The Canadian Podiatric Medical Association says that the average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day, which can be a lot of walking for an individual with poor-fitting shoes or painful feet. It is important to realize that your feet have a direct impact on your body and support you with every step. Research has shown that even the smallest abnormality in foot function can have a large impact on the joints in our body, and may be the cause of foot, ankle, knee, hip and back pain.
Your foot is a very complex part of your body. Each foot contains 26 bones, which are held in position by hundreds of ligaments, tendons and muscles, making it an extraordinarily complex mechanism.
The total force accumulated on feet every day is well over one million pounds for the average adult. However, the foot acts as an amazingly versatile and complex set of shock absorbers that protect the body with every step. This is only one of many important reasons why you should take good care of your feet.
Every day you put considerable stress on your feet, so it isn’t surprising that your feet do hurt and/or develop various aches and ailments. When this happens, it is important to see your chiropractor.
An average adult applies over a million pounds of force to his or her feet daily.
Orthotics are custom-made shoe inserts that are designed to correct an abnormal or irregular walking pattern and to restore proper foot function and balance. Orthotics control each phase of the walking cycle, from the moment your heel contacts the ground to when your toes push off the surface.
A foam cast, plaster cast or computerized scan is used to take an imprint of your foot to ensure that the Orthotic is specifically designed for you. Orthotics can often enhance comfort and prevent additional problems from developing, such as corns and calluses. Your custom made Orthotics provide support, improve the functioning of your feet and can relieve pain.
Chiropractors prescribe orthotics as a conservative approach to many foot problems including:
- Pes planus (flat feet)
- Pes Cavus (high arch)
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Bunyions, Calluses and Corns from poorly fit shoes
- Ankle conditions
- Knee conditions
- Hip conditions
- Low back conditions
- Diabetic feet
- Sports performance
Dr. Jay Rappazzo has been prescribing custom orthotics and graduated compression stockings for the better part of 4 years, using the same company with proven craftsmanship. He has seen the benefits and impact orthotics can have, for all age groups.
Millions of people in Canada suffer from poor blood circulation, varicose veins and blood clots. These conditions can be uncomfortable, unsightly and potentially deadly.
One solution is graduated compression stockings.
What Are Compression Stockings?
Graduated compression stockings are specialized hosiery designed to improve your circulation by helping move blood from your legs back to your heart. The mechanism is simple. Compression stockings are tighter around your ankle than further up your leg, helping to push blood in your veins upward.
As a result, compression stockings can prevent leg and foot fatigue, are useful for preventing blood clots in legs and can prevent poor circulation in legs and feet. Compression stockings, for women, are particularly helpful during pregnancy.
Compression Socks: An Important Part of Varicose Vein Treatment
If you’re one of the millions of people in Canada who suffer from varicose veins, compression stockings can be a valuable friend. The gentle squeeze of compression socks relieves some of the pressure in your veins that causes them to swell and become painful. That’s why graduated compression stockings are a key part of most varicose vein treatment plans.
Compression socks won’t cure varicose veins. But they will alleviate poor blood circulation in legs, relieve symptoms and may prevent the development of future vein problems.
Compression Stockings for Women
One in every two women in Canada will eventually develop varicose veins. Other vascular problems, like blood clots and poor circulation in legs and feet, are increasingly common. During pregnancy, many women need extra support to prevent achy, tired legs and future circulation problems.
Compression Stockings for Sport
Compression wear has also been adopted by the sports science industry. Various garments have been developed to improve the efficiency of muscles by stabilizing muscles and improving circulation/ lactic acid removal.
Indications For Use
Treatment is usually prescribed to relieve all manifestations of chronic venous disease and prevent venous troubles. Compression stockings are recommended under the following conditions:
Tired, Aching Legs
Occurs when the blood flow slows down in the legs (can be an indicator of deep vein thrombosis).
Edema (Mild Ankle/Foot Swelling)
When blood and/or tissue fluid pool in the legs and feet due to poor circulation.
Chronic Peripheral Venous Insufficiency
Veins cannot pump deoxygenated blood to the heart.
Saccular and distended veins which can expand considerably and may cause painful venous inflammation. Once developed, will not disappear on its own. The formation of varicose veins is an externally visible sign of venous weakness.
Spider Veins (Mild Varicosities)
The smallest cutaneous blood vessels which shimmer bluish/reddish through the skin.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Occurs when blood flow decreases (especially in the lower extremities), causing blood to pool in the legs and leading to blood clot (thrombus) formation.
When a body part swells due to an abnormal accumulation of lymph fluid, occurring when there is interference with the normal drainage of lymph fluid back into the blood, commonly swelling the arm, leg, neck or abdomen.
Inflammation and clotting in a vein, most often a leg vein, due to infection, inflammation, or trauma. People with varicose veins are more often affected. Inflammation occurs suddenly, causing the thrombus to adhere firmly to the vein wall, which can clog a superficial vein.
Economy Class Syndrome (ECS)
Occurs on long flights, due to traveler’s inactivity, gravity, and cramped seating, which slows down the blood flow through veins
Hormones released during pregnancy and the expanding child-bearing uterus can affect leg veins.
The use of elastic compression stockings can reduce volumetric variations during standing hours. The use of stockings for the entire day is more effective than just half the day or not using compression stockings at all.
Under no circumstance should those with advanced peripheral obstructive arterial disease, congestive heart failure, septic phlebitis, oozing dermatitis and advanced peripheral neuropathy be wearing compression stockings.
Healthy feet are an important part of overall good health. Regardless of the current condition of your feet, you can take actions to reach or maintain healthy feet for a lifetime.
Simple steps for taking good care of your feet include:
Wash and inspect your feet every day
Choose a quality brand of footwear that fits well and feels comfortable
Wear footwear that is appropriate for the activity you are performing (such as hiking shoes for hiking; running shoes for running)
Break new footwear in gradually; replace when the footwear loses its shock-absorbing ability
Control your weight (less weight means less pressure on your feet and legs)
Exercise daily to maintain circulation and muscle tone
Avoid crossing your legs (crossing your legs increases pressure on the nerves and blood vessels)
From your first baby steps you take and in all phases throughout your life, having healthy feet is important. You only have one pair of feet to last a lifetime so take good care of them!