Custom-Made Orthotics (Spinal-Pelvic Stabilizers)
Simply put, orthotics are supportive devices that are inserted into a person’s footwear. There are many different kinds of orthotics, most of which, in my professional opinion, are not good. The particular orthotics that I endorse and offer to my clients are the Foot Levelers brand of custom-made orthotics, also known as spinal-pelvic stabilizers. Every person’s feet, structure, gait and problems are unique and should be treated as such. Foot Levelers understands that, and that is why each pair of their stabilizing orthotics is engineered specifically for each individual client. I have been working with Foot Levelers for over ten years now, and I continue to do so because of how successful their products have proven to be.
The feet are the foundation of the body, so the structural integrity of the entire body begins at the feet. If the feet are not structurally sound, the rest of the body won’t be either. A good analogy of this would be when someone builds a house on a bad foundation. That house can never be structurally sound and will gradually shift and weaken, not being able to withstand opposing forces. One such opposing force is gravity, a force that human beings have to constantly fight against as well. By correcting imbalances in our feet and making them structurally sound, we can more effectively fight against opposing forces such as gravity. Also, when the feet are properly stabilized and balanced, the rest of the body (knees, hips, spine, shoulders, head, etc.) becomes more stabilized and balanced. This will significantly contribute to total body wellness. It will improve the body’s efficiency, performance and energy; enhance physiological functioning; and help to reduce pain.
Most people think that the foot has only one arch, when in fact, it has three:
The Inner Arch (Medial Longitudinal)
The Outer Arch (Lateral Longitudinal)
Across the Balls of the Feet (Anterior Transverse or Metatarsal)
The three arches interconnect to form the plantar vault. An orthotic that is correctly made will support all of the bones, ligaments and muscles of the foot, and thereby maintain the proper structure of the plantar vault, which will help to keep the rest of the body in good alignment. Besides providing appropriate support for the body, good orthotics must also be flexible to allow for proper movement of the body. Not only does Foot Levelers orthotics accomplish these things, but they have also developed unique patented technological systems that go into their orthotics as well. One of these, called the Gait Cycle System, enhances the support and flexibility characteristics of the orthotics throughout the three primary phases of gait: heel strike, mid-stance, and toe-off. By properly stabilizing and balancing the feet and body with good quality orthotics, one can certainly expect that other therapeutic treatments will maintain their effects much longer.
Now that you are aware of what Foot Levelers has to offer, take a look at how most of the other brands of orthotics are made:
-They support only one arch, and often over-correct, causing more harm than good.
-They don’t provide custom support throughout the gait cycle.
-They’re made with just a cushion that is designed to address the symptoms, rather than the underlying cause of the problems.
-They only offer generic solutions for certain foot conditions, even though each person should be treated specifically, based on their own unique circumstances.
Another very common misconception that I have come across many times over the years is that orthotics have to be made extremely hard to provide proper support. Not only is this a fallacy, but it can also be very detrimental. Orthotics that are too hard won’t have enough give to them, and thus will not allow normal movements and appropriate responses from the feet and body. Not only will this intensify the problems within the musculo-skeletal system, but it can also increase the dysfunction that may be occurring in other tissues as well, specifically the nerves and the circulatory vessels. Having hard orthotics under your feet all the time is like constantly standing, walking or running on a hard, unforgiving surface such as concrete. Imagine if you were doing both! Always remember that orthotics need to be both firm and flexible to properly support and balance the structure, encourage a normal gait cycle, enhance physiological functioning, and reduce symptoms.