You use them every day, yet rarely give them a second thought. They propel you to work, take you on hikes, or out dancing with friends. But usually, it’s not until they hurt that we pay attention to our feet.
Your Feet Are Valuable
Ever since humans first stood upright, we’ve depended on our feet to carry us, whether we’re fleeing a mastodon or running errands before dashing home to cook dinner.
The average person walks 100,000 miles in a lifetime. Most of us trade in our cars long before they reach this milestone. Since a single pair of feet must go the distance regardless of wear and tear, in lieu of changing the metaphorical tires we need to keep our existing treads in peak condition.
Your feet are a marvel of engineering, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. Each foot consists of 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, all of which allow us to:
pivot on a dime or on a basketball court,
rock a child (or grandchild) with the ball of our foot, and
wedge our feet into less-than-comfortable shoes in the name of fashion.
Yet while most of us invest in a high quality mattress in our quest for a good night’s sleep, we spend the other two-thirds of each day using our feet — and seldom address their needs with the same fervor.
The Foot’s Four Arches
A brief anatomy lesson can help bolster appreciation for these hardworking soles.
Your foot has four arches:
Inner Longitudinal Arch: runs from the ball of your foot to the heel, and varies in length and height for each person
Outer Longitudinal Arch: absorbs the “roll” of your foot as you walk
Transverse Arch: hidden inside the foot, above your heel
Metatarsal Arch: spread across the ball of the foot.
A combination of the 100-plus muscles, ligaments, and tendons supports your foot’s arches. The four-arch system serves primarily as a shock absorber when you stand, walk, or run. Without the four arches, your feet would be much less resilient, less able to absorb “step shock,” and unable to adapt to uneven terrain.
The Body’s Foundation
Remember the childhood song that illustrated how our body parts work together? “The foot bone's connected to the leg bone. The leg bone's connected to the knee bone…”
Because our body functions as a single coordinated organism, when one part is out of alignment, it throws the rest of the body off as well. And the result is often pain.
So if your hip hurts, or if you have a persistent pain in the back, it could very well be due to your feet — the body’s foundation. While feet account for just two percent of the body’s total mass, they must maintain the vertical balance of the remaining 98 percent. That’s a big job.
This is where arch supports can help: by aligning your feet, arch supports provide stability and balance, distribute pressure evenly across the foot, and realign your body so it once again sings in harmony. “The knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone. The thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone…”
Foot, Knee, Hip and Back Pain
Foot pain is endemic to modern society: about one-fourth of us are experiencing foot pain at any given time. This puts a damper on your mood, not to mention your daily activities. Yet even when the pain is disabling, few people seek professional treatment.
Dozens of conditions can affect our feet and their functionality. Just like fingerprints, your feet are unique, so depending on how you use your body and the kind of footwear you prefer, some of the more common complaints you might experience include:
Plantar fasciitis: Affecting 1 in 10 people, plantar fasciitis is an inflammation in the ligament along the bottom of the foot. Heel and arch pain tend to be worse in the morning, because you re-injure the fascia when you first put weight on it.
Bunions: Often a result of those fashion-forward, ill-fitting shoes, bunions are a bony protrusion next to the base of the big toe.
Arthritis: The same wear and tear that causes skin to sag and muscles to weaken can cause the joints in our feet, ankles and toes to swell.
Flat feet: Our all-important arches tend to flatten, or fall, with repeated standing or walking. Stretched or torn tendons, as well as rheumatoid arthritis, can lead to flat feet.
Morton’s Neuroma: It feels like a pebble in your shoe, but Morton’s Neuroma is actually a thickening of tissue in your toe, which puts pressure on the nerve next to it, causing pain. Affecting women more than men, Morton’s Neuroma typically occurs between your third and fourth toe.
As you’ve discovered, once your feet are out of alignment, knee, hip and back pain are likely to follow.
Are You Doing Enough?
In all of these cases and many more, premium arch supports can be a simple solution that helps reduce inflammation and pain by correcting the foot’s alignment, thereby restoring the dynamics of your entire skeletal system.
With arch supports designed to support all four arches of the foot, your body is literally aligned from the ground up. It’s an easy step you can take today to eliminate years of incorrect posture and eye catching but sole-searing footwear.
Lady Gaga might sport 9-inch heels as part of her stage persona, but in your daily life, a more practical shoe will be a lot more comfortable.
Your Good Life Starts With Good Feet
Good Feet Arch Supports may be the answer to aching feet and persistent pain in your hips, back and knees. With more than 175 locations throughout the US and Puerto Rico, there’s probably a Good Feet store near you.
At The Good Feet Store, a trained Good Feet Arch Support Specialist will spend dedicated time getting to know you, your lifestyle, and your feet in order to personally fit you with the correct arch supports. Precision is our watchword, and our “try before you buy” approach is at the center of everything we do.
An experienced Good Feet Arch Support Specialist will:
Properly map and measure your feet and arches
Perform a balance exercise
Ask about your lifestyle, activities, and work environment
Discuss your shoe preferences
Use our unique 3-Step System to help improve your biomechanics in order to relieve foot, knee, hip, and back pain.
Try Good Feet Arch Supports with a Free Fitting and Test Walk. Your whole body will thank you. And you'll make that big job your feet do a lot easier.