Love or hate your feet, you owe it to your body to check out foot biometrics and orthotic correction (should it be necessary!)
Your feet are amazing structures! Each foot is made up of 26 bones, with over 33 joints, more than 100 muscles, ligaments and tendons and between them have over 14,000 nerve endings (descending from your spinal nerves!) Think what they do in for you on a day-to-
daily basis, then over a month and so on….!!
So, it may not surprise you to read that the way your foot ‘works’ can alter over time. This may be a subtle change as you age or a more dramatic change due to other factors e.g. tension, trauma daily routines (including sports and standing for long periods daily) etc……
Bio-mechanical (the way the foot moves) problems can increase stresses and pain in the foot itself as well as the surrounding areas. This causes localised pain in the foot (feet), the
ankle(s) also problems in the lower limbs, knees, hip and even back pain.
Poor foot bio-mechanics can cause many disorders & symptoms e.g.
- Ankle Pain
- Flat Feet Or Collapsed Arches (see picture below)
- Fore Foot Pain (Metatarsalgia)
- Heel Spurs (Policeman’s Heel)
- Knee Pain (Chondramalica Patella & Patella Tibial Syndrome)
- Plantar Fasciitis (Arch Strain)
- Shin Splints
I have noted that many clients who present with dreadful pain (in their lower back or hip or knee or ankles and foot pain) in several if not ALL those areas most have a common denominator… Poor Foot Bio-mechanics!!
Note uneveness in ankles and inward slouch
If you tried to stand in this position you would instantly note your knees changing position and lolling inwards which drops your posture forwards. The extent of this is extenuated by other factors such as muscular tensions, leg length discrepancies, tilted pelvis to name a few.
You can see that quite simply you may well not recognise that this problem is occurring particularly if you have ‘good feet’ all your life. The reason is that as we age we are prone to wear and tear on our joints.
Note the difference, the foot, ankle and leg is upright,
note also that the inner and outer ‘knobbly’ ankle bone is now horizontal.
Regular use of orthotics will:
- Improve general bio-mechanical function of the foot
- Improve pelvic alignment
- Prevent or halt foot deformities
- Provide support & better posture
- Reduce lower leg tensions and knee stress
- Reduce pain from the lower back downwards.
- Relieve pressure on specific areas of the feet
During a recent discussion with my podiatrist we discussed correction of flat feet/ dropped arches at length!
The following conclusion drawn:
- Do have a consultation with a reputable podiatrist.
- If orthotics are prescribed start by introducing the inserts gradually, increasing from a few hours a day to whenever you wear footwear.
This is to allow a gentle transition for the biomechanics of the foot to ‘kick in’. Sometimes this process can feel uncomfortable (as though you’ve exercised)
- It is best to have them checked 3-6 months post insertion (dependant on your professionals’ advice). There may well be further tweaks to ensure progression of muscular/skeletal health…….
- It is quite natural if your calf/ shin muscles change in appearance as the balance restores.