versa. It is part of natural movement, however over-pronation or under-pronation (also known as supination), can cause problems. Supination is when your feet roll outward, which causes your arches to rise higher than they should. Most people have over-pronation, which occurs when your feet roll inward. This causes your arches to drop and the foot to become flat. Once the foot flattens it cannot ‘spring back’. If you do this you may notice the outer edges of your shoes wearing out sooner.
Key problems with over-pronated, flat feet:
-Flat feet are a less stable, less shock absorbent, foundation for the body
-They cause the whole body to shift out of alignment beginning with the knees
-Cause aches and pains in the feet, knees, hips, neck and/or spine
-Lead to injury and problems like shin splints, achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis
-Can cause low back pain. Women with flat feet are 50% more likely than those without to have low back pain.
What’s the solution?
-Chiropractic adjustments can bring balance to the body by reducing muscle and spine tension. Chiropractors work with the spine and joints of the pelvis and feet to improve posture and movement. Chiropractic adjustments to the feet are paramount when working to correct over-pronation.
-Functional orthotics in shoes can control pronation and provide support and comfort while your body is becoming more balanced from the adjustments.
-Foot exercises can maintain healthy posture and strengthen the feet.
When it comes to orthotics we highly recommend Footlevelers custom orthotics. Being custom made, based on a 3D scan of your feet, they offer a personalised fit to support all three of your arches. Many orthotics can be rigid which lock the foot into a particular position. This will limit abnormal motion of the foot, but unfortunately also limits normal motion of the foot. Foot Levelers are comfortable because they are flexible. The flexibility is important as the foot needs to move properly in the shoe. By balancing all three arches of the foot these orthotics align the ankles, knees and pelvis to provide a balanced foundation for the spine to rest on. Sarena finds her patients who over-pronate or supinate hold their adjustments longer when they are wear these inserts. They are designed to help prolong the support of your chiropractic adjustments, thereby improving you overall alignment and posture!
A foot scan provides a detailed report with the information necessary to customise the orthotics, taking activity levels and body mass into account. Some people choose to get a custom pair for heels, work shoes or trainers; where others choose one cost effective versatile pair which can work with all of the above.
Be Well’s 4 Most Popular Orthotics
From Foot Levelers wide range of functional orthotics, designed for different uses and preferences, these are the most popular:
Dress is a 3/4 length which fits well into most work and everyday shoes. You can also slip it into your trainers so it is very versatile. A wide range of the custom orthotic types, including InMotion, can be chosen in this size. For people who want to buy a dress length and a full length we offer a special discount so you can save money on the the best custom orthotic support across all of your favourite activities.
InMotion orthotics are our premium orthotic which provide a dynamic response system for maximum comfort and response. These are a great choice for active patients and people that are on their feet a lot. Celliant® technology helps increase blood oxygen levels by up to 10.2% for added strength, stamina and energy. Their silver-infused top cover helps reduce odour, and removes moisture to keep feet fresh. 3 Arch Advantage™ helps keep the body supported and performing optimally.
Sassy orthotics protect active women from biomechanical faults and pain while at work and beyond. Optimised for the professional woman’s sleek-fitting dress shoes, their slim and thin-profile design slips into the sleekest of dress and professional shoes while providing maximum comfort and support. This leather top cover offers long-lasting comfort and durability. You can choose from two lengths for the perfect fit (Sassy for 1” and 2” heel heights).
These are popular with nurses, doctors and people who spend long hours on their feet. They support the body with the ultimate ‘cushy’ feel for the feet, reducing stress on joints which helps reduce fatigue and pain.
Interested in checking your arches?
We have a 3D foot scanner at Be Well and offer complementary foot scans for our patients ($50 for non-patients). The scan assesses how you are standing on your feet and is used to generate a custom report which shows whether orthotics would be beneficial to you. Sarena will assess your posture, examine your feet and review the report with you. She will discuss how your foot posture might be effecting the rest of your body and give her recommendations at an appointment.
If you are a patient and you would like a foot scan, get in touch and we can do this for you before your next appointment- it only takes 5 minutes.