Writen by Brent Andrews BPE, A.T.,C
The Foot: A good analogy is the foundation of a house. If the foundation is weak the house will eventually start to collapse. Likewise if your feet are weak your body will collapse. Proper foot function provides support for the body above, keeping it strong. On the other hand, if the foot collapses then the body above is inadequately supported. In biomechanical terms, collapsing of the foot is called over-pronation. Pronation is a necessary motion of the foot which allows the foot to unlock and absorb shock. When pronation continues for too long or happens at the wrong time (over-pronation) this unlocks the foot when it should be locked. The result is a poor foundation.
This poor foundation produces instability in the body above. Instability produces unwanted stresses on the tissues of the body, including joints, muscles, bones, etc leading to injuries, poorer health and decreased performance.
Normal feet do not require any additional support while high arched feet require additional cushioning but no additional support.
Mild over-pronators may gain adequate support with appropriate footwear and/or non-custom footbeds eg superfeet, although orthotics may be required for some individuals, particularly those with pain issues.
For more severe over-pronators, foot orthotics are the treatment of choice. Orthotics support the foot and allow the foot to function properly (strong foundation) which then helps sustain the biomechanical balance of the body.
When choosing appropriate footwear you will need to have some basic knowledge of what your feet are actually doing biomechanically. If you have a normal foot you can wear pretty much whatever you want. For high arches you will need to buy shoes which provide more cushioning. For mild over-pronators you require additional stability eg stability running shoes. For more severe over-pronators you should wear orthotics plus a stable shoe.
To make this easier, a foot screen is a quick assessment of foot and body biomechanics to determine any discrepancy from normal function which may require a change in footwear or the addition of some type of supportive device in your footwear.
Foot screening allows us to find the individuals with a poor foundation. Then we can recommend appropriate changes to improve the foundation.
Honsberger Physio+ offers Complimentary Foot Days for corporations of 15 people and up. Interested in learning more? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!