Healthy Feet: Healthy Foundation

movingfeetJust as a strong foundation supports a building in good and adverse conditions, feet provide the body with a foundation that if properly managed will support a person’s health and well being, even throughout a busy and strenuous day. When enjoying ideal health, it is easy to forget about the important function that feet provide to the rest of the body. However, when symptoms of pain or stress crop up, it may be useful to consider whether or not those symptoms are sourced in the feet.

Of course, all feet are not created equally. There are more than five different arch types, and each one influences the level of endurance a body can withstand.  There are feet that are more or less prone to stability, depending upon the rotation of joints. These and other factors of the feet play into how a body performs, especially in highly active or physically demanding situations. The question thus becomes, “How well do your feet support your lifestyle?”

Fortunately, there are ways in which to improve the foundational support of your feet. Foot-care professionals, including podiatrists, physical therapists and other bone specialists, are able to prescribe orthotics that address foot problems which lead to other problems in the body. Orthotics may be used to improve comfort, posture and balance alignment, which often relieve stress on muscles and ligaments as well as excessive strain on certain joints.

Foot orthotics provide immediate help in a number of areas including heel pain (plantar fasciitis), high and low arch support, ankle pain and sprain, shin splints, knee pain and posture-related muscle aches. They increase stability, thus improving the performance of physical activities and sports. They prevent or mitigate the progress of bunions.

Foot orthotics are used to correct posture, which improves not only appearance, but also blood flow and breathing, as well as prevents nerve damage. The results are better relaxation, sleep, stamina and, in some cases, immune defenses. Symptoms that proper foot orthotics have been known to help alleviate include headaches, stress, fatigue, muscle and back pain, sciatica and even hypertension.

Proper foot orthotics, those designed to accomplish certain objectives, are often vital to achieving health and performance goals. There are many ways of obtaining foot orthotics, including standard off-the-shelf varieties, customized prefabricated varieties and custom-manufactured prescription foot orthotics. Prescription orthotics are constructed to the exact contour of the individual’s feet, and thus offer the greatest amount of control.

A physical therapist can help determine whether or not symptoms are sourced in the feet. Physical therapists who specialize in orthopedic care are skilled at evaluating the musculoskeletal system, including joints, tendons, ligaments and bones. They can help treat or prevent injuries with methods that include prescribing foot orthotics to correct or prevent specific problems.

A lifestyle free from the encumbrances of chronic pain, stress and fatigue begins with maintaining a healthy foundation through proper foot care. Before you resign yourself to living with physical pain and discomfort that limit the activities you enjoy, seek the expertise of a foot-care professional, such as a physical therapist or podiatrist, to learn if the problem may be improved through the care and treatment of your feet.

For more information call 651-426-9388 or toll-free, 800-842-2171, email or visit North Star Podiatric Lab is an ABC-certified facility. For more than 30 years, its mission has been to provide quality prescription foot orthotics that conform to the technical standards as defined by the Prescription Foot Orthotics Laboratory Association.