The role of the feet in health is underestimated. Many people casually say, “I have flat feet” or “I get sore feet after a long day.” This is common, but it’s not normal.
If you have foot issues, then it’s best to get them addressed. Poor foot function affects knee, hip and back alignment and causes pain in those areas.
Many people above age 40 have gone for treatment of back or knee pain. But how many have had their feet looked at as part of the treatment? From the thousands of clients I have treated for injuries, the answer is almost zero.
Try this little exercise.
- Stand upright, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your knees and hips straight - i.e., don’t bend at the waist or knees.
- Lean forward slowly until you are about to tip forward.
- Take note of whether your weight shifts to the inner or the outer part of your feet.
- It should shift to the inner part of each foot.
- Now do the opposite. Lean backward slowly.
- Your weight should shift to the outer edges of your feet.
When one arch is "lower" that side of your body will lean forward. All day.
When one arch is "higher" that side of your body will lean backwards. All day.
If your feet do not have perfect arches, your weight is shifted either too far forward or too far back. And if your feet are uneven, the weight will be shifted unequally on each side of your body. This puts your entire body in the wrong posture and forces your muscles to work harder all day every day, increasing your stress and muscular tension.
And that’s while you are just standing still. The problems are exaggerated once you start walking or running.
The wrong solution is to go out and get a pair of orthopedic insoles - even those that are customized. In the short run they do provide temporary relief for foot pain, but in the long run almost everyone I have consulted with has required higher and higher heel and arch supports over time.
This is terrible news, because it means that your feet have gotten weaker and are even less able to support your body.
The only way to solve foot problems for good is to get your brain to activate the foot muscles correctly to restore your arches, and for the sensors in your feet to give the correct information to your brain.
My personal story is that I had one foot with a higher arch than the other foot. This meant foot and knee pain in one side of my body. Also, whenever I lifted weights, my body kept shifting to one side even though I tried my best to move in a balanced way. But I was able to correct my feet using the same system we use at Genesis Posture Therapy, and I now have equal foot arches.
I soon noticed that I was exercising without knee pain. I also noticed, one day after playing in a pool with my son, that my wet footprints on the dry ground were perfectly symmetrical. Naturally I was very happy about this.