The way that you walk, your posture and even differences in your leg length can have a major impact on your health. Excess stress on any joint (the foot, the ankle, the knee, the hip and even the back) can cause significant changes on joints leading to pain and even degenerative arthritis. The biomechanics of your body (how your body moves) plays a crucial role in how your body feels. Like a finely built machine, your body should allow you to move freely, without pain, and in a completely balanced way.
However, there are times when changes in your body structure or body function can play a major role in actually causing pain and causing imbalance. When imbalance occurs over a period of time it creates extra stress on specific joints and muscles. Think of it like a car with a front end alignment problem. Since there is imbalance between the two front tires, one of the tires will wear out much faster than the other. This is exactly what happens when imbalance happens in the body…one region of the body will wear out faster (and there is often pain involved). In addition, when imbalance happens in one area of the body, it often leads to other imblances in other areas above it.
Foot Problems Can Lead to Other Issues
For example, a person with a flat foot (fallen arch) may not only have issues with their foot and ankle, but may have issues with their knee, hip or even middle back and neck. Your body biomechanics are more important than you may realize and may be the cause of the issues that you have. Mechanical Foot Changes Those who have mechanical changes in the foot are at risk for a number of problems as time goes on.
There are a variety of problems that can occur with the foot, but very commonly seen are issues with the arches of the feet. To understand the foot, you must understand the arches. Their are three arches – the medial arch (inside arch), the lateral arch (outside arch) and the transverse arch (arch on the forefoot). Most commonly seen is a problem with the medial arch, which commonly collapses due to weakness of the supporting structures, joint changes or even injury. When the medial arch falls (often know as ‘flat foot‘ or foot pronation) it causes changes in the joints, tendons and ligaments surrounding it and above it. A flat foot often leads to knee rotation, changes in the angle of the hip and pelvic unleveling (placing stress on the low back).
You can imagine that over time, pain can persist, cartilage can break down and arthritis may occur. In addition, tightness in mobility issues can change in the affected joint regions. Of course, there are other issues with the foot that can occur as well including:
and other complicating factors including:
genetic predisposition (your genetics)
Custom Orthotics For the Feet Fortunately, for those with problems with their body mechanics (including their foot problems), there is a way to access and support these problems. This allows you to reduce the stress, reduce pain and improve your overall health. You may have heard of shoe inserts before. These are over-the-counter cushions that are placed into your shoes to provide your feet with some relief. However, they often do not help the underlying issues that have created the problems in the first place – mechanics. They are also a one-size-fits-all product and not specifically made for you.
Now, let’s talk about the alternative that can actually provide you with relief AND to correct your biomechanical isses, like flat feet. Our custom made and fitted orthotics are built for you, and only you. To create these, we use a special 3D laser evaluation of the feet, giving us the unique ability to detect subtle changes in the feet including the areas that produce too much stress or too little pressure. We are able to understand the three arches of the foot and what problems exist. Whether you are a mom, a child, a person who works on their feet all day or an athlete, we have the ability to evaluate the stress and biomechanics of your feet. Making the Orthotics Once the 3D laser foot assessment has been performed and our provider asseses the report and other tests that may be performed, a plan of action may be recommended (if a problem is found).
We offer many types of orthotics based upon your needs, your activity levels, your shoewear and the problems we have found. As an example, an orthotic for a man with flat feet will be different than that of a woman with diabetic foot pain. A runner’s orthotics will be different than that of a working mom. We also offer orthotics for each shoe type, such as running shoes, work boots, high heels, dress shoes and more.
Each person is different and has their own unique needs and we will find and address these issues with you. We’ll even show you the other areas of your body that may be having undue stress placed upon it and the impact it is having. Do Your Feet, Ankles, Knees or Hips Hurt? If you feel pain, tenderness or tightness in any of these areas, this is a sign that you may be having imbalance of the joints. This may be a good time to have a 3D laser scan of the feet. Posture or Other Health Conditions? Those who are athletes, have postural problems or have other health conditions can beneift greatly with custom made orthotics. The best way to assess your needs is through a 3D laser scan.