The human foot comprises 26 bones, 33 joints and 107 ligaments and when, according to the NHS, the average person takes between 3,000-4,000 steps a day it’s safe to say the foot puts up with a lot!
Like the foundation of a house our feet play a huge role in our overall stability as we plant our body weight on them every day. When a small problem develops in your feet, it can have wide reaching consequences for your overall posture. Small changes can cause a chain reaction throughout the body and can affect not only your knees and ankles, but your hips and back.
When we talk about foot posture, we not only mean how you stand but also how your foot moves when you walk. Posture is dynamic, and this becomes evident when assessing a person’s gait. Subtle restrictions or instabilities when walking causes your body to compensate throughout the lower limb and sometimes in to your back.
Foot problems are relatively common with about 75% of the population experiencing some form of foot pain in their lifetime. This can be due to a wide range of different issues; however, the main problems people have with their feet is that are either pronated or supinated (low arch or high arch). These different foot postures put different stresses and strain through the foot when we weight bear. One way of helping ease these strains is to wear an orthotic. Orthotics are insoles that you put in your shoes that have specifically been designed to help with any pain. They work by helping your body restore a natural balance and normal movement patterns.
At the Woodside Clinic we have the hardware/technology to design custom orthotics that are specific to you. With our Gait Scanner and hands on assessment we can first off determine whether you would benefit from orthotics, and if you do we will talk through how the orthotic will work for you with technical diagrams of your gait cycle (walking posture). The orthotics we prescribe also have a lifetime guarantee, which means that if it breaks for any reason we can replace it for free.
Written by Andrew Padden
Associate Osteopath at Woodside Osteopathic Clinic