ORTHOTICS BY FOOT LEVELERS
We exclusively offer Orthotics by Foot Levelers. Custom-made for a perfect fit for your feet. Below is more information about Orthotics and the Foot Leveler System
FOUNDATION OF THE BODY
Your feet are the foundation of your body. They support you when you stand, walk, or run. And they help protect your spine, bones, and soft tissues from damaging stress as you move around. Your feet perform better when all their muscles, arches, and bones are in their ideal stable positions.
The foot is constructed with three arches which, when properly maintained, give exceptional supportive strength. These three arches form a supporting vault that distributes the weight of the entire body.
If there is compromise of one arch in the foot, the other arches must compensate and are subject to additional stresses, which usually leads to further compromise.
Healthcare professionals know alleviating pain in one part of your body often requires treating a different part. The pain you feel in your neck could be caused by a misalignment in your spine that is caused by unbalanced positioning in your feet. See? It’s a chain reaction.
By stabilizing and balancing your feet, Foot Levelers orthotics enhance your body’s performance and efficiency, reduce pain, and contribute to your total body wellness. Our orthotics complement your healthcare professional’s treatment when you stand, walk, and live your active life.
HOW SPINAL PELVIC STABILIZERS WORK
Patients with certain types of spinal problems benefit from custom made orthotic support (SPS Stabilizers, Shoethotics®, or Sandalthotics®). These devices stabilize the foundation of the pelvis and spine by first addressing structural problems with the feet, thereby reducing abnormal forces and stresses, while enhancing structural and functional relationships.
UNDERSTANDING HUMAN BIOMECHANICS
- The joints and muscles of the body function most efficiently when they are in physical balance. Principles of engineering have shown that with any physical entity, whether it is a bridge, a building, or the human body— Structure dictates function.
- The body is a biomechanical kinetic chain where abnormal movements at one line, or joint, can interfere with proper movements at other joints.
- During standing and walking, our bodies are subjected to natural forces and postures that can inflict mechanical stress and strain throughout the interrelated chain of joints and muscles.
- When foot imbalance is present, there is a negative impact on the knees, hips, pelvis, and spine. Some patients must have these abnormal forces reduced before they can achieve improved spinal function.
- Pronation describes the rotation of a body part downward or inward. It is actually a normal motion that occurs when walking; however, if it happens excessively, pronation can cause global postural problems. The major cause of over-pronation is a decrease in the arch height.
POSTURAL EFFECTS FROM IMBALANCES IN THE FEET
- A loss of arch height will cause a flattening and rolling in of the foot— this is termed pronation. Because everything is connected, the bones of the leg also inwardly rotate.
- Excessive rotation of the bones of the leg (tibia and femur) will cause unnecessary stresses on the knee as well as twisting of the pelvis and spine. If the pronation is more prevalent on one side, there can be a resultant unleveling of the pelvis and a functional scoliosis.
- Tilting of the pelvis places tension on muscles and connective tissues, which can eventually lead to chronic back problems.
- High levels of heel-strike shock can result from breakdown of the body’s natural “shock absorbers.” The shock wave then transmits up the kinetic chain causing painful symptoms all the way up to the head, slowed recovery of leg and spine injuries, and aggravation of other conditions.
BENEFITS OF SPINAL PELVIC STABILIZERS
- Properly fitted Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers support the foot to control excessive and unwanted pronation and supination. This helps to reduce unwanted stress on the body.
- Improved shock absorption reduces repetitive stress on joints and muscles, permitting smoother function and decreasing arthritic symptoms.
- Use of Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers represents a long-term, yet cost-effective intervention for many types of functional and structural problems.
HOW SPINAL PELVIC STABILIZERS WORK
- Wearing Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers inside your shoes is similar to placing a shim beneath the leg of a wobbly table: it adds support to eliminate unwanted motion in the entire structure.
- The foot is formed of three distinct arches, which create an architectural vault. The result of supporting these three arches is improved stability and postural integrity.
- Flexible Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers encourage optimal muscle and nerve function by guiding the feet through a more normal pattern with each step taken.
ABOUT FOOT LEVELERS SPINAL PELVIC STABILIZER (SPS) ORTHOTICS
- Foot Levelers, Inc., a leading supplier for 50 years, creates custom-made, flexible Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers to match each patient’s unique needs.
- Using weightbearing impression images of the feet in the position of function (either from a foam casting kit or a digital scanning system), along with instructions from the healthcare professional,
- Skilled laboratory technicians create unique Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers designed to correct and support areas of weakness.
- The combination of flexible, yet supportive and durable construction materials ensure that the stabilizers will both guide the feet when walking and provide support during long periods of standing.
- Unlike other stabilizing technologies, which use rigid materials to force the feet into a theoretical “ideal” position and may result in muscle atrophy and abnormal nerve proprioception, Foot Levelers’ allow controlled, supported movement for the dynamic human body.
The Gait Cycle System®.
When you walk or run, you progress through three unique phases that make up what is called the Gait Cycle. Because each part of this process places different stresses on the feet, Foot Levelers has created The Gait Cycle System® to provide unique support and protection throughout.
The Gait Cycle System®.
Many Foot Levelers products feature a comprehensive support system that addresses all three phases of the Gait Cycle: heel strike, midstance, and toe-off.
The Gait Cycle System® works like this:
At heel strike, The Gait Cycle System offers a Zorbacel® heel pad for maximum shock absorption.
The StanceGuard layer provides variable firmness, flexibility, and control at midstance.
The Gait Cycle System provides a pad of Propacel for a propulsive boost at toe-off to reduce fatigue.
Orthotics Can Help More Than You Think
Your body is an interconnected system of specialized parts, and the support structure which holds everything together is made up of bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Even if your feet don’t hurt, they may be contributing to your overall postural balance. If you’re having pain or discomfort in a specific area of your body— anywhere from your feet to your neck— click on the link(s) below nearest to your area of pain to learn how custom-made orthotics may help bring you long-term relie
- Chronic Neck Pain
- Low Back Pain
- Sacroiliac Joint Pain
- Hip Pain
- Knee Pain
- Short Leg
- Shin Splints
- Ankle Pain
- Heel Spurs
- Taking Care of Kids' Posture
- Foot Problems
- Sports Injuries and Performance
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW LONG SHOULD I WEAR ORTHOTICS TO BEGIN WITH?
Many— if not most— patients find their Foot Levelers orthotics to be immediately comfortable. If the orthotics feel good, they can and should be worn whenever the patient is on his/her feet.
WHEN SHOULD I START WEARING ORTHOTICS?
Here’s a checklist. Start using orthotics when you:
- have acute symptoms of conditions such as shin splints, Achilles tendinitis, plantar fascitis, stress fractures or patello-femoral disorders
- have local symptoms such as corns, calluses, bunions or metatarsalgia
- have a job that involves standing four or more hours per day
- have a leg length inequality— functional or anatomical
- play some type of physical sport (baseball, basketball, tennis, etc.) on a regular basis
- are over 40
- are under 7 with unilateral foot problems
- complain of ankle pain, knee (especially medial) pain, hip pain, back/neck pain on a regular basis
- previously underwent knee surgery
- do not hold adjustments satisfactorily
- If you have checked one or more of the boxes on this checklist, you are likely to benefit from Foot Levelers.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED ORTHOTICS?
Dr. Monte Greenawalt, founder of Foot Levelers, came up with five "red flags"—warning signs -- that indicate a patient may be suffering from pedal instability. Evaluating a patient for these "red flags" only takes about 30 seconds:
- Watch as you walk using a natural gait pattern. Do the toes point outward? Foot flare signals probable pronation, with the medial arch subject to excess weight-bearing.
- Examine your shoes. Do the heels show excessive or uneven wear?
- Do you have low medial arches? To check, stand barefoot. If you can’t easily insert your index finger under the medial longitudinal arches, pronation problems are likely.
- While still standing, observe the backs of his ankles and lower legs. Is there a bowing of either Achilles tendon? A hyperpronated foot will display inward bowing of the tendon, with the calcaneus and talus tilted inward and the center of foot gravity resting over the navicular.
- Now observe your legs from the front. Does either knee slant inward? Hyperpronation forces the patella inward, indicating excessive leg movement. The tibia and femur also rotate inward, increasing the risk of abnormal hip rotation.
HOW LONG WILL MY ORTHOTICS LAST?
This depends primarily on the patient. Obviously, a weekend golfer puts less wear on a pair of orthotics than a marathon runner. A very high activity level, frequent exposure to water or heavy perspiration, temperature extremes and the use of cleansers or chemical solvents are all factors that can reduce the life of the orthotic. Foot Levelers orthotics are crafted of quality materials selected for maximum comfort and durability. In most cases they will continue to give therapeutic support for a long time.
DO I NEED HEEL CUPS?
Heel cups offer several advantages:
- Improved rear foot stability. As the body ages, muscle and tendon tone often decrease, leading to less than optimal stability during the gait cycle. Heel cups help provide functional control for improved postural stability.
- Enhanced natural balance. Used in conjunction with a functioning orthotic, heel cups increase calcaneal incline angle. This enhances the natural postural balance and foot comfort.
- Improved shoe/orthotic interaction. Ideally, patients should wear shoes with firm, supportive counters. However, if the counters are weak, heel cups help compensate by allowing less foot movement in the shoe and offering a rim of support for the calcaneus.
- Heel cups can be added to most styles for a nominal charge.