Did you know back pain is sometimes due to misalignment or loss of proper function in the lower extremities? The foot has 26 bones, 30 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments that work together to provide support, balance, and range of motion. If indicated by a physical assessment, chiropractic care may include customized foot orthotics to correct mechanical dysfunctions or lower extremity misalignments resulting in pain or discomfort.
What are orthotics? Orthotics is a general term for any support, brace, or splint that aligns with or corrects the function of movable parts of the human body. Foot orthotics, also known a shoe orthotics, are inserts that fit inside of shoes.
What’s the connection between chiropractic care and orthotics? Consider the weight a body places on the feet. When running, it’s estimated that each foot receives up to three times a person’s body weight. These forces can cause misalignments in our extremities, which can change the way the body moves.
For those reasons, shoe orthotics may be recommended to correct an abnormal or irregular walking pattern by slightly altering the foot’s angles to strike a walking or running surface.
Although there are many resources for “one-size-fits-all” foot orthotics, they may not provide the desired comfort level or correct the root cause of pain. Customized inserts remain the most beneficial option because they are made specifically for your feet.
How Custom Foot Orthotics Can be Beneficial
How Your Chiropractor Can Help
If you’re experiencing ongoing pain in the back or lower extremities, your chiropractor is a great resource. Chiropractors specialize in conservative management of spinal conditions, and posture and gait assessments are standard evaluations performed during a patient examination.
The goal of a properly made orthotic is to help correct foot deformities, such as fallen arches or flat feet. These products allow the foot and ankle to function correctly, provide added support of the foot and ankle, and help reduce the risk of further deterioration injuries.
Chiropractic care always begins with an extensive review of one’s medical history and a comprehensive physical assessment. In addition to checking hip, knee, and ankle positioning, the exam often includes observing a person’s walking pattern.
Observing how a person walks can help doctors of chiropractic assess a patient’s needs. For example, chiropractors will determine if there’s a body imbalance, if the heel is striking correctly, and if a person’s toes are lifting off the right way.
If there are significant findings, chiropractic care may include X-rays to understand the problem better and outline appropriate treatment options.
The bottom line is this: there are many benefits to using orthotics, including
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), founded in 1922, is a private, nonprofit, chiropractic and health science-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas. The CUKC on-campus Chiropractic Health Center is open to the public and treats patients from Kansas City’s 15-county metro area. Our goal is to provide care and solutions for a better, more productive life for our patients.