Foot Levelers Blog

World’s leading provider of custom-made functional orthotics.

Month: June 2015

“The Best Medicine” Has Workplace Benefits, Too

Do you have fun at work?

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We do!

Healthcare is serious business, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for fun and laughter too! After all, laughter can actually improve health–reducing stress levels and boosting feelings of well-being.  

Research shows it’s good for the workplace, too. 

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Here’s a recent picture of what happens when our CEO loses a friendly bet with the Customer Service Department. That’s him (Kent) on the left along with Dawn, a Senior Vice President. The entire executive team got “pied” recently.

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Steve, another Sr. VP at Foot Levelers, braces himself for pie time

“Experts say play at work can boost creativity and productivity in people of all ages,” writes Laurie Tarkan in an article posted to Foxnews.com. “Play can also lower your stress levels, boost your optimism, and increase your motivation to move up in a company and improve concentration and perseverance. There’s some evidence from animal studies that engaging in play opens up new neural connections in the brain, leading to greater creativity.”

“Playing also engages the creative side of your brain. When you’re fully engaged in play, you lose some of your psychological barriers and stop censoring or editing your thoughts. This allows creative ideas to flow more freely.”

Do you have fun at work? We want to know! Leave a comment below.

“But Doctor, My Feet Don’t Hurt”

Has your Chiropractor examined your feet lately?

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If not… Request a foot exam.  Feet are the foundation of the body–often, problems or pain with the legs, knees, hips, and spine start with problems with the feet.

Don’t wait for foot pain to talk to your doctor about your body’s foundation.  “Asymptomatic” (symptom-free) feet does NOT equal problem-free feet. Subluxated  or mis-positioned joints may not be painful, but they can cause biomechanical issues, neurological deficits and other problems not necessarily related to pain.

Want to learn more? Click here to read a brief article by world-renowned Chiropractor and Foot Levelers’ speaker, Dr. Mark Charrette. It was written for our Docs, so it’s a wee bit technical, but it’s a good way to delve deeper on foot issues.

A Beautiful Spine

“Stand up straight!”the familiar battle cry of moms and teachers everywhere.

It’s time to listen up — because poor posture doesn’t just look frumpy, it takes a serious toll on health.  Here are just a few of the results:

  • Muscle soreness
  • Subluxations
  • Blood vessel constriction
  • Nerve constriction

…As the years pile up, so do the problems, resulting in pain, restricted motion, and making the body more and more susceptible to injury and disease. (Read more about the posture-health connection here).

After all, your spine does more than keep your body upright: it’s the way that Command Central (the brain) “talks” to everything else. 

Healthy spine = healthy body, healthy mind.

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That’s right: posture can even affect your emotional well-being, including self-confidence! For a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, participants were asked to complete a mock job application while holding one of two positions: with shoulders slumped or sitting up straight. They also rated their own job-related strengths, how likely they were to land a position, and how well they’d perform, among other things.

Posture had a dramatic affect on responses: sitting up straight, the interviewees rated themselves far better.  

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Chiropractic care help you maintain healthy posture by keeping the body balanced; custom-made orthotics are designed to help the benefits of that care last longer and better.   Don’t have a Chiropractor yet? You can find one here. In the meantime, do yourself a favor: listen to your mama and stand up straight to reap the mind-body benefits of healthy posture.

Pick Your Perfect Shoe, Protect Your Body’s Foundation

What’s in a shoe?

Consider this: the average American takes 5,900 steps a day.1  Most people will walk thousands of miles over a lifetime.

With each step, improper footwear can cause degenerative changes in the muscles, joints and connective tissues of the feet.  Feet are the body’s foundation—when that’s compromised, everything above may shift. A body out of alignment is a body in pain, one that’s more prone to injury and disease.

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Ladies—we hope you’re listening (!), because you, especially, are at risk.  A survey on women’s shoes found that 88% of women were wearing shoes that were smaller than their feet (by an avg. of 12 cm!). Is it any wonder that 80%  reported “some foot pain” and that 76% of the women surveyed were found to have one or more foot deformity?

What’s more, high heels and pointed shoes especially can cause bunions, knee pain, and lower back pain. Heels also shift enormous pressure onto the fatty pad of the forefoot, which can lead to early breakdown and injury. The higher the heel, the greater the danger.

So here’s a quick reference guide for choosing shoes that are right for you…

Say “YES” to shoes…

  • With a square or wide toe box
  • With a heel lower than two inches high
  • With 1/2 inch of space between your longest toe and the tip of the shoe
  • With arch support (for all three of the foot’s arches, ideally)
  • With wiggle room for toes–especially the big toe

Just say “NO” to…

  • Too high heels (sorry ladies…If you MUST wear them, try to do so for no more than two hours at a time)
  • Stiletto heels (awful for balance—if you’ve got to go with heels, choose chunky instead!)
  • Pointy toed shoes (heels or otherwise)
  • Flat-as-a-board footwear like many summer sandals (if you must, fit them with orthotics)

A few more considerations:

  • Don’t go by size alone: different manufacturers size differently, plus the feet tend to grow larger as we age. With pregnancy, you can gain up to a size! 
  • Because the feet swell throughout the day—by up to 8%—do your shoe shopping toward the end of the day to ensure ample fit

Your body is your vehicle for that great adventure called Life—why risk premature break-down along the road? Wearing custom orthotics in every pair of shoes gives you the support you need for a long and fruitful journey. Shoethotics and Sandalthotics are a great choice too, because they take all the guesswork out of selecting healthy footwear, plus they’re pre-fitted with custom orthotics made just for you.

PS: We’re excited about our new custom orthotic flip-flops for guys and gals alike, which offer all the fashion and comfort of regular flip-flops, ‘cept with healthy three arch support.

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Foot Levelers’ new Catamaran custom orthotic flip-flop (cool, casual footwear for dudes).

17,000-10,000 steps a day is ideal, according to experts. 5,900 average steps for Americans — Business Insider, “Here’s how much the average American walks every day”

Acetaminophen: World’s Most Overdosed Drug, and a Dud at Treating Low Back Pain

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Mounting evidence against acetaminophen, sold under common brand names like Tylenol: a report in the prestigious British Medical Journal provides shows it’s ineffective for reducing pain intensity, disability, or improving short-term quality of life for those with low back pain. Nonetheless, the drug is widely used in an attempt to relieve symptoms, which is concerning—it’s one of the most commonly overdosed drugs in the world. Sixty-thousand Americans end up in the hospital every year due to overdose, and several hundred die. Overdose can cause liver failure.

Want safe, effective relief from low back pain? Chiropractic treatment is clinically proven to help with low back pain, and orthotics can help.  Even the traditional medical community is on-board; the American College of Physicians has stated that spinal manipulation is the most effective treatment for acute and chronic lower back pain.

Introducing the XP3: 46.3% Lighter, Elite Athlete-Tested

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Get to know Foot Levelers’ newest functional orthotic, the XP3. We designed it specifically with the high-performance athlete in mind: it’s thin profile, feather-light, and marathon-tough. XP3 is perfect for low profile running shoes, cleats, spikes, hiking boots, and more.

The XP3 weighs 46.3% lighter than any of our other orthotics and is ultra shock absorbing.

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