Foot Levelers

Leading Provider of Custom Orthotics

Category: Health & Wellness (page 1 of 3)

How Chiropractic Adjustments and Other​ Treatments Can Help the Opioid Epidemic

Chiropractic is a drug-free approach to pain relief and pain management

Opioid alternative through chiropractic adjustments and treatments

Currently, more than 2 million Americans are dependent on opioids. For many people, their addiction stems from seeking pain management for an injury or chronic condition, such as back or knee pain. The opioid crisis has become a national emergency causing overdose remedies to be sold over-the-counter for greater availability. Although some opioid abusers turn to hard drugs like heroin, many people develop dangerous addictions to prescription drugs originally provided to them by doctors they trust for treatment. However, opioids are not the only option for treatment and seeking chiropractic care provide patients with pain relief, but also aids in reducing the negative effects of the opioid epidemic on American society. read more

Have Low Back Pain? Look to Custom Orthotics First

Whole Body Health with Custom Orthotics

At least 80% of the U.S. population will experience back pain at some point in their lifetime, and more than 3 million reported cases of lower back pain occur each year. Lower back pain is also one of the biggest reasons why people miss work due to the intensity and sometimes sudden onset of discomfort and pain. However, there is a solution that doesn’t include endless trips to the doctor, arguing with insurance agents, prescription medications, and inconvenient physical therapy appointments.

Understanding Low Back Pain read more

Kevin Durant Achilles Tendon Rupture Most Likely Caused by Calf Injury

Kevin Durant Achilles Injury

In case you hadn’t heard, the world’s best basketball player, Kevin Durant, recently went down with an Achilles injury. It’s looking like (as we write this) it’s a ruptured Achilles tendon. That’s a devesting injury for anyone, let alone a world-class athlete.

Durant had been dealing with a calf injury, on the same leg, for a few weeks before this Achilles injury. He missed several games because of the calf injury and was in his first game back in action.

In a press conference after the game, the President of the Warriors, Bob Myers commented, “The initial injury was a calf injury. This is not a calf injury,” Myers said. “I’m not a doctor, I don’t know how those are related or not, but it’s a different injury.” read more

5 Reasons Orthotics Help Your Entire Body

Whole body health

Our body is an interdependent system and when one part is not functioning properly, it can negatively impact other parts leading to over or diminished use. Physicals exist because it is necessary to be examined from head to toe, literally, down to each and every toe, and specialists alone cannot effectively treat our entire body. Chiropractic medicine takes a holistic and comprehensive approach to the body to help ensure and optimize functioning so that we can live our daily lives more easily.

  read more

5 Terrible Things People Do to Treat Plantar Fasciitis

5 Terrible Things People Do to Treat Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissue in your foot and nearly 2 million Americans suffer from the discomfort of plantar fasciitis. Although many people think that plantar fasciitis affects only the heel of the foot, it can actually affect any part of the bottom of your foot since all of that tissue is at risk for inflammation. Early morning foot pain and/or stiffness is typically a good indication that you’re experiencing plantar fasciitis, as is pain or discomfort after spending long periods of time on your feet.  read more

How Chiropractors Can Fix Plantar Fasciitis

Chiropractor helping plantar fasciitis

With nearly 2 million American’s dealing with plantar fasciitis, it’s a very common problem that requires attention. Sadly, though, many people ignore their symptoms and discomfort until it becomes debilitating or until they have more time to get treatment. But, treating and alleviating plantar fasciitis can be as simple as seeing a Chiropractor and you can even take steps (no pun intended) to help prevent it from returning.

The feet are the foundation of the body. Problems with your feet are akin to having a sinking or cracking foundation in your home. It’s a chain reaction that influences how the rest of the body operates, but discomfort can also cloud your mind and negatively impact your mood and productivity, too. So how can you tell whether you have plantar fasciitis? read more

3 Bad Things Over-The-Counter Insoles Do to Your Body

3 bad things about over the counter insoles

Over-the-counter (OTC) orthotic insoles are foot supports made from various materials including foam, leather, and plastic. OTC insoles are designed to go inside your shoe and provide some type of relief. OTC insoles are popularized by clever branding and packaging techniques and can be bought at local pharmacies and grocery stores. Some are marketed as providing additional comfort. Others promise to relieve pain from common conditions like bunions, plantar fasciitis, and arch support issues. Additionally, you can buy OTC insoles for a variety of shoes like high heels, athletic shoes, and boots, so as to seemingly work with every consumer’s lifestyle. read more

Chiropractic Seminars

If you’re looking for great seminars related to your practice and profession, Foot Levelers hosts many 8-12 CEU, one or two day seminars throughout the country. Speakers are engaging and are experts in their field. Click here to visit and register for one (or more) of our Chiropractic Seminars.

Everything You Need to Know About Plantar Fasciitis, Including Whether or Not You Have It

Nearly 2 million Americans suffer from plantar fasciitis.

Heel and foot pain, spurs, tight tendons, and stiffness could be signs that you had a long day, you wore the wrong shoes, or that you have a common condition known as plantar fasciitis, along with nearly 2 million other Americans. For many of us living busy lives, we often brush off our own health unless or until we experience excruciating pain or some form of debilitation. But, foot pain, even a mild amount, is nothing to put on your to-do list for when you have time. The feet are the foundation of the body and when your feet aren’t operating at 100%, neither are you. Identifying, diagnosing, and treating plantar fasciitis can be fast and easy, leading you to have more comfort as you handle everything else in your life. read more

Custom Molded, Flexible, Three Arch Custom Orthotics are an Effective Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

Foot Levelers Plantar Fasciitis and Plantar Heel Pain

by Kevin Wong, DC

Our feet are perhaps the most overused and under-appreciated parts of the human body. We use them relentlessly, depending on them daily to bear our body weight, transport us places and allow us to stand, walk and run. Only in cases where they are painful do we bother to have them looked at. Even then, proper and complete knowledge of the feet, their movement patterns and their effects on the rest of the body are rarely adequately taught.

In the world of foot pain, heel pain and plantar fasciitis are among the most common ailments people consult a medical provider for. Up to ten percent of the population will present with heel pain over the course of their lives, and it can affect everyone who engages in weight-bearing physical activity. (1) It is important for the healthcare consumer to understand the various treatment options available.

Aside from physiotherapy modalities (i.e., cold laser, ultrasound, muscle stim, etc.), stretching/strengthening exercises and braces, foot orthotics are very often prescribed. The belief is the bottom of the feet are supported by an external device to “shore up the arch”.

British Journal of Sports Medicine

On March 19, 2018, an article was published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM). The article was titled Efficacy of foot orthoses for the treatment of plantar heel pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. It reviewed “current” literature and analyzed how effective orthotics were for plantar heel pain. In conclusion, the article found that there was no difference in improvement in pain or function between prefabricated, custom-made and sham orthoses in the treatment of patients with plantar heel pain.

Since the article’s release, some media outlets have released news reports discussing the article, but they have interchanged plantar heel pain with plantar fasciitis. Although the areas of involvement are close to each other, clinically speaking they are not the same and not synonymous. It is essential for patients and the public to know the difference so let’s make sure we define these terms as separate ailments.

Plantar Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar heel pain is soreness or tenderness of the heel that has a location restricted to the underside or pad of the heel. It often radiates from the central part of the heel pad or the medial tubercle to the back of the heel itself.

Plantar-Heel-Pain

Plantar Fasciitis involves inflammation or irritation of a thick band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that runs across the bottom of your foot from the heel bone to your toes. In this instance, pain is located anywhere on or radiate from the medial tubercle across the plantar fascia up to the toes. Here the plantar fascia gets excessively stretched and irritated.

Because of their location, plantar heel pain and plantar fasciitis are not the same thing. It may seem like splitting hairs, but in the study, we mentioned above, their findings made conclusions only for plantar heel pain, not plantar fasciitis.

The argument of which treatment(s) are helpful for plantar surface foot pain has been made for years by different health care providers and patients. Some believe there is no effective treatment for plantar surface foot pain while others vehemently disagree. It comes down to the patient and their specific situation. There is not a one size fits all treatment for Plantar Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis.

How to Treat Plantar Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

To better understand what can be done to help these conditions, let’s take a look at the anatomy of the feet. The twenty-six bones of each foot are supported on the underside by three arches: the medial, lateral, and transverse. Most people only think we have one arch.

These three arches are fully formed by age seven, and together they are vital for supporting not only the feet but the ankles, knees, hips, pelvis and the entire spine above.

Now back to the BJSM Study. Recall, that the study evaluated existing research that had previously been published. The article found that there was no difference in improvement in pain or function between prefabricated, custom-made and sham orthoses in the treatment of patients with plantar heel pain.

If one analyzes the information in the study carefully, the type of orthotics that had been studied were custom made or prefabricated, hard, rigid, single arch support inserts. The orthotics in those studies were not custom molded, flexible and three arch support. There is a big difference between these types of orthotics and those classically made which are rigid.

The types of orthotics discussed in the study did not provide adequate support for all three arches of the feet. So, to be very specific, the study itself came to conclusions that are aimed explicitly at classic hard, rigid orthotic with one arch support.

When a custom molded, flexible, three arch orthotic is worn by the patient, it gives the appropriate amount of support for the feet. The three-arch support takes the stretch or elongating force caused by the overpronation or supination to the plantar fascia and reduces it significantly minimizing or eliminating the pain.

Pat McKee, a retired University of Toronto professor of occupational science and therapy, used to teach students how to make custom foot orthotics out of thermal plastics. She had this to say about custom orthotics and Plantar Fasciitis to CTV News: “Some (custom orthotics) are created better than others. I think it is better if they are shock absorbing and not a hard plastic.”

Custom molded, flexible and three arch support orthotics do the following:

1. Absorb 30% more ground shock with each step thereby reducing the stress on the ankle, knee, hips, pelvis and the spine.
2. Provide individual support for all three arches under each foot in all weight-bearing positions.
3. Help enhance the nerve sensation, circulation and muscle balance in the feet.
4. The reduction of stress in the joints above the feet will allow the muscles to fire in a healthier pattern, reduce nerve involvement and reduce pain.
5. Help prevent injuries in the joints of the body that arises from the repetitive stress created by over-pronation and excessive supination.

Ultimately, treatment for Plantar Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis comes down to the patient and their specific situation. Custom orthotics can be an effective treatment for Plantar Fasciitis. The types of orthotics discussed in the study were hard, rigid orthotics with one arch support and did not provide adequate support for all three arches of the feet. Custom molded, flexible, three arch orthotics give the appropriate amount of support and take the stretch or elongating force, caused by the overpronation or supination to the plantar fascia, and reduces it significantly minimizing or eliminating the pain.

Athletes and Hip Injury Prevention

hip painby John Danchik, DC, CCSP, FICC

The competitive and the recreational athlete can each be affected by injuries to the muscles and ligaments around the hip.  These injuries can significantly interfere with sports enjoyment and performance levels, and they occasionally will end participation completely.  Poor shock absorption and excessive pronation have been found to be underlying causes or contributing factors for many leg/hip injuries. (1)  Orthotics, which have been custom made to improve the biomechanics of the feet and reduce the extent of pronation, can help to prevent many sport-related leg injuries.

Excessive Foot Pronation a Factor

Busseuil et al. looked at the foot biomechanics of athletes who reported a recent foot or leg injury and compared them to an uninjured control group. (2)  The researchers determined that those athletes with more foot pronation had a much greater statistical probability of sustaining one of five leg injuries, including iliotibial band syndrome (which is due to excessive tightness of the hip abductor muscles).  This study helps us understand how providing appropriate orthotic support to patients who are involved in sport or recreational activities lowers their likelihood of developing both traumatic and overuse hip injuries.

In the Busseuil et al. paper, sixty-six injured athletes who ran at least once a week, and who had no history of traumatic or metabolic factors, were the study group.  Another (control) group of 216 athletes were matched who had no symptoms of lower extremity injuries.  The amount of pronation during standing and while running at “regular speed” was determined by measuring the angles of their footprints.  This quick and inexpensive method of determining the amount of pronation during functional activities (plantar prints) had been previously investigated. (3)

The investigators concluded that those athletes with more pronation had a much greater likelihood of having sustained one of the overuse athletic injuries.  While both the standing (static) and running (dynamic) prints showed some correlation, the amount of pronation seen in the static weightbearing footprint was the most predictive of developing an overuse injury.  This study helps remind us that it is very important to athletic performance and for injury prevention to check the alignment of patients’ feet in the standing position.

Hip Injuries and Hamstring Control

Many hip injuries develop from poor biomechanics and gait asymmetry, especially when running.  Smooth coordination of the muscles that provide balance and support for the pelvis is needed for optimum bipedal sports performance.  This includes the hamstring muscles and the hip abductor muscles, especially the tensor fascia lata (the iliotibial band).  When there is a biomechanical deficit from the feet and ankles, abnormal motions (such as excessive internal rotation of the entire leg) will predispose to pulls and strains of these important support muscles.  The hamstrings (comprised of the biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus muscles) are a good example.

During running, the hamstrings are most active during the last 25% of the swing phase, and the first 50% of the stance phase. (4)  This initial 50% of stance phase consists of heel strike and maximum pronation.  The hamstring muscles function to control the knee and ankle at heel strike and to help absorb some of the impact.  A recent study has shown a significant decrease in electromyographic activity in the hamstrings when wearing orthotics. (5)  In fact, these investigators found that the biceps femoris — which is the most frequently injured of the three hamstring muscles (6) — had the greatest decrease in activity of all muscles tested, including the tibialis anterior, the medial gastrocnemius, and the medial and lateral vastus muscles.  The authors of this study theorized that the additional support from the orthotics helped the hamstrings to control the position of the calcaneus and knee, so there was much less stress into the hip joint and pelvis.

Hip Injuries and Excessive Pronation

Using orthotics to correct excessive pronation and to treat hip problems requires an awareness of the various problems that can develop.  The following is a list of the pathologies that are seen in the hip and pelvis secondary to pronation and foot hypermobility: (7)

  • Anterior pelvic tilt
  • Hip adductor muscle strain
  • Hip flexor muscle strain
  • Hip joint capsulitis
  • Iliotibial band syndrome
  • Piriformis muscle strain
  • Tensor fascia lata strain
  • Trochanteric bursitis

These conditions will develop much more easily in athletes who push their musculoskeletal systems, in order to achieve greater functional performances.

Conclusion

Excessive pronation and/or poor shock absorption have been shown to be an associated or causative factor in many leg injuries — from the foot itself, up the lower leg to the knee, thigh, and into the hip joint.  The good news is that many of these conditions can be prevented with custom-made orthotics.  Evaluation of foot biomechanics is a good idea in all patients but is especially necessary for those who are recreationally active, or for anyone who has experienced hip problems.  To avoid potentially disabling hip injuries, competitive athletes must have regular evaluations of the alignment and function of their feet.  Additional preventive measures include wearing well-designed and solidly-constructed shoes.  When athletes are provided with custom-made orthotics, we chiropractors can prevent arch breakdown and biomechanical foot problems, and we can also treat numerous injuries to the lower extremities, including the hip joints.

 

References

  • Dahle LK et al. Visual assessment of foot type and relationship of foot type to lower extremity injury. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 1991; 14:70-74.
  • Busseuil C et al. Rearfoot-forefoot orientation and traumatic risk for runners. Foot Ankle Intl 1998; 19:32-37.
  • Freychat P et al. Relationship between rearfoot and forefoot orientation and ground reaction forces during running. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1996; 28:225-232.
  • Mack RP. AAOS Symposium on the Foot and Leg in Running Sports. St. Louis: Mosby; 1982.
  • Nawoczenski DA, Ludewig PM. Electromyographic effects of foot orthotics on selected lower extremity muscles during running. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1999; 80:540-544.
  • Garrett WE. Muscle strain injuries. Am J Sports Med 1996; 24:S2-8.
  • Hartley A. Practical Joint Assessment: A Sports Medicine Manual. St. Louis: Mosby YearBook; 1991:571.
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    Give Hip Pain the Boot

    Got hip pain?

    Foot Levelers custom-made stabilizing orthotics may be able to help.

    The hip joint is the body’s largest ball-and-socket joint, allowing for fluid movement during running, walking, and more. As the hip bone moves around in its socket, a cushion of cartilage helps prevent friction.

    But with age and use, this cartilage can wear down or sustain damage. So can the muscles, tendons, and bones in and surrounding the hip.  Hip pain is usually a symptom of an underlying condition, including Arthritis, Avascular necrosis (or osteonecrosis), certain cancers, Bursitis, fracture, labral tear, muscle or tendon strain, and tendinitis. It’s important to work with your healthcare provider to determine the source of your pain.

    Custom-made stabilizing orthotics, like Foot Levelers XP3 orthotic shown here, can help your hip pain by stabilizing the body’s foundation–the feet–and restoring alignment to hips.

    Symptoms of Hip Pain

    Depending on the condition that’s causing your hip pain, you might feel the discomfort in your:

    • Inside of the hip joint
    • Outside of the hip joint
    • Groin
    • Buttocks
    • Thigh

    Occasionally pain from other areas of the body, such as the back or groin (from a hernia for example), is felt in the hip.

    In most cases, treating your hip pain is more likely to be successful when the focus is on restoring balanced function to the entire body—starting from the ground up—rather than simply reducing the pain and inflammation in the irritated tissues. Chiropractic care plus custom orthotics have been proven to help.

    Treatment

    Your Chiropractor can help relieve your hip pain with adjustments, rehab, and custom orthotics. Icing or heating the area may also help, as might resting the affected joint.

    Your doctor can help you determine what stretching and strengthening exercises might improve your hip’s function and reduce your pain.

    Remember: hip replacement surgery, though successful for many, is still a major surgery. Make sure to try conservative care first,  like drug- and surgery-free Chiropractic care plus Foot Levelers custom orthotics. Your hip pain may be helped without the need for the knife, downtime, or potentially addictive drugs.

    X-ray of a patient’s hip before orthotics (left) and immediately after placing Foot Levelers custom orthotics in the shoes. Notice the asymmetry between the hips immediately diminishes–and so does the pain.

     

    Chiropractic a Top Choice for Neck and Back Pain

    Chiropractors are ranked high for reducing neck and back pain.

    Back to School/Backpack Safety Check!

    Backpack safety and Chiropractic

    On-Site Chiropractic Health Clinics SAVE Money, Boost Productivity

    on site chiropractic clinics infographic

    Chiropractic and Coverage: What’s the Story?

    chiropractic coverage infographic

    Walk This Way! (to Good Health)

    health benefits of walking

    We talk a lot to you athletes and weekend warriors out there (hey, you guys are some of our favorite people and biggest supporters!) But not everyone is destined for sports greatness, or frankly even interested in pushing their limits in the gym/field/track/road/etc. That’s OK. There’s more than one way to stay active, and simple, low key activities like walking can have incredible health benefits, too.

    In addition to helping maintain a healthy weight, walking…

    • Lowers stress, lifts mood, and helps the heart
    • Improves circulation
    • Slows mental decline
    • Improves sleep
    • Encourages a feeling of connection with nature and with your thoughts

    …All that and no special equipment is required–plus, walking is easier on the joints than running and is an exercise that folks of most ages and fitness levels can take on. Learn more about the wonders of walking here!

    Foot Pain: An Epidemic that Affects Nearly Everyone

    75 percent of Americans experience foot problems

    Learn more at FootLevelers.com and Foot.com.

    New Athletic TIPS™: Prevention and Treatment of Shin Splints in Young Runners

    preventative athletic tips

    Check out this new TIP on keeping young runners injury-free from our friends at Athletic TIPS! Step 1: Fit the athlete “for custom-made flexible orthotics for support, symmetry of the arches, and shock absorption.” A body balanced at its foundation works better, stronger, and is less likely to get injured. Read more here!

     

     

    “Chiropractic: A Safer Strategy Than Opioids”

    There is a solution to the opioid epidemic! foundation for chiropractic health logoOur friends at The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) just released a new positioning paper, “Chiropractic: A Safer Strategy Than Opioids,” which talks about the value of a conservative, drug-free approach to chronic pain–especially for back and neck pain, headaches, neuro-musculoskeletal conditions and more.

    The paper follows up on recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control  (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which urge a shift away from opioid use in treating chronic pain. Nearly 30,000 Americans died from opioid overdose in 2014, a number that has tripled since 2000. The opioid epidemic is a very serious problem. That’s “ten 9/11s every single year.”  For comparison, about 5,000 die annually from cocaine overdose.

    chiropractic care a great solution to the opioid epidemic

     

    We know that Chiropractic offers a safe and powerful alternative for treating both chronic and acute pain.  Again and again, research proves positive outcomes, cost effectiveness, and high patient satisfaction rates.

    We applaud the Foundation for this powerful statement. You can read it in full here.

    Related: Learn how custom orthotics can solve numerous health issues that are responsible for causing pain – pain that helps fuel the opioid problem.  

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