By Dr. Robert Patterson Jr., D.C. -
We often think of fallen arches as a cause of foot pain, but they also stress your spine. In fact, fallen arches often contribute to unresolved or recurrent back pain.
Stress and Strain on Feet and Spine
Excessive foot pronation (rolling in) can produce a short leg, pelvic unleveling, and increased curvature in your spine. Fallen arches place stress and strain on your feet, knees, hips, and spine. A custom orthotic can be a key part of your treatment plan in helping you get rid of your pain.
Conditions Commonly Associated with Fallen Arches
Knee/Hip/Back Pain – When the arch collapses in the foot, it triggers a series of compensations up the joint chain, leading to increased stress on the knee, pelvis and low back.
Plantar fasciitis – This condition is characterized by heel pain, especially with the first few steps you take. The plantar fascia stretches as the arch falls, putting stress on the heel.
Bunions – If you see a bony bump developing at the base of your big toe, you are likely developing a bunion. It may be swollen, red or painful when it rubs against your shoe. A flattened arch spreads the forefoot and causes the big toe to deviate toward the second toe.
Shin splints – This term generally refers to pain anywhere along the shinbone. It is typically due to overuse and is aggravated after exercise and activity.
Custom Orthotics Relieve Foot and Back Pain
Have you found yourself in the store looking at all the different foot care products? There is everything from massaging gel insoles to foam arch supports and heel cushions. If your arches fall the same amount on each side, you might be able to use an insert off the shelf. If they fall differently, then a generic insert will not fix the imbalance. If you have a high arch, a generic insert will likely not be high enough for full correction.
Good custom orthotics provide a number of advantages over the generic inserts that you find in the store. Custom orthotics can take into account your body weight and degree of flexibility in your foot, not someone else’s. They also account for the anatomical differences in your feet. The corrected height of one arch is often higher in one foot than the other. A G-Laser foot analysis can provide you with this information.
Correcting fallen arches can greatly affect postural correction, providing relief to both your feet and spine. New technology allows us to determine the degree that your arches fall, and how high each individual arch should be when corrected. An impression of each foot is taken in foam while the foot is in a corrected position. A second set of impressions is taken weight bearing, while standing. The molds are then analyzed with the Sole Supports G-Laser system. Laser analysis provides information regarding how high each arch is, how much they collapse, the potential degree of correction, and the percentage of tension that can be reduced on the plantar fascia.
Caring for Fallen Arches Reduces Recurrent Back Pain
Ligaments hold up arches. Deformed ligaments will not return to their original shape, just as an overstretched rubber band remains elongated. Arch supports help restore more normal function. Not all orthotics are made alike. Sole Supports custom designed orthotics are unique in the way they are cast. Sole Supports compensate for the differences between each foot. They take into account your body weight and the degree of flexibility in your feet. Taking care of fallen arches can be key in dealing with unresolved or recurrent back pain.
Through the month of May, Overland Chiropractic is offering a free foot analysis with the G-Laser system. Call (913) 345-9247 to schedule your appointment. Start improving your life today!
11791 W. 112th St. Suite 101
Overland Park, KS 66210