You may have read my post onorthotic insoles and saw I mentioned Foot Levelers Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers. Foot Levelers make a custom-made orthotic insole that can be inserted in shoes and sandals for your feet to help improve your spinal health.
Foot Levelers the company was originally started by Monte Greenawalt, a US chiropractor, over 55 years ago. So Foot Levelers have been manufacturing custom-made orthotic insoles for shoes for many years which they like to call Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers.
The belief is that your feet are the foundation for your entire body. So like most structures in the world, your body’s foundation must be balanced to support the weight above it. If the foot arches in one or both of your feet collapse or dysfunction then, your body doesn’t get the correct postural support, causing an imbalance in your skeletal frame and neurological tone. So read on if you would like to know more about Foot Levelers spinal pelvic stabilizers as a choice for shoe orthotics.
Posture Imbalance from the Feet Up
As can be seen in the adjacent picture, the body is a biomechanical kinetic chain. If there are abnormal movements at one line, or joint, these can interfere with proper movements at other joints.
This means that excessive pronation of the foot or feet could have an effect further up the kinematic chain, even all the way into your spine.
What is Foot Pronation?
Pronation is a term that describes the normal rotation of a body part downward or inward. Foot pronation is actually a normal action that occurs when walking.
However, if foot pronation happens excessively, then pronation can contribute to global postural problems. The major cause of over-pronation or excessive pronation in the feet is a decrease in the foot arch height.
Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers?
The normal foot anatomy has three distinct arches, which create an architectural vault. The three foot arches are the medial, lateral and transverse arches. So the three arches help improve our postural stability and walking/running function.
Foot Levelers believe that properly fitted Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers in your shoes help support the feet to control excessive and unwanted pronation or supination. The result should be to reduce any unwanted mechanical and neurological stresses on the body.
Providing improved shock absorption through shoe orthotics should help reduce repetitive stress on joints and muscles, permitting smoother function and possibly decreasing arthritic symptoms. So if you were to wear shoe orthotics like the Foot Levelers Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers it would be for the long-term.
Foot Levelers Spinal Pelvic Stabilizer shoe orthotics look at supporting the foot through the three phases of the gait cycle which are: heel strike, mid-stance, and toe-off.
Each pair of shoe orthotics from Foot Levelers can be varied according to your activity level and what your chiropractor feels would be best for you. You could see the full product range by Foot Levelers including Brooks running shoes with built in custom made Spinal Pelvic Stabilizer shoe orthotics.
You could also see my pair of shoe orthotics called the “original spinal pelvic stablizers” what they look like after 2 years daily wear.
Scanning your Feet Arches
Foot Levelers latest tool for scanning the three arches of your feet is the Associate Platinum™ foot scanner.
The Associate Platinum™ foot scanner provides a foot scan that lets a chiropractor examine your feet and each foot’s three arches. Your chiropractor can then show you a colour photo of your feet instantly.
The foot and arch scans may help you understand and see where you place pressure and if there is a difference between the left and right foot. All this information would aid in helping you understand how dysfunction in your feet could affect the rest of your body. It is from these feet scans on the Associate Platinum™ that a pair of Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers can be custom-made for your shoes.
To perform the digital feet arch scan on the Foot Levelers Associate Platinum™ scanner, to see how well supported your feet are, can be done within a minute by your chiropractor.
Foot Levelers Associate Platinum™ foot arches scans can help your chiropractor to screen for postural imbalances that contribute to problems in any number of places, like your knees, hips, and lower back, even if your feet don’t hurt!
So from the digital foot scan any areas of abnormal pressure can be seen, which could show an imbalanced distribution of weight between the feet indicating a fatigue of one of the three arches of the foot.
Who Can Benefit from Shoe Orthotics?
So far I have mentioned how the feet are the foundation of the entire spinal pelvic structures posture. This would mean that any fatigued fallen foot arch can cause pain, now or later in life, in either the feet, knees, hips, or back.
From my own personal experience with lower back pain and shoe orthotics I found that dysfunctional arches play a role in lower back pain, which can be helped with a good pair of shoe orthotics.
So I feel most of us could benefit from wearing a good pair of shoe orthotics to help performance or prevent pain, like lower back pain. So should you want to find a chiropractor somewhere in the world who is recommending and prescribing Foot Levelers custom made spinal pelvic stabilizers shoe orthotics you can contact Foot Levelers here.
Q: Would chiropractic patients benefit from custom-made orthotics?
Foot Levelers: I’d like to take a moment here to clarify a couple of terms, so that everyone knows exactly what we’re discussing. “Orthotics” are shoe inserts which are made for the feet only, and only address conditions of the foot and ankle. Foot Levelers creates “Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers.”
Stabilizers are custom-made inserts designed to help chiropractic adjustments hold better by providing postural support, absorbing damaging heel-strike shock, and restoring balance and stability to the entire body – from the feet to the head. Stabilizers are a very beneficial and versatile adjunct to chiropractic care.
When chiropractic patients report lower extremity symptoms, or when their spinal problems are chronic and become worse with standing and walking, chiropractors should always look carefully at the feet and ankles. If not addressed, excessive foot pronation or supination will interfere with chiropractic care. Degenerated joints will magnify the forces transmitted to the spine during normal activities. Identifying those patients who need custom-made, shock-absorbing Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers right from the beginning, and providing the appropriate Stabilizers in the early stages of care, gives chiropractic adjustments the best chance for success.
Q: Should you only wear Stabilizers if you have flat feet?
Foot Levelers: Flat feet is just one of many conditions for which Stabilizer support may be indicated. The list of foot problems helped by Stabilizers would include plantar fascitis – a stress irritation to the elastic tissues running nearly the entire length of the foot – and heel spurs – deposits of calcium on the heel bone. High arches, fat pad degeneration in the heels, and ankle problems are a few more examples where Stabilizers could help restore postural health.
And that’s just the feet! Bear in mind that traumatic or degenerative injuries to knees, hips, the pelvis and spine may all benefit from shock-absorbing Stabilizers – no matter what condition the feet themselves are in.
Q: Would you need to get certain shoes to use Foot Levelers’ Stabilizers?
Foot Levelers: An important point to understand is that Foot Levelers’ Stabilizers are custom-made for an individual’s feet, not for his or her footwear. Stabilizers work with many types and styles of shoes, provided they fit a patient’s feet properly and are posturally supportive.
Improper shoe fit can limit joint movement, constrict circulation, decrease proprioceptive input, and alter gait. Any of these factors will affect the entire kinetic chain into the pelvis and spine. Over the long term the muscles, joints, and connective tissues in the feet can all suffer and undergo degenerative changes. Your patients’ shoes will contribute either to their health and postural balance, or to their misery and health complaints.
Q: How does a standing scan compare to a dynamic walking one?
Foot Levelers: These are two different types of scanning technologies which are designed to capture different types of images in order to create different types of products. They’re really not comparable. Foot Levelers’ Stabilizers are based on an image of the foot – using 16 measurements from this image – in a functional, standing position, which we feel best captures the postural status of the weightbearing foot.
Q: Do you think you can use Stabilizers both for pain relief and prevention?
Foot Levelers: Definitely. Many chiropractic patients are initially seeking relief from pain – usually joint or muscle pain – which is affecting their patterns of everyday life. They can’t go to work, they can’t sleep, they can’t enjoy their favorite recreational activities anymore because of pain. What most of these patients may not realize is that postural imbalances can be the source of their pain. By combining chiropractic adjustments with custom-made Stabilizers, postural balance can be restored and supported throughout the day while the patient is in an upright position, thus eliminating the source of their pain in many cases.
As for prevention, remember that the feet are the foundation of the body. While 99% of all feet are normal at birth, 8% develop troubles by the first year of age, 41% by age 5, and 80% by age 20. By age 40, nearly everyone has a foot condition of some sort.
Many foot conditions eventually contribute to health concerns farther up the body, such as stress fractures, degenerative joint disease and the generalized condition of “back pain.” Therefore, it’s in the best interest of healthy patients to be offered a wellness program which stresses preventative care for normal, healthy feet, in order to prevent foot problems from occurring later in life. With custom-made Stabilizers, an “ounce of prevention” is definitely worth a “pound of cure.”
Q: How long has Foot Levelers been available in the UK?
Foot Levelers: Foot Levelers began in 1952, and its first international sales actually occurred quite early in its history. Since very few chiropractic colleges were located outside the United States and Canada until the last couple of decades, many students came to North America to study and earn their chiropractic degrees. Exposure to American chiropractic office practices led to an introduction to the use of Foot Levelers’ Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers, and the company began receiving orders from England and other countries as students graduated and returned to their respective homelands.
Originally, the only way to order Foot Levelers’ Stabilizers was to ship a foam casting kit across the ocean, have the patient step into it, and then send it back to the company in the U.S. In many instances this was a lengthy process. Today, thanks to the Associate® Platinum digital scanner , the total turnaround time to wherever a chiropractic office is located is considerably faster – on average less than two weeks.
Q: How could I get my feet scanned in the UK to see my arches?
Foot Levelers: Several doctors in the UK own an Associate Platinum scanner, and the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC) will soon be a recipient of a scanner for use in its clinical training program. We’re very excited by that!
For any chiropractor who is interested in purchasing Foot Levelers products, including the scanner, or who would just like more information about the company, I would urge him or her to call our International Development Department on +1.877.658.9552 or visit our web site: www.FootLevelers.com