Anyone who has experienced foot problems understands all too well that it can affect the rest of the body. The feet are your foundation, much like the foundation of a house. If that foundation suffers, the entire structure suffers right along with it; in some cases, it can come crashing down. Fortunately, that same logic applies in reverse: optimizing foot performance and health is like strengthening your foundation; the result can be a stronger, more durable you from the ground up.
A recent research review provides an excellent illustration of this principle. It involves the example of patients suffering from arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, which can rack the entire body with pain, stiffness and movement limitations. According to the review, biomechanical evidence suggests that “foot orthotics and specialized footwear may change muscle activation and gait patterns to reduce joint loading. Emerging evidence suggests that orthotics, specific shoe types and footwear interventions may provide an effective nonsurgical intervention in rheumatic diseases.”
The takeaway here seems clear: Support your feet and your feet will support you. An increasing body of research suggests foot orthotics can positively impact foot health (and thus whole-body health) in numerous ways. Talk to your doctor to learn more.