Every May and June at the Neepawa Chiropractic and Massage Centre, we have our annual orthotic sale. Discussions arise with patients if they need these rather expensive custom insoles for their shoes. So, the purpose of today's Blog is to inform you whether you might benefit from custom orthotic insoles. Here are some reasons to why you might need to have your feet evaluated.
1. Pain and Discomfort
Pain is a signal from your body that something is getting overused or is not functioning properly. Heel pain is one of the most common foot problems and is often from plantar fasciitis, where the arch is dropping and putting extra stress on the main ligament on the bottom of the foot. Osteoarthritis and joint restrictions are other common foot pains and can be a result of unstable joints. Metatarsalgia is pain under the pads of the toes and is associated with dropped arches of the foot and improper mechanics. Prolonged use of improper foot wear is a major factor that causes pain in the feet. Pay attention to foot pain!
2. Heel Cord Positioning
By observing the Achilles tendon at the back of the foot, you can see if the foot is rotating in (pronation) or if it is rotating out (supination). Ideally, the heel cord is straight up and down. When the foot is flat it is commonly associated with a C-shaped heel cord.
3. Calluses and Shoe Wear
A normal functioning foot shouldn't have excessive callusing at the heel, midfoot or on the big toe. Callusing is a sure sign that there is excessive force being placed on the callused area due to improper foot mechanics. Often, premature wear on your shoes correlates with the area of the callusing on your feet. If you wear out the outside of your shoes, or if the heel wears out fast, it is time for orthotic insoles.
4. The Wet Test
With wet feet, stand on a piece of newspaper or paper towel and then examine your footprint. A footprint without a c-curve in the arch could signify a pronator, and a prominent c-curve could suggest a supinator. Often people need orthotics if they have over-pronation.
5. Injury or Surgury
If you have recently suffered an injury or had surgery to your lower extremities, it is important to make sure you are properly supporting your recovery from the ground up. Often hip and knee surgeries leave the patient with a leg length difference. A misaligned gait can cause issues with your ankles, knees, and hips. Orthotic insoles can have a post on the heel part to equal out your leg lengths.
Not everyone needs orthotics, as most foot pain can be alleviated by good footwear and over-the-counter insoles. However, there are times when a person has a foot type or over-use condition that requires an insole to provide more support. Orthotics can help with sore feet and can be a smart preventative measure to help avoid future foot problems. Orthotics provide optimal correction, prevention of symptoms, and shock absorption.
Activity fact: There are 206 bones in the human body and 52 of them are in your feet!
Dr. Mark Perrett
Dr. Perrett is a Canadian-trained chiropractor and has owned a multidisciplinary clinic in Neepawa for the past twenty years. His mission is to keep people active and help them achieve optimal health. He is an avid long-distance runner and enjoys soccer and strength-training. He is on the executive team for the Canadian Chiropractic College Board of Governors, Chairman of the licensing committee for the Manitoba Chiropractors Association, a board member and avid fundraiser for World Spine Care, and is involved in the Canadian Chiropractic Guidelines Initiative. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on facebook (@neepawachiropracticcentre), Instagram (neepawachiropractic) and Twitter (@npwchiro).