Foot Levelers Blog

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

Month: September 2015

Magnetic Pulses May Be Effective Treatment for Depression

shutterstock_107572736

Foot Levelers is all about natural, conservative healthcare solutions, and like many, we’re deeply concerned about the overuse and over-prescription of dangerous drugs. Which is why a recent article in The Washington Post article caught our eye.

In “How Magnets ‘Reset’ Depressed Brains,” by Amy Ellis Nutt, the reporter discusses a new and groundbreaking study from the U.K that found magnets may be effective in treating patients with clinical depression. Pulses from a Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS device applied to the head of subjects seemed to “reset” their brains, say researchers—activity in the right prefrontal cortex, which is often overactive in depressed people, slowed significantly.

shutterstock_247764778

“We found that one session of TMS modifies the connectivity of large-scale brain networks, particularly the right anterior insula, which is a key area in depression,” lead scientist Sarina Iwabuchi said at a conference in Amsterdam. “We also found that TMS alters concentrations of neurotransmitters,” she added, “which are considered important for the development of depression.”shutterstock_140996341

Most current antidepressant meds on the market today target neurotransmitters, meaning magnetic treatment could eventually be used instead of harmful drugs or electric shock treatment, which is often a last resort for those who don’t respond to pharmaceuticals. The importance of the findings cannot be understated, say experts. Read the full article here.

Source: “How Magnets ‘Reset’ Depressed Brains,” by Amy Ellis Nutt, The Washington Post, August 27, 2015.

The Pitter-Patter of Little Feet: Kids and the ‘Pedal Foundation’

We know, parents: as if you don’t have enough to worry about when it comes to your kids.  But making sure your children’s feet are healthy is important.  We’ll tell you the why and the how.

shutterstock_147712802

The Why: Foot problems that develop in childhood can seriously affect your child’s health now and in the future. Picture the body as a building: if the foundation is unbalanced or “off,” everything built on top of it may suffer–in your child’s body, this includes the pelvis and spine, leading to biomechanical dysfunction. Later in life, foot problems from childhood can can accelerate degenerative changes in the knees, hips, and spine. They may also put your child at greater risk for injury during sports or play.

The How: Your Chiropractor can do a quick assessment of your child’s feet to make shutterstock_119611549sure they are developing as they should, and determine what treatment is necessary if not. He or she may watch your child walk, examine their shoe wear pattern, assess knee to foot alignment (is there a straight line down from the mid-point of each kneecap to the foot?), or look at the Achilles tendon and medial arches. Other signs that trouble is afoot include recurring subluxations.

At age 5 or above, your doctor may recommend custom-made flexible orthotics, like Foot Levelers’ Ultra Young Soles. Sensible, supportive footwear is always recommended, at any age.

Next time you visit your DC, bring your wee one along.  Addressing pedal imbalances early can help your child now and well on into the future.

shutterstock_283034996

Keep Sprains Out of the Game: Protect Your Foundation with Custom Orthotics

shutterstock_290361476

Let’s get real about ankle sprains. They’re no joke.

Today, just like every day, approximately 25,000 people in the U.S. will sprain their ankles.

More than 1 million people visit emergency rooms each year because of ankle injuries.

shutterstock_78209806

A sprained ankle on the mend.

Ankle sprains are the #1 injury in sports.

If you’ve ever experienced an ankle sprain—and chances are you have—you know how incredibly painful and debilitating they can be.  The worst ones may have you down for the count for weeks, if not months.

What’s more, up to 50% of ankle sprain patients will suffer from pain and reduced ankle function over the long-term. About 30% of those who sustain their first initial lateral ankle sprain will develop Chronic Ankle Instability—a painful and potentially debilitating condition.

orthoticfanThere’s good news, though: your health professional can help, with effective preventative care plus powerful, lasting treatments should a sprain occur.  The key, according to study after study: custom orthotics. They not only help stabilize the foot and ankle, they help to “retrain” your muscles, joints and ligaments for better functioning—the perfect compliment to your doctor‘s care.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: to stay healthy and “in the game” for as long as possible—protect your foundation.

The Real Fashion Faux Pas

You–yes you–may be harboring a dangerous villain.

It may be lurking in your bedroom closet. Or hiding in the hallway by the front door.

It may have even have made its way into the shadowy depths of….. Your back pocket.

We’re actually talking everyday items here: the oversized handbag. The workplace or evening heels. The elegant briefcase or its more modern counterpart, the laptop bag. Even the seemingly innocuous leather wallet… shutterstock_57363508The things you wear or carry on your body may secretly be conspiring to cause you serious pain and problems down the road.

We’ve talked about high heels in previous posts, but here’s Foot Levelers’ quick list of common fashion faux pas (faux pases? faux pie?) when it comes to health:

  • Large purses or handbags
  • Heavy briefcases or laptop bags
  • Too small shoes
  • High heels
  • Pointy toed shoes
  • …Even the traditional pocket wallet

Let’s “unpack” this, shall we? Big bags or heavy briefcases may carry all your essentials, but they also shift a majority of your body’s weight to one side. Our bodies are meant to stand upright–not tilt–and the addition of a large bag or purse works against this.  The result: Strain to the lower back, knees, hips, and spine.

Shoes that are too small, too tall, too pointy or fit poorly can add stress to the body and disrupt your natural gait (walking) pattern. When your walk is “off,” stress occurs in places it shouldn’t.  On your feet, you may see calluses or painful bunions. Again, strain radiates disproportionately throughout the body and joints.

shutterstock_95550097And that “innocent” wallet? Many men sport it in their back pocket during the day, and sit on it without much concern.  But sitting on a wallet creates an uneven foundation for the body in the seated position – which may cause sciatica or even a herniated disc.

There’s good news: small and simple changes will help you avoid pain and strain.  If you frequently carry bags or briefcases, alternate sides. (And strengthening the muscles that are used to carry these accessories can help hold their weight while maintaining good posture).  Guys, carry your wallet in a front pocket whenever possible.

With shoes, make sure you purchase ones that fit (one study found that 88% of women wear shoes that are too small! Eighty-eight percent!!). They should also have good support–ideally, custom-made orthotics.  When wearing heels, try not to do so for any longer than 2 hours.

Keep in mind: your body is like a building.  By protecting its foundation, and taking care of the overall structure, it will look better, last longer, and feel better, too. To your health!

shutterstock_185921159

Wall Street Journal: Surgery Not Needed for Most Foot Problems

shutterstock_82930861

…Course, we already knew that. Foot problems can usually be treated without surgery! 

In “No Surgery: Fresh Cures for Common Foot Pain” by WSJ Health Reporter Angela Chen, the writer speaks with experts who say that most foot problems–from bunions to plantar fasciitis to hammertoes to ball of foot pain–can be treated successfully without surgery. “Some treatments, such as insoles that redistribute the pressure on the foot…aim to address the cause of the foot problems, which can help them from recurring,” writes Chen. (Hey! That’s what we’ve been saying all along!)

“‘I think people come in wanting surgery because they want a quick fix and want to be back to normal,’ says Norman Turner, an orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. ‘Unfortunately, in most cases surgery isn’t a quick fix because it can take just as long, or longer, to get back on your feet.'”

“The knife” is not the answer–it’s costly, potentially dangerous, and could have you down for months. Got foot problems? Read the full piece here, then read what a difference custom orthotics make, and find a health professional near you who can help.

© 2018 Foot Levelers Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑