Everything within the body is interconnected. If each system is functioning properly, you will likely thrive. If something is out of balance, other systems can suffer. Misalignment in the hips, for example, can cause debilitating back pain.

This relationship between all the areas of the body is exceptionally clear when it comes to the feet and how they can affect every step in the Kinetic Chain. As the foundation on which the rest of the body builds, healthy feet are essential to optimal function. As a doctor, you understand this relationship and the profound influence it can have on the success of adjustments and overall care.

Unfortunately, feet take a lot of abuse that translates to the whole body suffering. Simply walking places substantial stress on the structures of the feet. Throw in more explosive, demanding movements like running and jumping, as well as the cumulative effect of time, and those stresses can increase dramatically.

Think of the foot as both the shock absorber and propulsion device for the body. They bear the brunt of the impact each time you take a step and are then largely responsible for propelling you forward. While walking and other forms of movement are a normal aspect of life, the repetition adds up and can create issues.

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How the Foot Absorbs Impact

A study designed to research the impact of normal heel strikes during movement and the potential long-term effects1 shed some fascinating light on the manner in which the body absorbs impact through the feet. The theory was that there are biomechanical factors that may contribute to degenerative diseases and the deterioration of the systems that people use for propulsion—notably the elements within the feet and surrounding areas.

Using sensitive equipment—specifically high-resonance-frequency force plates and low-mass skin-mounted accelerometers—the study sought to measure the force of impact during motion and weigh the possibility of people experiencing a phenomenon known as fatigue failure (typically applied in engineering scenarios).

The results demonstrated that the heel striking the ground introduced a shock wave that endured up to five ms. The force of this shock wave measured approximately 80% of the subject’s body weight. In other words, the impact of simple movement is substantial and places tremendous stress on the body, especially the feet and surrounding areas.

Improving Overall Health with Custom Orthotics

The repetitive impact of movement and the stress it places on the human body can accumulate over time and lead to aches, pains, misalignments, and more. Improving the body’s ability to effectively absorb these repeated impacts can not only preserve positive health, but also aid in the recovery from gait, posture, and structural issues caused and affected by said impacts.

Custom orthotics that support all three arches of the foot are one of the best ways to facilitate that exact improvement. Unlike generic orthotics that are essentially one-size-fits-most, custom orthotics take a multitude of factors into consideration. If you are searching for the ideal solution to your patient’s musculoskeletal concerns, custom orthotics are something that should be given serious consideration.

Not only do high-quality custom orthotics account for individual discrepancies in your patient’s musculoskeletal structure and gait, but they also act as a superior form of shock absorption. By addressing several areas of concern in a personalized manner, custom orthotics can reduce wear and tear caused by repetitive impact, improve gait, and help correct imbalances.

The result is not just immensely beneficial to the feet and their ability to absorb shock and effectively propel the body forward but also provides full-body health advantages. This, in turn, facilitates an active, healthy lifestyle whether the patient is recovering from injury or simply trying to have the highest quality of life possible.

Discover the Foot Levelers Advantage

Over seven decades of experience in any industry speaks volumes. Foot Levelers has been driving custom orthotics innovation for more than 70 years, helping you provide your patients with superior health outcomes, including the reduction of pain and improved quality of life both immediately and long-term.

Foot Levelers are the only custom orthotics that support all three arches of the foot for total body health and are backed by proven science and research. They have a proud history of partnering with the healthcare community through numerous donations, grants and philanthropic and educational support.

To learn more about Foot Levelers and how they can facilitate success for both you and your patients, feel free to call us at 800.553.4860. Our team of experts is happy to answer your questions, guide you to the right resources, and ensure that you and your patients experience the advantages only Foot Levelers can offer.

1Folman, Y., Wosk, J., Voloshin, A., & Liberty, S. (2004). Cyclic impacts on heel strike: A possible biomechanical factor in the etiology of degenerative disease of the human locomotor system. Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, 104(6), 363-365.