Chiropractors have many tools at their disposal in order to help clients during adjustments. While regular chiropractic, and even massage care, can be important to maintaining alignment and health, what people do at home contributes to the overall efficacy of their therapies. Exercises, stretches, and proper ergonomics are all important. Some products, such as Foot Levelers, can also be helpful.
Over-the-Counter Foot Orthotics
Regular orthotics can be purchased in many drugstores and grocery stores. Foot orthotics are special inserts that are placed in the shoe. They provide support and distribute pressure, while helping to align the joints during standing and other activities. They can help with symptom relief of pain caused by injuries, such as plantar fasciitis, or they can help to prevent foot ulcers in diabetics.1 Other types of injuries and pain that may be relieved by orthotic inserts include arch pain, ball of foot pain, heel pain, and achy/tired feet.2 Over-the-counter products can be made with various foams and gels, and in many different thicknesses.
The Plantar Vault
The foot doesn’t just have one arch—it has three. These three interconnected arches are called the “plantar vault”. The plantar vault includes the inner arch (Medial Longitudinal Arch), outer arch (Lateral Longitudinal Arch), and the area across the balls of the feet (Metatarsal or Anterior Transverse Arch).3
What are Foot Levelers?
Foot Levelers are “stabilizing orthotics” that are designed to balance the feet.4 What makes this stabilizing orthotic device different from other types of orthotics is that they help to balance the body by supporting the arches via the “plantar vault” (all three interconnected arches of the foot). Over-the-counter orthotics and shoe inserts are not made specifically for the patient. Foot Levelers were designed with the idea that people wouldn’t take prescription medications or eyeglasses prescribed for someone else; therefore, orthotics should also be personalized to the individual body. If the feet are in balance, then the pelvis and spine can maintain proper alignment. Instead of just symptom relief, the patient can achieve overall stability and balance.5 Foot Levelers “support the more than 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments in your foot”.6 Foot Levelers provide shock absorption and come in a variety of materials to fit into different types of shoes. They are also designed for the individual person’s foot and for various activities. Different Foot Levelers can be used for dresswear, day-to-day use, or active sports.7 Once the Foot Leveler is sized for the patient and shaped properly to the shoe, it takes time to “break-in”. Patients should wear them only 3 hours a day at first, in order to get used to them. There may be “mild discomfort” at first, as patients adjust to the new support. This is normal; it can take up to 45 days to break them in.8 Inserts aren’t the only option with Foot Levelers. There are many shoes that have support built right into them. Foot Levelers has “teamed up” with many varieties of footwear.9 Some chiropractic offices can assist clients in finding the right Foot Leveler for them.