BY DR. VIKAS PURI
Your feet have an important job; they carry you throughout the day, with every step making an impact on your body. A small abnormality in your feet can lead to postural imbalance, which in turn can cause pain and disease! The most common foot abnormalities have to do with the arches (like being flat-footed), or the bones of the feet being misaligned causing bunions or hammertoes.
Your feet are a complex system of 52 bones, 66 joints, 214 ligaments, 38 muscles, and tendons. When you are running, the pressure on your feet can be three or four times your body weight. Even walking can produce more pressure than the sum of your body weight. The American Podiatric Medical Association says that the average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day. That adds up to about 115,000 miles in a lifetime or more than four times the circumference of the globe! Humans were not meant to stand on hard surfaces all day such as cement floors or wear shoes that do not allow our feet to grip the ground. Add to this the fact that almost nobody’s feet are perfect, it is no wonder then that 75% of people will experience foot problems, and 80% of people will experience resultant back pain at some point in their lives. Women have four times as many foot problems as men because they have a long history of wearing high heels and/or pointy toe shoes.
Problems in our feet throw off our posture, creating abnormal stress in our spine which pinches off spinal nerves. The spinal nerves exiting our spine are the power supply to the body, sending important brain signals to our body which guide our health and wellbeing. Every organ of our body is connected to the spine. So, if the organ systems are not getting the right nerve flow, improper organ function, and subsequent disease results!
90% of the signals to the brain on a daily basis have to do with proprioception, the sense of where we are in space which leads to balance and coordination. If these signals are not proper due to improper posture, stress hormone builds up in our system, and our overall health becomes impaired. The first things that happen when a stress hormone known as cortisol increases is a reduction in the functioning of our digestive system, reproductive system, and immune system. This can then cascade into many other symptoms and diseases.
Chiropractic doctors are trained to evaluate posture and diagnose spinal issues and related problems arising from nerves, bones, muscles and soft tissues, including feet! They then treat these issues, naturally and gently, without medications. This improves one’s health and prevents health issues in the future. Improving foot function and posture reduces cortisol levels in the body which improves spine function, organ function and brain function, leading to a better quality of life.
Chiropractors perform a foot and gait analysis, often using sophisticated computer software along with a physical examination to determine biomechanical problems in the feet and lower extremity region. Custom orthotics are often recommended to correct for any abnormalities detected. They offer a very simple and effective means of improving foot function. This improves our posture and gait and provides a synergistic effect on the efficacy of chiropractic treatments in improving our health.
Custom-made orthotics are a simple solution to foot pain, resulting in body pains and disease. They are custom built insoles you place in your footwear to improve foot alignment, just like braces for the teeth. They are very comfortable and immediately improve your health. There are different types of orthotics depending on your style of footwear. There are different ones for casual, dress, athletic and high heels.
The Intelligent Health Group is hosting its 5th annual “discover week” between April 1 to 6, 2019. During this week they will be offering complimentary foot and spine examinations. It is highly recommended that everyone attend and get educated on how “healthy” they are and what can be done. Remember, changing your footwear can change your life.