Custom Foot Orthotics
One of my first patients in chiropractic school was a factory worker with constant neck and low back pain. She had also had two knee surgeries. Her life was difficult and her job was very hard on her, physically and emotionally. I was her first chiropractor, and I was thrilled that she reported significant relief from our work together. But she didn’t hold her adjustments for very long, and I started thinking beyond what was happening in her spine.
As a student, I couldn’t prescribe orthotics for her, but I sent her to a local chiropractor who could. Wow! What a difference. She was less fatigued, she needed adjusting less frequently, she felt more stable, her pain levels dropped. This is one of the many valuable lessons I’ve received from patients: make sure the foundation is solid.
If the ligaments holding the bones of the feet together start to stretch and deform, the foot’s arches will flatten and pronate. That means the feet can’t support the body in motion. And not all orthotics are created equal: gel inserts cushion the feet, but don’t support it structurally. And I’ve had rigid supports in my own shoes: they were great when I was standing still, but I couldn’t walk in them. So I like an orthotic that both supports and moves with the foot.