The base of a healthy body is the feet. Literally! There are four healthy curves in the spine and to maintain those healthy spinal curves, we need the support of strong arches in our feet. The hard surfaces of our modern world, however, work to flatten our feet. If we consider our ancestors, our feet were made for running barefoot across dirt and grass. While concrete streets and hardwood floors make it faster for us to get around, they come at the price of us constantly pounding our feet and flattening our arches. But, good news! There are ways to counteract this.
First, arch raises! Standing with your feet flat on the ground, flex the arch of your foot up and hold it for one second. Don’t crunch or curl your toes; you are working the muscles of your arch, not your toes. Do this a 100 times a day! Any time you are waiting in line or washing dishes - work on those arches. Literally any time you are standing is a chance to strengthen that arch. When that gets too easy, hold each arch raise contraction for longer and longer.
Second is foot orthotics. A good foot orthotic can support your arch while you walk, helping you maintain that vital curve. By having that strong support, it pushes back against the arch not allowing it to flatten, helping to keep the shape. With that in mind, you need something firm. A soft orthotic will not be strong enough to support that arc consistently with your foot pounding into the ground all day. Tread Labs offers good, firm general orthotics. The top cover is replaceable and they offer different levels of support for low to high arches. You don’t need to find one custom made for your foot. Just something sturdy to keep that fifth essential curve!
Lastly, we need to spread out your toes! Most modern shoes have a narrow toe box. This leads to compression of the toes, squishing the front of the foot and toes together. Wearing narrow shoes often enough can change the shape of the foot, leading to pain and potentially longer term issues. By wearing toe spreaders, the toes are manually spread apart, helping restore their natural alignment. Benefits of toe spreaders include:
-reduced pain - in the toes, heels, ankles, and knees
A healthy body requires attention to your WHOLE body. Don’t neglect those feet! Happy walking!
Email the office at Edenvalleychiro@gmail.com to learn when the next Spinal Care Class is held at the office.
Hi, I'm Dr. Marisa Sum, DC and I love the science of healing. The healing journey can be windy and arduous, but I am committed to helping you through that process as you reach for your goals and reclaim your body, mind and spirit. I specialize in central nervous system health as a chiropractor, gut/brain/immune system health as a nutritionist, and women's and children's health rights activist as a doula & mother.