Good health is comprised of three components:
- Proper Structure
- Balanced Biochemistry/Nutrition
Chiropractic care is at the core of how we address your structural health, but in addition to keeping your spine and nervous system functioning normally, Dr. Hambrick discovered that the health of the feet were essential to your overall structural health as well.
He realized this when he started practicing in a rural area where most people went barefoot compared to his previous practice where his patients mostly wore shoes all the time.
As an upper cervical specialist, he noticed that he was having to address subluxations in the upper cervical spine much less frequently in the rural practice.
It wasn’t until he came across a chiropractor in North Carolina called “The Sock Doc” that he made the connection to the feet and the healthier spines he was seeing in his barefooted patient base.
That’s when he started paying more attention to the health of the feet.
The foot is closely connected to the health of the entire body. When the foot functions properly the whole body works more in harmony.
With its 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and tendons, and nearly 8000 nerves the foot is perfectly designed for absorbing shock, for propulsion and foundational balance.
Leonardo Da Vinci said “The foot is a masterpiece of engineering.”
Here are a few facts on the foot’s astonishing abilities:
- The skin on the sole of the foot is over 40 times thicker than anywhere else on the body, and is capable of completely regenerating itself in just 27 days.
- The achilles tendon is by far the strongest tendon in the body, regularly taking loads of over 2,000 pounds.
- The foot has it’s very own suspension bridge (the arch of the foot), supported by high tension cables (the dozens of tendons that string from the heel to the ball of the foot i.e the plantar fascia).
- The arch’s strength and stability is derived from its ability to move, just like a bridge holds strong even under the extreme forces of an earthquake.
- The arch flexes down and presses back up even while undergoing over 1,000 pounds of force in a single jump.
- There are more nerve endings per square centimeter in the foot than any other part of the body. Your feet constantly supply you with information about the surface you walk on, without even being aware of it. They tell you whether the surface is hot or cold, rough or smooth, which side it slopes to, etc.
- Your feet mirror your general health. Such conditions as arthritis, diabetes, nerve and circulatory disorders can show their initial symptoms in the feet — so foot ailments can be your first sign of more serious health problems.
Chiropractic and foot health has been intimately connected for many years. One of the largest manufacturers of foot orthotics has long been associated with chiropractors and chiropractic.
The reason for this chiropractic/foot-health relationship is the feet are your foundation and if your foundation is off, then adjusting the rest of your structure isn’t going to have long term benefits. Fix the foundation and any adjusting done in the rest of the body will have more long lasting results.
The only problem is, most orthotics don’t correct the feet. If anything they are a temporary bandaid.
The use of traditional foot orthotics in both conventional chiropractic and podiatric practices is based on an erroneous belief that the natural structure of the human foot is flawed and the only solution is orthotics or surgery.
So what is the real reason for so many foot problems?
It’s the TOES!
The position of the toes is the keystone to so many foot functions. Correcting the position of the toes and allowing them to splay naturally can resolve many foot problems.
Why are people’s toes in such bad shape?
The problem is modern footwear.
Modern footwear has three fundamental structural problems that over time start to deform the foot.
First is heel lift. An elevated heel puts the foot in an unstable position, putting more pressure on the front of the foot and repositioning the protective fat pad on the ball of the foot.
Second is a tapered toe box. The widest part of a normal human foot is the ends of the toes. For an example of this, just look at a newborn baby’s footprint on the birth certificate, or look at the feet of an indigenous group of people who don’t wear modern shoes. You will find that their feet are shaped like wedges with the widest part of the foot being the ends of the toes.
Modern shoes taper and pinch and point the toes in an unnatural position which causes the architectural integrity of the foot to break down leading to bunions, fallen arches, hammer toes, plantar fasciosis (formerly known as plantar fasciitis) and many other foot problems.
The third problem with modern shoes is toe-spring. Toe-spring is a slight elevation of the toe of the shoe, and this elevation keeps the toes in a dorsiflexed position, further displacing the normal fat pad protecting the ball of the foot, leading to pain and disfunction particularly under the the foot at the second metatarsal head.
As Dr. Ray McClanahan, DPM, inventor of Correct Toes says, “Most people do not have a foot care problem, they have a footwear problem.”
Orthotics are a poor solution for correcting improper foot structure, so we do not typically recommend orthotic use.
We address proper foot structure by educating you on what to look for in anatomically correct footwear and we address foot disfunction and deformities with a natural approach including the use of Correct Toes.
For more information, please call the office and tell us you’re interested in having the health of your feet evaluated.