Believe it or not, our feet, and the dynamics of our gait (how we walk), have a major impact on our spinal health and the health of our knees, hips and even jaw. Foot pronation is a condition where the ankles roll in excessively, creating an excessive or imbalanced torsion that translate to the knees, hips, back, neck and jaw. Foot supination is a condition where the foot rolls out. Ninety-five percent of people with one of these problems over-pronate, rather than over-supinate.
How many people do you know who have had hip and knee replacements or have chronic back problems? Many times it can be caused by micro-trauma over many years of foot pronation. We take about 5000 steps a day. If the forces coming from our feet are less than ideal, it can cause wear and tear on all the joints above it. Our bodies do the best they can to deal with these forces. But we pay for it over time.
Custom-made foot orthotics can help reduce the negative effects of foot pronation. Each of our feet is different. Our feet are different sizes and hit the ground at different angles. Generic orthotics do not address the needs of each foot individually. People spend a lot of money on store bought inserts. They are probably better than nothing, but do not give you the full benefit of custom-made foot orthotics.
Some signs of foot pronation:
- wear on the outer edge of your shoe heel (look for uneven wear)
- callouses on the side of your big toe
- your big toe is angled inward
- callouses under the pad of your forefoot
- forward head carriage
- plantar fasciitis
- knocked kneed
- when you stand or walk your feet flare out…usually one more than another
- medial knee pain
- scoliosis (there may be a connection between imbalanced translation of forces coming from the feet).
- chronic low back pain or even TMJ (jaw) problems
If you have any of the above signs or symptoms, you would benefit from custom-made foot orthotics. I have been fitting people with foot orthotics since 1994. A cast is made of your foot in a non-weight-bearing position. The neutral position of you ankle is located. Your foot is placed in the cast preserving the neutral ankle position. I you just step on something and an orthotic is issued it becomes an accommodative orthotic, not an optimally functional orthotic. A weight-bearing cast captures where your foot lands in its fully pronated position.
Everyone can benefit from custom-made foot orthotics. We all have different types of feet-high arches, low arches, wide and narrow feet, wide forefoot with narrow heels, different angles at which our feet hit the ground.
Dr. Reul can assess your feet to see if foot orthotics are appropriate for you.