We may be approaching a long, cold winter but it can still feel great to lace up your running shoes or hop on your bicycle and hit the road.
Unfortunately, sometimes as we increase our activities, pain can flare up and stop us in our tracks. The repetitive pounding that comes from high-impact activities such as tennis, running, and walking puts high levels of physical stress on our feet, ankles, knees, and hips, which can lead to many different overuse injuries. This is often more prevalent as the weather gets colder as our bodies are less supple than when temperatures are higher. Maybe as the temperature has begun to drop you have noticed new aches or pains in your joints, or perhaps old, nagging symptoms are reappearing.
When dealing with painful symptoms anywhere in the low back or leg, look first at your feet. Some of the most common injuries reported to us by our patients in high-impact sports are plantar fasciitis (pain under the sole of the foot), runner’s knee, tendonitis, shin splints, and stress fractures. Often, imbalances in the feet are the source of these conditions. As the foundation of our bodies, the feet take the most shock and stress; perfectly balanced feet will distribute this stress evenly throughout the body, but even subtle imbalances of the feet can cause the whole body to be out of alignment, which can lead to injury.
The use of proper footwear will address many of these foot issues, but often, a specific foot orthotic is needed to correct the biomechanical abnormalities of the foot. By supporting all areas of the foot, the stress is redistributed which can improve the stability and functioning of the entire lower body. In addition, the foot orthotics will absorb, and decrease some of the shock to the foot, putting less stress on the joints. There are a range of positive studies that have shown a good correlation in wearing foot orthotics and reducing pain and injuries in runners.1,2,3
To help decide if bespoke foot orthotics are right for you, visit a chiropractor trained in the evaluation and use of foot orthotics, such as Dr. Andrew Green at Reflex Chiropractic in Caversham, Reading. The doctor of chiropractic can evaluate your symptoms and examine your feet to look for imbalances that may cause painful symptoms throughout body. A digital laser scan will ensure that the foot orthotics, if necessary, are customised to support your feet. In addition, the chiropractor can address misalignments through specific chiropractic adjustments to reduce any painful symptoms.
Whether you want to prevent injuries, reduce painful symptoms, improve your biomechanics or improve your sporting performance then consider custom foot orthotics to get you back on track.
1Mundermann, A., Nigg, B.M., Humble, R.N., & Stefanyshun, D.J. (2003). Foot orthotics affect lower extremity kinematics and kinetics during running. Clinical Biometics, (18)3, 254-262.
2Maclean, C.L., Davis, I.S., & Hamill, J. (2008). Short- and long-term influences of a custom foot orthotic intervention on lower extremity dynamics. Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, (18)4, 338-343.
3Reinking, M.F., Hayes, A.M., & Austin, T.M. (2012) The effect of foot orthotic use on exercise related leg pain in cross country athletes. Physical Therapy in Sport, (13)4: 214-218.
17 Church Road, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire RG4 7AA
Reflex Spinal Health are a passionate, dynamic spinal health team. We are committed to help as many in our community of Reading, Berkshire and South Oxfordshire to enjoy the vitality of great health, to reach their health goals and feel truly alive! Our chiropractors and osteopaths offer the highest standards of care in a superb environment.